For some people, renting a home is a financially responsible alternative to the costs and demands of home ownership. For others, it's merely a temporary arrangement during college years or while searching for a home to buy. Regardless of your circumstances, the resources spotlighted in this guide will teach you how to find a great rental and avoid the pitfalls of difficult landlords, quirky roommates, noisy neighbors and other factors that can make renting a tough adjustment.
Deciding what home to rent involves careful consideration of many factors, including location, cleanliness and rent prices. It's a lot to sort out, but the Web sites recommended here can get you started.
- Local newspapers are a classic source of listings of apartments and homes for rent. 50states.com has Web addresses for more than 3,300 newspapers. If you can't find the newspaper you want here, try typing a city and state name and "newspaper" into your favorite search engine.
- If you’re moving to a new area, check a site like CityRating.com for a list of crime statistics, cost of living information and other pertinent things you should know about a city before you move there.
For general advice about apartment hunting …
explains that one of the most important considerations involved with apartment hunting is convenience. This site also helps you learn how to manage your finances, keep your rent paid and set up your utilities.
Oh My Apartment
offers "10 Things Smart Renters Watch for When Apartment Hunting." Before you get too caught up in the idea of living in an apartment complex with a swimming pool, check here to see why you might need to be a little wary of such a feature.
Apartment Life Care
emphasizes the advantages of apartment living and helps you decide what type of apartment would be best for your needs.
If you have specific needs as a renter …
The Humane Society of the United States
provides several resources for tenants and rental managers seeking advice about keeping a pet in a rental. Pet owners will find tips about locating animal-friendly housing, and rental managers will learn why allowing pets on their property might not be a bad idea.
Oh My Apartment
explains how to find an apartment that’s safe, functional and fun for kids to live in.
To search for apartments online …
is one of the largest online classified ad services on the Web. Look for ads for rentals, sublets, shared rooms and more. Craigslist is completely free to use.
searches for apartments by zip code or city and state. Most of the displayed results supply a photo of the exterior of the apartment building, along with a price range for rent and contact information.
contains an apartment and roommate search tool. After selecting a state and region to search, a list of search criteria will appear to help you find the apartment that contains the amenities you desire at the rental price that fits your budget.
To search for a rental home …
searches for homes for rent and homes for sale. Because renting a home is a little different than renting an apartment, see "Tips for Renting a Home
" to learn the special considerations you should keep in mind.
is free service that allows you to search for houses, townhouses, duplexes and condos for rent across the country. Scroll down the left side of the page to the "Help for Renters" advice to maximize your search results. Check the "Rent to Own
" section if you're interested in owning your own home some day.
To compare rental prices …
lets you determine whether a price is too high or right on target by comparing rent prices among similar apartments. You'll need to know the address, or at least the zip code, of your prospective home to get a comparison.
Before you get the keys to your apartment, you'll go through a tenant screening process, sign lease ... read more »
Knowing the facts about landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities will be important during your ... read more »
For many people, having roommates makes rent more affordable and the apartment less lonely. But ... read more »
The occasional noisy neighbor and the random car that always seems to be in your parking space are ... read more »
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