When it comes to renting a house, you are more likely to stay in one longer than an apartment. In fact, the average stay is at least 3 years.
Since you will be living in your house for a while then it is best to find one that fits your desires.
Use this guide of 8 things to consider when looking for your dream house for rent.
1. Listen for Noise Levels
While house hunting you may not notice that a train in the distance can be loud even when inside. The road nearby might also be quiet during your viewing, but rush hour is a different story.
So how do you know about these hidden noises? You can ask the realtor or landlord to see if they know or are willing to tell you about certain noises. They may or may not be honest with you.
If the house is near the road, you can visit the area in the earlier morning or evening during the week to check the noise level yourself.
Also, be aware of your neighbor’s habits. Are they awake all night playing music or up at dawn mowing their lawn? And how thick and sound absorbent are the walls of the house?
2. Painting Rules
Every dream house needs to be customized. You can easily make your new place a home with a splash of paint.
So, before you sign the lease, ask about the landlord’s paint policy. They might not allow painting at all or require you to keep it neutral.
Also, consider the amount of work involved with painting before and after you move out. Bright colors require a lot of priming and coating to cover up.
If you are fine with white walls then see if your landlords put a fresh coat on before your move. This will make the house look new and fresh when you move in.
3. Outdoor Maintenance
Your new home may be perfect on the inside, but the yard may need some work. This includes initial cleanup if the yard has been left unkept for some time.
Your inquiry should also include ongoing maintenance efforts. Ask your landlord if you are responsible for mowing the lawn and plowing snow.
If a garden is part of your dream home vision then you must have a proper place for one. Envision where your garden will be and ask the landlord about any restrictions.
Look for outdoor amenities like a garden hose and a shed for keeping supplies.
4. Neighborhood Watch
One of the best house hunting tips is to consider a home in a good neighborhood.
The area will determine your security, price range, and nearby activities. So, do some research on your favorite neighborhoods before you search for a house to rent. This will narrow your search to particular areas.
Once you find a home, see how far it is from schools, shops, and work. You don’t want to lose any convenience by moving to your next home.
Your surroundings will also determine your neighbors. If you live near a college the area might have a high turnover and include some late-night partying.
You may fall in love with a home only to find that your backyard will turn into a highway.
That is why you should add future developments to your house hunting checklist. Ask your realtor or landlord if your surroundings have any immediate or long-term building projects in the works.
Construction sites can ruin your view and cause rerouting and traffic disruptions. You also want to know if your neighborhood forest will eliminate your morning stroll in nature.
6. Included Appliances
Your ideal home might include a washer and dryer so make sure this is included before you sign a lease.
Even if there is one in the home when you view it this doesn’t mean it will be there when you move in. It might be the previous tenant’s appliance or your landlord might intend to move it.
Ask about which appliances are included in the home’s rent. Otherwise, you will need to add a shopping list to your budget.
Many people assume that the home is move-in ready if it is being rented. This is not the case as some landlords rely on previous tenants to inform them of defaults in the house.
Double-check that your appliances, lights, water, heating, and AC work properly before signing the lease. These items need to be fixed before you can consider moving in.
You don’t want to move in then realize you have no heat. Your landlord won’t be able to determine if the problem occurred before you moved in and may charge you to fix things.
8. Ask About Rent to Buy
If you decide that you love some of the houses that you want to rent then ask about homes for sale.
Many landlords or real estate companies will consider a rent-to-own option for serious tenants.
You may need to decide on an agreement before you move in. Or you can decide to buy the home after you have lived in it for some time.
Either way, buying a home makes it yours. You can customize your home more when you own it. This is a lifetime investment so be sure you want to commit.
Finding a House for Rent
Start looking for your dream house for rent by doing an initial search online. You can browse several neighborhoods and narrow it down to a few houses to see in person.
Visit our property search section to get started.