Recently, as my husband I have adamantly searched for a new apartment or condo or town home closer to his employment, it has come to our attention that it’s not so easy as first thought to find a new place to lay our heads. As a matter of fact, it’s ALMOST has hard to find a rental as it is to buy a home these days.
As we’ve been homeowners many times over, we know this to be absolutely true. The reason, as you probably know…. there is a housing shortage right now. Rentals are high in price and demand.
Because this has been such a challenge and because we’d like to spare any others that are out there doing the same, I’d like to share with you some tips to make this search more pleasurable.
- Expect to be required to show proof of income. In our case and because our income fluctuates month-to-month, we’re having to print off bank statements. Some even want tax returns!
- Expect to pay a deposit, administration fee and application fees (usually for each adult occupying the home). Deposits can range from $99 to a month’s rent. Admin fees are usually $150 and app fees $45ish. Expect to have a background check done on you as well. That’s primarily what the application fee is for.
- If you have more than 2 pets, you will be hard-pressed to find an accepting home. I have not seen a home yet that will accept more than 2 pets and oftentimes, not cats at all. Expect to have to pay as much as $400 per pet – some refundable and some not.
- Speaking of pets….with dogs, there are major breed restrictions. If you have a Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, Chow Chow and some other “ferocious” furry friend – you will be out of luck. If you have a mix (ie. a lab and pit bull mix like our Grace) – do not specify. There are so so many dogs out there that are mixes. Our Grace looks mostly like lab and pit, but she could also pass for a lab and Rodesian Ridgeback mix. We simply say “Lab” and that works.
- When first embarking on your apartment hunt, figure out where you want to live and go from there. There are many many communities (especially where I live in Denver). Craigs List often times does not specify area, so really the best place to start is getting to the neighborhood where you want to be.
- Do not be surprised when your apartment – the one you actually move into – does not measure up to the model you were initially shown. Of course, the model’s never been lived in and there’s usually a change of residence in an apartment or condo yearly. Just don’t set yourself up for discouragement. Of course, you can always ask to have things fixed, but mostly, a rental is a rental and they’re not going to put in new cabinets because the old ones are scratched and sticky.
- Expect small spaces. We personally could not go into a 1,000 square foot or smaller space and most apartments are just that. There are a few communities that have large, open living spaces.
- You will need renter’s insurance which is usually $12-16 monthly.
- If your community of choice offers garages, they cost approximately $85 monthly.
- When you receive your rental quote, keep in mind that the quoted amount is guaranteed only until the quote expires. If you make changes to the move-in date or the lease term, the rent amount may be adjusted. Rental rate quotes are generated based on the apartment home’s availability at the time of the quote and also what the rental market currently is mandating. This amount can differ day by day.
- Many community administrative offices are not open on Sundays and don’t forget to get your ID back when finished touring in that golf cart. You will be required to give it up before going out with staff.
And, as far as moving companies go….. prices vary widely. You could pay as little as $59 an hour for 2 guys and a big truck up to $112 for the same. Always check references.
Hope this helps! Please be sure to sign up for my newsletter as I’ll be occasionally posting helpful and handy bits of information that will put you in a better place to take care of yourself.
(c) 2013 D.C. Brown