12 Ways to Find a Really Good House toRent Let’s face it: if you have a family with school-age children, the stigma of living in “the apartments” is not one you want to foist on your kids if you can avoidit. Oftentimes, it is totally possible to find a great house to rentfor the same price as a garden apartment with a leasing office and cockroaches in the laundry room. Amazing, but true. You just need the resources to find these houses. Here are my best: 1. Read:-
If you can narrow down your area of focus before looking for houses, you can really concentrate your efforts in a place where you are most likely to behappy. 2. SabbaticalHomes:- If there is any kind of college or university in your city, Sabbatical Homesis an off-the- beaten-track way to find a well-loved home that is being temporarily vacated. Usually these houses belong to professors, but not necessarily. Plus, if you want to get your house nailed down sooner rather than later, sabbaticalhomes are often advertised way ahead of time, since people usually plan these things inadvance. 3. For Rent By Owner:- While For Rent By Ownerlistings are not nearly as extensive as Craigslist, try this website if you want to leave no stone unturned. To get more results, search for the name of a city or town (not just a zip code).
4. Contact the NeighborhoodAssociation:- If you’ve identified a few neighborhoods that look interesting to you, contact the citizens’ association to see if they can offer any advice on finding rentals in the area. If you can’t find a civic association, try calling the township itself. Usually a Google search for the name of the village will yield an officialwebsite. 5. Drive Around and Look for RENTsigns:-
Okay, it’s old-fashioned, but so are some landlords. Certain homeowners shy away from advertising to the public, hoping someone in the neighborhood will know someone who needs to rent ahouse. 6. Word of Mouth with Any and AllContacts:- If you have made contacts with anyone in your future area, always mention you are looking for a rental house. It might be helpful to mention how many bedrooms you need and a price range too. Again, some homeowners do not want to rent to just anyone, and will wait for that friend of a friend — which could beyou. 7. Spread the Word with Email ListservGroups:- The 21st century version of driving around neighborhoods is broadcasting online. Join an email group that is centered in your area of interest. Often neighborhoods, metroareas,
schools or local parenting groups will have their own email list or electronic message board. As I mention search the online version of the local newspaper for articles about parenting or mom groups. Another way to find people with similar interests is to search Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, orMeetUp. If you are having trouble finding a parenting group in your area, try joining a national group with local connections or chapters. Try Mamapedia (free), the International MOMS Club, Holistic Moms (yearly membership fee of $45, which gives you access to a national and local email loop), or Mothers of Preschoolers(MOPS). 8. Craigslist & Newspapers — Housing Wanted:- The “apts / housing” section of Craigslist may be your largest source of do-it-yourself rental houses out there. However don’t overlook putting out your own ad under “housing wanted.” Try writing something like “Responsible Family Looking for 4 BR” and, in the description field, say a little something personal about yourself and why you would make a good renter. You might want to leave the price category blank to keep your optionsopen. Similarly, you could try the analog version: post a housing wanted ad in the local newspaper or town newsletter. There are still plenty of landlords who are not hip to the whole online thing, so you might just catch the perfect gem thisway. 9. Find Realtors that Deal withRentals:-
When we were looking for a house to rent in Syracuse, everyone we talked to recommended their real estate agent. Invariably this agent had helped them buya house, but was not very interested in helping us rent one. Even though an agent’s fee is typically one month’s rent, half of that amount often goes to the agency and another percent towards fees and other expenses. So the monetary motivation is practicallynil. To find an agent who will actually help you, contact an agency that seems to be prominent in your area of interest (check to see who is listing most of the home sales), and ask for the agent that deals with rentals. Often this person is starting out and is happy to show you around in hopes that someday you will become a future (buying) client ofhers. At the very least, the agent should put you in the system to get automatic email updates when a new house comes up forrent. 10. Do-It-Yourself Real EstateSites:-
If you prefer not to work with an agent during the looking phase, real estate search engines like Realtor.com and Trulia also have rentallistings. 11. Moderate IncomeHousing:- When we were moving to the Washington, DC, area, we found a city program that set aside a certain number of rental apartments — sometimes in upscale buildings or townhouse complexes — for families with moderate incomes. Unfortunately, most of these apartments had long waiting lists, but it’s worth a try if you think you mightqualify. Try searching online for your city and the words “moderate income housing” to see if any programs exist in your area. 12. Look for Houses That Are NotSelling:-
How do you know? In a free real estate site like Redfin or Trulia, search for homes that have been on the market a long time or whose prices have been reduced. Another place to search is For Sale ByOwner. If you like the house, contact the agent and see if the owners would consider renting. Many homeowners have already bought another house and can’t afford a doublemortgage. Lisi George of Cincinnati, Ohio, says she found her house this way. When her husband accepted a job in her home town of Cincinnati, their house in Colorado had not sold. Their realtor suggested that they leave most of the furniture, because the home showed well with it.