House Hunting

So, until lately I didn't know anything about looking for a rental or how much of a headache it could cause.  I own my grandparents old house and have lived there practically my whole life, so renting has never really been something I have thought about.  I always liked the idea of an apartment because of the amenities and community aspect.  Since meeting sexy nerd and getting more serious with him it has been in my mind that moving to Memphis would be my next big step.  Well now that I have a job here things have started moving quickly because it's not just an idea anymore, I have to have a place to live in Memphis by May.
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So I have been browsing the interwebs for property managers and such for awhile to see what our best bet would be.  I wanted a house to begin with because of Aeri and wanting a safe place for her to frolic about, but after seeing the options I quickly realized that for the money we would be spending an apartment is going to be our best option.

So here are a couple of tips to picking an awesome place to call your home...

Step One-  Know the area you want to be in


We all know that there are areas you want to live in and areas that are just not safe.  I live in Memphis and there are areas that the cops here don't even want to go.  I found a lot of really cute houses that met every one of my wants including price that we couldn't live in due to the area it was located.  I am not a very weary person but I want to be able to walk out of my house at night and feel safe.  So make sure to do lots of research into the areas around were you want to live.  You can do this by

   

Step Two- Determine the kind of property that best suites your needs


Do you want a house, an apartment, maybe you want a townhouse or a duplex.  There are so many types of rentals out there.  Your situation has to guide you in the direction of which house you end up.  A family of 5 most likely will not choose an apartment.  As a single person might not choose a detached house.  Type of rental is based solely on your needs and what you want in a home.

Step Three- Read reviews on properties you have found

 See what others are saying about those properties and if they are positive or negative.  There are always going to be people that had a negative experience and that is not always the properties fault.  Make sure to look at credible sites that have information about the place you are looking at and look at both the positive and negative comments.  Another good sign is if you see feedback from the managers on these review sites.  that means the care a bit about their reputation and it will give you a good topic to discuss when meeting with them.

Step Four- Visit said properties (multiple times if needed)

 Always make a visit to a property before you make your mind up.  Pictures can work miracles on properties and little things that might make you cringe might not show up on the web listing.  I know you are thinking who the heck would rent a place sight unseen.  I know at least three people that I am close to that have done this very thing and it didn't end well for any of them.  Taking the time to go back multiple times also allows you to have time to process and not get caught up in the moment of things.  That charming wallpaper you think is so cute may seem less cute when you think about seeing every day and not being able to change it.

Step Five-  Liking the manager is just as important as liking the property

Being able to connect and click with you manager is also important.  No you may not be besties, but you do need to be able to talk to them if something is going on.  When you are intimated and scared of them this causes strain and could lead to a horrible professional relationship with someone you might need to come fix a pipe at 5 AM.

Step Six-  Read your lease carefully and talk to the manager before you sign 

Even though you may be super excited and want to sign the paper without reading, take a breath and read all the words.  It's only a couple of sheets of paper and reading might save you a lot of money in the future.  If you have any questions no matter how silly they may sound in your head, ask them.  I promise the manager will be more than happy to answer and happy that you are taking the time to read their paperwork, it shows you are responsible!

So I'm not an expert at all but these are just a couple things I have picked up other the last couple of months.  Do you have a funny experience about renting?  Share below in the comments!