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Factors to consider when searching for Apartments or Houses for Rent

Location, Location, Location

You have probably heard that statement many times but it's probably one of the most important factors when you start searching for that perfect apartment or house for rent. First off, start by thinking what you would like to live near. Is it more important to find a home for rent near your friends or family or would you rather rent a home near your work? Another item to consider when searching locations for your perfect house or apartment for rent is what services / businesses / activities would you like to be near. For instance, do you like to eat out a lot? Do you enjoy going to a gym? Coffee shops? Do you need the rental to be near a bus line? Keep these things in mind while you’re narrowing down you’re the location for your new apartment or house for rent.

After determining what is important to you, try and narrow your rental search down to those areas by finding out the zip code(s) and which will allow you to only see apartments or houses for rent in the areas that you have chosen to be ideal for you to live. This will save you time by allowing you to search by the zip code and not waste time looking at rental listing after rental listing only to find the homes for rent are not actually in areas where you would like to find a rental.

Internal and External Features of the Apartment or Home for Rent

Once you narrow down the best locations to rent your next home, start thinking of what features are most important to you in an apartment or rental house. Keep in mind both internal and external features.

External features to consider for apartments, condos for rent and houses for rent include, but are not limited to:

  1. Find out parking situation at the home for rent or apartment complex. Does the rental have off street parking? If the house for rent has a garage, do you get full access to use it? Does the rental rate advertised include parking or is there an extra fee you will need to pay to have access?
  2. If you are looking at houses for rent, great features to look for are decks, yard size, fenced in back yards, private patios. If there are pictures online, make sure to schedule an appointment to do a walk though of both the inside and outside to ensure the pictures accurately reflect the condition of the apartment or house for rent you are interested in.
  3. If you own a pet, are the rental listings you are looking at pet friendly? Are there safe places to walk your dog, if you have one? Ask the landlord or apartment manager about specific pet policies prior to signing a lease. Does the rental have breed or weight restrictions? Ask about additional deposits that may be required in order to have your pet live with you at the home for rent.
  4. Security – Of the houses for rent and apartments you have found, which ones make you feel the safest. Is there ample lighting around the outside of the home or apartment for rent?

Internal features to consider when finding an apartment or house for rent include:

  1. How many bedrooms do you want and how many bedrooms does the rental need to have to even be considered. Many times, people only need a 1 bedroom for rent but find they can rent a 2 bedroom or even a 3 bedroom house for the same rental rate or maybe just a tad bit more.
  2. Other internal features of houses for rent and apartments to consider are number of bathrooms, the size of the kitchen, the overall size (sq. ft.) of the home for rent, size of individual rooms within the rental. As for the internal features you normally will have to schedule a viewing of the home for rent to get a good idea if the particular rental you are interested in will work for you. Often you can get a general idea based on the pictures of the houses for rent but it’s always great to see it in person. Don’t hesitate to bring a tape measure along and take notes when viewing the rental property. After viewing multiple homes for rent, having notes at the end of the day will ensure you remember exactly which rental homes you liked and which homes for rent won’t work.

Renting a House vs. an Apartment

While viewing the rentals listings on the site you will likely come across both apartments and houses for rent. There are several factors to consider when choosing which type of dwelling will work out best for your new home.

Houses for rent offer many benefits! For one, you will typically be able to get a larger more private place when renting a house. In addition, houses for rent will often have many features you won't find with renting an apartment. For example, when renting a house you can often get a garage, basement, large private back yard, patios / decks, etc. Another key thing to consider when choosing to rent a house is the level of privacy. Houses for rent will typically allow for much more privacy and space. While you'll still have neighbors, you won't have to share a wall or have another renter above or below you.

Renting an Apartment on the other hand often times can come with many more amenities that many homes for rent will not. Many complexes will give you access to community resources such as pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, on-site laundry rooms, game rooms, basketball courts and many more!! In addition, all exterior maintenance is taken care of by the apartment complex – no need to worry about cutting the grass or shoveling snow when you get home!! Also, apartments not only offer more of a community feel, they can also offer more security. Having lot of people live around you allows for that many more eyes and ears to alert the authorities when something is not right. The down side to apartment living is less private space, no back yard and the overall size of apartments are often (although not always) much smaller than homes for rent.

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