So you want to move to a new place. Maybe you are downsizing, or upsizing. No matter, carefully consider where you want to live, whether it is an apartment, duplex or house. All dwellings will ultimately have a good and bad side to them. New neighbors might be noisy and the old ones may want to visit you more than you like.
Look at yourself first. Hey, nobody’s perfect, but just see if you are the neat, tidy person that a potential landlord wants in the apartment, house or other dwelling. After all, its his/her place that you hope to live in. Do you always take your trash out? Do you dust, vacuum and mop floors often? If you have pets, are they properly groomed, fed and cleaned-up after? Are your dinner dishes cleaned and put away? Your porch and yard; are they free of debris, toys and other potential hazards? And, by the way, is your renters insurance paid up to date?
You also owe it to yourself to check out your landlord before signing the lease. Don’t get yourself onto a ledge that you cannot get off of. Often, local police, the local district judge and vendors/contractors can be an accurate character source of reference for the landlord. Maybe go so far as to ask current renters in the building, or neighbors about the person. Of course, the local chamber of commerce or BBB, can also help you size up your landlord. After all, you will likely be signing a year’s lease or better, thereby putting yourself into debt with him/her, so it pays to be cautious.
Finally, with the rent being the most important aspect of your future abode, research regional rents to make sure that you will be getting what you pay for. A fair market rent is obtainable by contacting local and regional housing authorities. Make certain that you compare “apples to oranges”; that is, that your desired apartment includes all, part, or no utilities…and which ones are involved. Also, make sure that you understand the lease and especially any security deposit, or other deposits, that you are expected to pay them.
Armed with this information, hopefully, you will help find yourself a great place to live and prosper.
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