You may be new to renting, or maybe very experienced in the process of finding a rental. Whatever your situation, it’s good to understand some basic things about finding a rental in Lakewood Ranch, FL. Approximately one third of all Americans rent, and it’s not just those in early adulthood.
Many renters are families with children, empty nesters and retirees. People in all stages of life and income levels find renting to be their best option. Fortunately, whatever your type of household or your budget - there are many different types of rentals.
The process of looking for a rental in Lakewood Ranch can be time consuming and sometimes overwhelming. In order to make your search a bit simpler, below are some suggested steps to help you in that process.
What Can You Pay?
We usually recommended not to spend more than 30% of your income on rent or a house payment. So, take a look at your budget and find out what that number would be. Of course, you want to factor in debt and monthly payments, automobile costs including gas, groceries and other monthly costs. Have a clear picture of your financial situation and what you can afford for housing.
Remember that you’ll need to budget for utilities, cable and internet, parking, etc. in addition to the actual rent cost. It is also good to be aware that landlords will often have a minimum income requirement in mind when looking for renters for their property.
What Do You Want?
You most likely already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need. So, think about the other features you would like to have. If you have children, depending on their ages, a fenced-in back yard may be a requirement. Do you really need 3 full bathrooms or would 2-1/2 baths do? Also, if you love to cook, maybe a gas stove is a necessity. What about a pool? Driving distance to work, school, etc. is also typically a very important factor.
Additionally, if you’ll be setting up a home office, make sure there are plenty of electrical outlets in the spot you choose. Would you prefer living on the ground floor or an upper level? Is there an elevator for the upper levels, or only stairs?
Hang Out and Investigate
Take some time on the weekend, or an evening after work to visit the neighborhood you’re thinking of renting in. Maybe have some meals or coffee at nearby restaurants and cafes. Visit the local grocery stores and shopping. Do you like the feeling of the neighborhood? Is parking an issue? Actually drive the distance from there to work, school and other frequent destinations. Consider how long that commute may be at different times of the day.
You know your budget, and you’ve finally found a place you’d like to call home. Now it’s time to apply and go through the approval process. Here’s what you can expect after you fill out the application:
Background Check - Landlord and property management companies typically ask for an application giving them permission to run a background check on you. This will verify your employment, income and bank accounts, etc. You will typically pay $25-$45 for this application.
Negotiate the Lease - You’ll need to come to an agreement on the length of the lease, whether it’s smoking or non-smoking, are pets allowed, etc. Also, other things that are negotiable might be utilities that could be included in the rent, the price of parking, remodeling that needs to be done, etc.
Deposits and Other Fees - Typically renters pay the first month’s rent in addition to a security deposit (which is often the same amount as one month’s rent).
Good luck as you begin your rental search! Keeping these tips in mind can help make the process a bit smoother and also assist you in finding a rental in Lakewood Ranch that’s just right for you.