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How to Find the Best Rental Home for Your Budget

House Pro Home Inspection Inc.   |  

A white and red apartment complex

Finding the best rental home for your budget can be a difficult task. There is a lot to consider, and it can be a lengthy process. You have to find a home that will offer you a comfortable life while not taking away 90% of your paycheck every month. Luckily, there are several things you can do and techniques you can employ to help you achieve this goal. Let’s go through a list of some of the most crucial steps you can take. That way, you can go into this process with all the necessary information and confidence.

Compose a list of your needs

Before you start looking for the best rental home for your budget, you first have to figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a new home. Jotting everything down on a piece of paper is the best way to have a clear overview of what you find the most important. For example, one of the first things you have to figure out in this situation is how much square footage you are going to need. After that, you might want to think about location or certain preferences, such as the number of bathrooms or utilities.
We recommend spreading this activity over a couple of days. The first time you do it, you should write down anything that comes to mind. Later on, you can come back and edit out anything that doesn’t seem like as much of a necessity as some of the other things on the list. It’ll be easier to prioritize after you’ve cooled off. For example, having multiple bathrooms and outdoor space may seem equally important on the first day. But, later on, you may realize you’re willing to go down by one bathroom to ensure you’ll have the outdoor space you need.

Outline your budget carefully

You likely already have a relatively clear idea of how much you can spend on your home each month. However, if you rely on a basic estimate of what you’ll be able to afford, you put yourself at risk of making costly mistakes down the line. That’s why creating a comprehensive budget outline can be beneficial in such a situation. You have to consider how much you’re willing to spend on rent and utilities per month so that you can still have a substantial disposable income for all your other needs.
Starting this a few months in advance can be a great idea. That way, you’ll be able to keep a journal of your expenses during that time. A notebook or Excel sheet with this information can be a valuable way of figuring out exactly how much money you need for each aspect of your life so that you can create as accurate of a budget for your rental home as possible.

A person using the calculator app on their phone
Take the time to carefully calculate your budget and outline it in a document.

Consider hidden expenses

One important thing to keep in mind while you’re outlining your budget is that you’ll have to include all of the easily forgotten/hidden expenses in your plan. For example, experts from advise you to take the time and carefully consider how much the moving process will cost. This doesn’t just mean hiring movers. It also includes how many days off work you might have to take. Or the price of cleaning services you might have to hire. Additionally, there’s the question of whether you’ll need storage services, etc.
Don’t forget that the process of moving is just one of the things you’ll have to consider. While it is a good place to start, later on, you might have to consider other things. For example, the additional expenses for transportation if you’re moving further away from work.

Get in touch with an agent

Hiring a real estate agent to help you with househunting is one of the best ways to find the best rental home for your budget. Since it increases the initial investment, it’s common for people to think it’s more frugal to avoid hiring a professional when looking for a home to rent. However, this is a common mistake. A good agent who knows the area where you chose to look for a home very well can make finding the perfect deal much easier and quicker. Finding a rental home is not as crucial of an investment as buying a home. But that doesn’t mean that getting a professional to help you out isn’t necessary, especially if you want to stay on a budget down the line.

Start going to property viewings

You’re highly unlikely to find the perfect home right off the bat. However, starting to go on property viewings as soon as possible is a great way to at least get to know the surrounding area well. And it allows you to check whether everything you’re looking for is even achievable in your price range. Eventually, you’ll either run into the exact home you were looking for for the right price or alter your wish list enough to make it much more realistic. If you are lucky enough to find the perfect home while viewing properties, try not to hesitate, especially in a competitive market such as Seattle.

An agent showing a couple around a property
Several property viewings can help you better understand what’s available in your chosen area.

Work on your negotiation skills

This is another moment in the process where having an experienced real estate agent on your side can be beneficial. Negotiating the right price can make the difference between overpaying and staying on budget for the perfect home. With their professional insights, a good real estate agent will be able to advise you on the right techniques to get the price of your future rental home down. Additionally, to get ready for this, you can contact loved ones who recently went through a similar process. That way, you can get some tips from them as well.
Remember that negotiation doesn’t just apply to setting an appropriate price. You also might have to reach agreements with your prospective landlord regarding some of your specific needs. For example, you might have to negotiate for the landlord to let you rent their property with your pet.

Get things ready in advance

One of the best ways to save money when looking for your next rental home is to save time. The longer you draw out this process, the more it’ll cost you. This means that having certain things ready in advance can go a long way in terms of saving you money.
Firstly, one of the most important things is having all the necessary documentation and paperwork ready before you start househunting. That way, you can start the leasing process the moment you find your dream home. Secondly, you should make plans for moving well in advance. For example, if you’re moving from Las Vegas to Seattle and need your appliances moved before settling in, you’ll want to find skilled movers near you a week or two before the move-in day approaches. Finally, you should have the money you need for your first rent payment and deposit before you even start looking for a home.

Two women working on paperwork
Your best bet for saving time while looking for the best rental home for your budget is to prepare all necessary paperwork and documents in advance.

To conclude

It can be fairly difficult to find the best rental home for your budget. However, if you take the time to carefully consider your budget and outline your needs, and start looking for homes with your agent as soon as possible, it can be a lot easier than expected. Remember to take some time to learn how to protect yourself as a renter after moving in. Moving to a new area can be an exciting adventure. But there are things you have to do to make it a safe and frugal one.