A First Timer's Guide To Renting

A First Timer's Guide To Renting
When you’re fresh out of college or from living at home with parents, being new to the renting game can feel a little overwhelming.

It can feel a bit confusing and even a bit scary as you navigate where you should be living, what to pay, and wondering what the right kinds of questions to be asking are.

There is no need to be stressed, overwhelmed, or worried, though. There are a few simple steps that can help newbies to renting. Then you can rent with confidence, be happy with the decisions that you’re making, and live without the worry of thinking that you’ve missed something.

Avoid Time Wasting

For starters, don’t waste your time looking in a whole host of locations for a home.

It is a good idea to have a specific are that you want to be looking in. You could go slightly over that area, but if you give yourself too many options to square miles to check, then it can be overwhelming and take much longer than it should.

So, be quite specific about the places that you want to look for a home to rent.

Check Your Budget

Knowing your budget is one of the next really key steps.

How are you going to know what you can afford if you don’t know what you can afford? So look closely at your finances; how much is left over each month once your wages are there, but your bills have gone out?

If you’re sharing with a partner or a friend, then be clear and specific about what you are both able to pay. Then it comes down to discovering what kind of places or in what areas, that you will be able to afford.

You could discover what you can afford by using industry resources like this rent report for the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example. So get your finances clear, and then the fun part, house hunting, can begin.

Study Your Contract Carefully

When you have found somewhere to live, then often you’ll be given a contract for the property when things are feeling a little awkward. It is almost a little pressurized.

So taking some time out and perhaps taking the contract home to study, can be a good idea. You’ll want to check all of it, but specifically these kinds of things:
  • Are bills included or are they extra? If they’re not included, then work out your total monthly costs after paying rent; can you afford it all?
  • Think about when they would need you to move in, and how long does the contract go on for?
  • You’re likely to not be thinking about moving out when you’ve not moved in yet, but what are the terms around that? You won’t want to lose any of your deposit.

Be Safe From Scammers

It might sound like something that is pretty obvious to many, but don’t be tempted to hand over any money to anyone, especially if you’ve not even seen the home; there are a lot of scammers out there that will take advantage of the naivety of some new renters.

Plus, if you’re moving to a whole new area, it can be confusing what to do as it could be what people just do there.

The best thing to do is to arrange to meet in person at the property, to check the state of it and that it isn’t some kind of scam.