One of the main benefits of renting an apartment or house is that it gives you your own space, without having the hassle of worrying about a mortgage, but it can also be easier to get ripped off. Here’s how to find the most cost-effective space for you.
With the values of house prices increasing and banks tightening up their lending criteria’s, getting on the property ladder is more difficult than ever before and will continue to get more difficult.
So if you’re considering renting but don’t want to pay too much, here’s how to find the best rental properties for your money.
Set a reasonable budget
- Before contemplating a fully-furnished luxury penthouse, you’ll need to work out exactly how much you can afford to pay each month to avoid disappointment further down the line.
- Working out a maximum amount will stop you from overstretching your finances to breaking point. It’s important in making sure you can afford the payments now and in the future as you will be paying rent for months and possibly years to come.
- When setting your budget, make sure to factor in the extra bills you may need to cover once you move in. These can include utility bills such as gas, water and electricity, council tax, broadband and paying for your TV licence.
What do you need?
- Before starting your search it is a good idea to work out exactly what you need and wants from your ideal property.
- How many bedrooms, bathrooms, guest rooms or parking spaces will you need in your new home, and are each of these factors equally important?
- Most times it can be difficult to get everything you want, so prioritising what you need over what you want can help making a decision easier further down the line.
- Deciding whether a furnished or unfurnished property is another important decision, if you’re moving into your first flat and have little furniture, you can save money with a furnished property. However, most unfurnished flats now come with useable goods such as a fridge and washing machine so check exactly what’s included; you might be able to get by with an unfurnished property.
- Where parking is concerned it may be worth researching offsite parking in the surrounding area; if there are plenty of free spaces nearby you could make big savings by opting for a flat with no allocated parking.
Research the area you want to live in
- Making decisions on where to live is one of the biggest parts of searching for a new home and the location will play a big factor on the type of property you’ll be able to rent with your budget.
- You will need to prioritise whether location or size of the property is more important to you when you’re looking. Ideally, the more flexible you can be about where you live the better your chance of finding a bargain. How flexible you can be will depend on your lifestyle of course.
- If you have young children then access to schools may be a big factor in where you look. But if you don’t you may find better properties with lower rents further away from popular school catchment areas.
- Being close to transport links and other local amenities is also worth considering. Do you need to be close to a supermarket, train station or sports centre for example?
So these are just a few things to look out for when on the hunt for an ideal rental property that suits you and is within your budget. For more tips check out PART 2 in the series.