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Renting a house is a complex affair. It is an even more excruciating experience for people looking for rental homes for the first time. Whether fresh from college or moving out of your parent’s house, finding a rental house is one of the biggest headaches.
Everyone wishes to live in a comfortable and hospitable neighborhood. Actually, a healthy community is linked to mental and general health. It is, therefore, important to ensure that all thresholds are met when looking for a rental apartment.
Looking for a house for the first time can drain your energy, so this guide gives you the ultimate checklist for renting a home.
Steps and Checklist when Renting a Home
When you are looking to rent a house in Tennessee, most people are mostly attracted to moving to Nashville. Like any other city in the US, finding the ideal house can be tricky due to the housing shortage. However, you can enjoy a smooth Nashville rental home process through the following steps.
Pre-budget for Your Rent and Other Associated Costs
Your budgets significantly determine where you live. This is because different neighborhoods in Nashville and other cities have varying rent requirements. For instance, in some areas like the Granny White, the cost of living and house rent is over 50% higher than the average Nashville cost.
Besides helping you to plan for your neighborhood choice, pre-budgeting also ensures your house rent doesn’t use excessive money. Experts say rent should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly salary.
When budgeting, it’s also important to figure out other associated costs that will be involved during the process. Some of these costs include;
- Security deposits
- Pet fee
- Bills and utilities
- Moving costs
- Furniture fee
Research the Right Neighborhood
Once you set the right budget depending on your income, the next thing is to look for the ideal neighborhood. The good thing is many neighborhoods can fall under your budget, but the scrutiny goes beyond the financial aspect.
It is important to research the neighborhood widely based on the following criteria.
Amenities include things like water, sanitation, drainage, and electricity. These are the basics that every house should provide for comfortable living. Besides the basic ones, you also need to look for others like the gym, onsite laundry, and others that can impact your living comfort.
Security is another issue that you need to check before choosing a neighborhood. Some areas are known to be safe, while in others, the crime rate is high. You can use sites like Crime Mapping to check the crime rate in your area of interest.
Well, proximity to schools is another thing every tenant should consider before moving in. Of course, if you have a family, proximity to a good school saves you a lot since kids can walk to and from school without issues.
For fresh graduates, renting a house in areas with a high job market puts you in a better place. It means you have a chance of getting a job and commuting home will be an easy task.
Define What You Want
You have the budget and the target location to live. Now, you need to set out what you want. Do you want to live in a 1-bedroom or 4-bedroom house? At this stage, you decide whether to live in a normal apartment, serviced apartment, street house, or a villa.
Knowing the ideal type of rental house is important as it indicates the kind of lifestyle to expect. For instance, in shared apartments, you must share some facilities with other tenants. However, consider unshared properties if you like personal privacy and peace of mind.
Learn the Tenant Rights and Responsibilities In Advance
It is important to know that renting doesn’t mean owning the property. Familiarizing yourself with the tenant’s rights and responsibilities is vital to avoid the consequences.
It is worth learning all these before moving into the property. Some are general, which apply to all tenants, while others are specific to the property. Some general terms you need to note as a tenant include the right to fair housing, habitable housing, security deposits, and evictions.
Go to the Ground
After you are well-armed with the necessary information and have a target neighborhood, it’s time to go to the ground for your house search. You can search for the house through the hard way of moving around, seeking vacant homes websites or house agents to look for a rental.
During your time on the property, you will check whether it fulfills your expectations. Check for appliances, smoke detectors, walls, ceilings, and toilets. During the tour, you will also be able to observe the general surrounding conditions.
Prepare Your Paperwork
Every contract is bound when both parties sign the paperwork. Therefore, as a tenant, you must prepare all the necessary papers. Some of the vital documents you need to have include;
- Credit score report
- Proof of income
- Identifying papers
- Residential history
- Reference documents
Read and Understand the Lease Agreement
Once your paperwork is complete, the next thing is to read and understand the lease agreement before appending your signature. It is worth knowing that the lease agreement binds you and the landlord, and in case of a violation, there is always an outcome.
Normally, a rental lease agreement touches on the rent, security deposit details, pet policies, pollution, and other fundamental issues. Reading the document and understanding it helps you live harmoniously and is vital when managing your budget.
Prepare to Move
Once everything is set, preparing to move is the other thing to ensure a smooth process. Before the actual move, planning is essential as the process is complex and still has its budget, as mentioned earlier. During the preparation, consider the following;
- Choose the moving date.
- Prepare the moving budget.
- Plan for the items to carry and how to take them
- Choose the moving company
Renting a house is a process and requires proper pre-planning. From determining the rent amount to the actual moving, it’s a series of planning that requires careful deliberations. With the steps mentioned, you can enjoy renting your first house without getting lost.