5 things you wish you knew before renting

Moving out of home for the first time is very exciting! The thought of having independence, the freedom to have friends over when you want and being able to leave your bedroom in any state you like, can feel extremely liberating.

Here are 5 practical steps to help make your first move out of home a great one.

Set a realistic and accurate budget

Before you get carried away and get locked into a rental you can’t afford, it’s important to understand exactly how much you can afford. First step is to sit down and work out your budget. Look at your income and your regular expenses such as mobile phone, health insurance, eating out including your daily coffee, the costs to run your car and the commute to work. How much do you spend on your weekend night life, clothes, gifts and food at work and how much do you want to save for that holiday or first home?

Once you have a clear idea of how much you are earning and spending, you’ll have a good idea as to how much you can afford in rent each week / month. But don’t forget to allow extra to cover the cost of utilities.

We buy ugly houses

It is worth keeping in mind that some experts suggest that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly income on rent.

Do a thorough inspection of the rental property

Making sure you visit the rental property before you sign a lease is vital. It’s tempting to sign away as soon as a landlord says yes, but be patient. There could be issues that aren’t visible in an online listing. It is recommended to visit a property for a midweek viewing as well – weekends can be packed with rival tenants, whereas visiting on a Wednesday might see you leap to the front of the queue.

For a complete checklist on what to look for click here.

Carefully interview potential flat mates

If you are moving in with flat mates, it’s a good idea to sit down and have an honest talk about your routines and lifestyles. If the potential flat mate is a morning person but you’re more a night owl, then perhaps it isn’t going to work. Or you may find that your potential flat mate loves to throw spontaneous parties and have loads of friends around all the time, but you prefer your home to be a sanctuary for quiet time, then again perhaps this isn’t going to be the ideal place for you.

Treat this process as an interview and try and find someone who has something in common with you. Of course if you’re moving in with friends you already know a lot about them but talking about their routines is still important as everyone has their quirks.

Talk to friends about what you’ll need

If you’re living at home, you most probably have a fully kitted out place, but you’ll find you don’t need all of this when you are renting and certainly not when you start out. Talk to your friends and family who are renting or have rented recently and write a list of items they say you’ll need, things they found to be a necessity. Use this list as your starting point.

It is also worth asking your family and friends if they have any items that they don’t need any more or ones they would be happy to lend you for a while. Items such as kitchen utensils, cooking equipment, an old table you could use as a coffee table. This all adds up and can save you a fortune.

If you’re a young renter, you might find some of your friends are heading off overseas to backpack around the globe. It’s worth asking if they have any furniture or household items they would be willing to sell to you cheaply or even better give to you…everything helps and it helps keep things out of land fill.

Only buy the essentials

Some rentals are fully furnished, however the majority aren’t. At a bare minimum you’ll need a bed, somewhere to put your clothes, a sofa or comfy chair, chair and table for eating on, or a stool if there is a bench. All of this comes with a price tag. The best advice here is to be conscious of the quality you are buying. Better quality products will normally last you longer, therefore you won’t have replacement costs for a while. While you don’t need to spend a fortune, spending wisely and focusing on quality will be a good longer term decision.

Have a budget in mind and take someone with you who is already renting to help keep your spending in check.

To work out how to price your property consider the following

It is a commonly held belief that the best time to sell your home is during spring. House hunters come out en masse with the sun shining, the birds singing and the bees pollinating. Statistics from CoreLogic RP Data show that despite the number of homes on the market dropping during the colder months, the auction clearance rates remain the same, if not higher than during spring and summer. With this in mind, does it make winter a better time to buy?

Less Competition

It is a commonly held belief that the best time to sell your home is during spring. House hunters come out en masse with the sun shining, the birds singing and the bees pollinating.

Statistics from CoreLogic RP Data show that despite the number of homes on the market dropping during the colder months, the auction clearance rates remain the same, if not higher than during spring and summer. With this in mind, does it make winter a better time to buy?

Coinciding with the decreased number of homes on the market, there are often fewer buyers too. This can be an advantage for those looking to purchase property, because there could be less contention for your dream home. This can often mean that you’re not rushed into any rash decisions, as you are allowed more time to make an informed choice.

Favorable conditions

With the smaller market, sellers may feel more inclined to accommodate their conditions for potential buyers, such as the terms of sale, price, closing costs and the handover date. We buy houses for cash Tampa

Agents are more available

An additional benefit of buying in the off-season, is the reduced demand for property means that industry professionals will have less on their plates. Because of this, they will have more time to focus on your search for a new home.

How does it perform in the wet?

Another advantage of buying in winter is that you will be able to see what the home is like during the colder months. In most cases, you are going to be living there for the long term, thus, you want to be aware of any potential problems the future might hold.

What’s the current property market like?

The historically low cash rate has made mortgage repayments easier to manage for investors and owner-occupiers, meaning the property market of late has been competitive. However, there are possible developments on the horizon as the record interest rates have remained unchanged over the last few months, with signs that an increase could be on the way.

All things considered, it seems to be a good time to take advantage of the low rates while they endure, not to mention the favorable winter conditions!