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Tips to Renting in the Current Market

Anyone who is looking for a home right now knows how hard it is to find one and as soon as you do, it’s already rented. I’ve put together some tips to help you to win that race and find a home to rent.

First, be ready to be on the internet a LOT. Most managers advertise in the same places; their company website, Craig’s List, Zillow, Trulia and Hot Pads. These sites will syndicate to other sites so basically the information is largely the same on all sources. I suggest choosing one and sticking to it. Next, you will want to refresh it several times each day to see if any new homes have been added. When you see a new home that fits your criteria, call immediately. Try to set an appointment as soon as possible. Some people have been applying for homes without touring the inside. If the managers allow for that and if you are the kind of person who can do it, this is the safest way to quickly find a home.
When you go to see the home bring all the history information you might need to fill out an application. Include addresses and phone numbers for past landlords, past and current jobs, etc. Bring car and license information. You will need application information for each person over the age of 18 that will live in the home. Bring proof of income; copies of your paycheck stubs is the most common document. Bring copies of your photo ID. Lastly, bring money orders in the amount of the fees for the application. You can even bring an already filled out application available on most company websites. This will allow you to mark the home as yours immediately. We operate from a first come, first served business. Write the date and time you give the application to the manager.
Do and Don’t:
1. Don’t look too far ahead of time. Most companies will not hold a home more than 2 weeks. Be prepared to pay double rent for a while if you look too early.
2. Don’t be late. It sets the tone for the manager who is assessing you as a prospective tenant.
3. Don’t lose your temper. See rule number 2. Be patient even if the manager is less than lovely. This shouldn’t happen and if it’s excessive, you might want to reconsider applying for that home.
4. Do take photos. Nickname each home you are viewing. This will help you remember details later. Bring a measuring tape if you want to know the room sizes.
5. Do ask questions. How the manager responds will tell you a lot. First you’ll have answers to your questions. You’ll also see how you interact with this person, you will be working with them for a long time.
6. Do be honest. If you have low credit, talk to the manager. Every company is different but they will have their criteria on their websites. Some places will work with you and can be flexible. Some cannot….chat with the manager so you find out if it is a waste of time or money to apply.
You’ll be surprised at how much simple communication can make situations better.
Good luck, be patient and vigilant while searching. And remember, you are the customer. There are a lot of you right now. You’ll stand out by following some of these suggestions.