Treating the Prospective Neighborhood Like a Shopping Day at the Mall

You know that timeless show “Clueless” with Alicia Silverstone? It paved the way for mallrats, Paul Blarts, segways, mannequins, food courts, and lots and lots of bubblegum, but who would’ve thought that there was even a shred of knowledge lending to the art of house hunting? Or in this case, renting? (For all intents and purposes, this even applies to home mortgage help with H.O.P.E. to Own!)

Like, Seriously, Shop Around Your Neighborhood for the Best PropertiesClueless Home Renter

You can’t beat this particular strategy out of all rental tips available. Not only do you get in on the trends for real estate in your neighborhood — everything from what’s selling, to what prices have dropped, to location, to safety issues — but you also get to research any specific laws in your area just to make sure you’re kosher (and the landlord would be kosher as well).

Perhaps a side street in the neighborhood doesn’t have any speed bumps, making it a hazard for little children. Or your particular apartment or rent-to-own home happens to be close to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ArtPrize. Consider easements, too. Municipal codes for parks and playgrounds. These are all relevant issues to consider when shopping around your neighborhood for rental prospects. As if….

This is especially true regarding apartment complexes. Feel free to peruse — like you’re shopping at the local Gap store for a new pair of khakis. You want to make sure the units (pants) are top notch and maintained regularly, complete with amenities. Visit the clubhouse. Maybe there’s an in-ground pool available as well. Is it maintained well? Consider that, for sure. Focus on your priorities. This is smart searching and buying (renting, actually), because you certainly don’t want to get stuck in a lease with a unit that makes your life miserable.

Who Knew Renting Would Be so Competitive?

Like we may be seeing soon with March Madness, competition will get wicked. Take advantage of that and shop smart. Selective. Particular. But in order to do that, you’ve got to follow this rental tip and SIGN UP RIGHT HERE TO REGISTER AND BUY YOUR FIRST HOME!

Why Researching Landlords Is a Lot Like Waiting in Line at the DMV

Patience, Daniel-San; Mr. Miyagi will teach you how to be a real estate guru. You said it best there! It’s all about patience. Paint the car, paint the house, paint the fence! Are you kidding me? It’s true, though; you have to be patient, thorough, and complete with your investigation of rental properties and apartment complexes, researching landlords to the hilt until you know what their favorite colors are! This isn’t a joke. This is the real deal.

Why Is Researching Landlords so Important?

For one thing, you’ll need a few items to ensure you’re following legal protocol and compliance. Landlord-tenant law’s very particular about a lot, so researching landlords will ensure you’re on the ball. Here’s a quick list:

  • Identificationlandlord real estate paperwork
  • Proof of Employment and Income
  • a Copy of Your Credit Report

That’s not to say you may face a landlord that’ll completely shut you out if you’re missing just one of these. This is where it’s not completely like the DMV, out of luck in renewing your driver’s license without a birth certificate, for example. These documents, though, will certainly help fast-track you toward signing your new lease on the day you view the property. This is crucial.

Why? Consider the tight rental market, for one thing. Real estate prices can get scary, right? All that searching for the right rental home even with all the updated rental tips you can get your hands on will amount to nothing, because your timeline for getting into some property runs dry, and you’re left to still searching. It’s smart to be as prepared as possible before even approaching a landlord.

While researching landlords, too, don’t forget to bring all sorts of supporting documentation regarding repairs, pre-emptives for move-in inspections and other forms. You not only go through the process a lot faster — but a lot smoother.

Take a Number

Trust me. You’ll thank me for it. All that time and effort reviewing and researching landlords left and right might be a hassle at the moment, but you can rest assured: it’ll pay off in the end. As in you’ll be living in a rental that’s kept well, maintained, and you’ll have your landlord wrapped around your fingers.