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6 Rental Hacks to Help Secure the Perfect Property

Looking for a rental home? Whether you’re a first-time renter or not, it’s in your best interest to plan ahead of the search. According to HGTV, roughly one-third of all Americans rent, and while many of them are in early adulthood, many are also families, empty nesters and seniors. This means more people are renting, making it harder to find the right home for your budget and lifestyle.
 
There are a number of steps you can take to expedite the process and find the right rental property for you, despite the competitive market. We’ve collected six rental hacks to help you secure the perfect property and have a stress-free renting experience.
 
1. Budget realistically
Setting a budget might seem like an obvious renting hack, but many seem to overbudget when on the market for a rental home. It is critical to set a realistic budget before beginning the search that takes not only your personal finances into account, but your desired location as well.
 
2. Start searching early
Other than luck, there’s no easy way to start the search for your ideal rental property. Our first suggestion is to start looking early on to get an idea of what the process is going to look like for you in particular. The process will ultimately come down to your budget, location and the season you’re looking to move.
 
3. Search online – but don’t rely on it
While there are a variety of online resources to find a rental home, you shouldn’t strictly rely on rental listing networks. We also suggest driving around the neighborhoods you have in mind to look for “For Rent” signs, checking local papers, and using word of mouth and social media to help spread the word to your personal network.
 
4. Beware of scammers
Online scams are becoming more common than ever and potential renters are getting caught in this unfortunate mix. If you’re applying to rent from an individual, you should be especially careful giving them your social security number, bank account number or any other important personal information. Another way renters are getting scammed is by paying a deposit to see a potential property. No company or individual should require a deposit to check out a rental.
 
5. Inspect property and lease before signing
The best way to avoid misunderstandings with your landlord is to completely inspect the property and written agreement before signing the lease. Often times landlords will fail to mention crucial rules and regulations that are included in the lease. You won’t want an issue to come up at some point and be unaware of the rule you broke. We also suggest giving the property a final walk through before signing the agreement to ensure it is in the same condition that you found it.
 
6. Buy renters insurance
Because you’re renting as opposed to buying doesn’t mean the landlord or lease will cover every issue you encounter. Often times renting policies do not cover losses from extensive property damage, theft or natural disasters – renter’s insurance, however, will cover those losses.
 

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