It’s not always a perfect time to buy a home. For some people and in some circumstances, it might be best to rent a home for a year or two. Rental homes are poised to be a huge upcoming market in the near future, so it’s important for all those looking to lease to consider things carefully. Here are a few items that might be easy to overlook.
1. Apartment complexes and condominiums usually come complete with a whole host of perks and benefits that go beyond just the walls of your space.
But, while searching for a rental home, it’s important to know all of the amenities that are offered (if any) to that specific neighborhood. It’s also important to know if there’s going to be an additional cost associated with using those amenities. Be sure to ask the owners if that neighborhood has a pool, a clubhouse, common area(s), a golf course, trash pick-up, and/or any other added incentives to simply living there.
2. A possible rental responsibility for a single-family home rental property is yard maintenance.
Will the owner take care of it? Is the owner expecting you, the tenant, to keep the yard in shape? Will the owner provide the yard equipment for use? Are there consequences if the property becomes dilapidated? It’s always best to have clear expectations right from the beginning.
3. One of the most important financial considerations beyond the monthly rent cost and security deposit is utilities.
Are utilities included in the rental price? If they’re not, what is the average cost of utilities for that unit or home, and how will that affect one’s monthly budget? Be sure to ask the owners what their average bill is for those items and what that includes. At this time, don’t forget to ask about telephone, Internet, and cable TV.
4. After you’ve considered everything that’s included within the home, it’s also important to take a look around the neighborhood.
When renting a home, you’re investing time, energy, and finances into a specific location, so it’s crucial to consider the whole package.
Are there a large amount of vacant properties, or owner-occupied properties, or tenant-occupied properties? How well are the other houses taken care of? If you have young children, are there other young children in the neighborhood? If you’re retired and looking for an active adult neighborhood, are there others in the same season of life? Ultimately, you must determine whether you will be excited to rent a home in that specific neighborhood.
5. One last consideration when searching for a rental property is that it actually may be less expensive to buy a home than to rent.
I’d recommend speaking with a mortgage lender to see how much you could afford and what your monthly payments would be. A tenant that I know has been paying $600/month for the last 14 years, which equals over $100,000 total paid. That house is now listed for sale at $50,000. There’s a high probability that not only would his payments have been less each month, but also that he would have a huge amount of equity stored up into his home.
Whether you ultimately choose to rent or to buy, remember to trust your instincts during your search. Make a list of needs and wants before you begin. Gather information and ask good questions as you go. Identify property managers and owners who will partner with you to make sure the home is well maintained. When necessary, be sure to seek advice from friends, family, and/or a trusted professional. Visit Homes.com to search homes for sale and for rent, and keep your eyes peeled for a great opportunity!