What Are Five Things to Consider Before You Find a Place to Rent?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to look into renting versus buying. And in many cases, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't afford the down payment. For example, if you don't plan on living in the area for more than a few years, it makes a lot more sense to rent. That being said, whatever your reason for choosing to rent, here are several things to keep in mind, so you can make the rental process as seamless as possible:

Determine How Much You Can Afford Each Month: Most rental experts recommend spending no more than 35% of your monthly income on your housing. Let's say your take-home pay each month is $3500. The total amount of rent you should be paying each month will be roughly $1100. If you want an apartment or home that's more than this, it makes more sense to get a roommate than to devote more of a percentage.

Is Your Credit on Track? One of the ways a landlord will judge whether or not you would make a good tenant or not is by taking a look at your credit score. A low credit score may indicate a character issue or inability to make monthly payments. While you won't necessarily get turned down if you have bad or no credit, you might have to pay a bigger deposit or have a co-signer. Easy ways to improve your credit include paying your bills on-time, reducing your debt and reviewing your credit report for errors.

Consider What You Want from a Place: When searching for places, take the time to create a wish list of requirements. This should include mandatory items, like a washer/dryer or free heating; a secondary list, like ample parking and some free utilities; and a list of “luxuries” that you may be willing to forego, such as a pool, gym, and free WI-FI.

Where Do You Want to Live? The simple question of where you want to live often falls below considerations of affordability and amenities, which is a shame. Although these matter, you should choose a location that you're comfortable with and one that you would happy to call home. Are there ample recreational activities nearby and do you have access to public transportation? What is the crime rate in the area? These things certainly matter, and you should consider the location as much as you do the rental price and amenities.

Take the Inspection Very Seriously: The rental inspection gives you the opportunity to note any damages or things in need of repair before you move in. Being as thorough as possible will ensure you're not responsible for past blemishes when it comes time to move out.

These are just some of the many things to consider before you decide on a place. If you're looking for a property to rent in Fort Walton Beach or elsewhere in Okaloosa County, the Realtors at Coastal Realty can help you find a property that meets your individual needs. Contact us today to learn more about the properties in these areas.

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