Renting: What You Need to Know Before Deciding


Renting a house or apartment can be a very difficult decision to make. There are so many factors to consider, and it’s not as simple as picking something where you’re completely comfortable. As nice as the place looks, is it really going to fit your tastes and personality? If you need answers to a lot of questions, here are some good things to think about.

How long will you be renting?

You’re not going to spend a lot of time in your new place, so pick accordingly. This is especially important if this is a long-term or multi year relationship. Remember, you’re not there just to fill the place in and move – you’re there to make new memories.

Is it in the perfect location?

Where you live may be small, or the neighborhood may be noisy or busy. Consider if the city is where you want to live. Apartments next to busy intersections or in noisy or problematic areas may not be your cup of tea. Places you might be comfortable, once you settle in, may suddenly turn into noisy nightmares once you move in and bring the noise levels up. The neighbors may like you, but it’s worth asking to see if there’s any chance you’ll get along with them too. misconception about apartment communities you may hear are “they don’t have the space to serve a healthy lifestyle”, that somehow diminishes with every passing year. If you don’t like to drive much then it doesn’t help that you’re in close proximity to traffic, but are you sure you want to live there?

Location, location, location

Okay, this is a big deal. Do you want in on the action? Do you need to walk to work? Do you want a gym? Do you want to be close, within easy reach, to public transportation routes? Do you like better schools? If you have children, do you want them to be able to walk to soccer practice by themselves? If you’re happy with a place that isn’t close to your work, and you don’t mind having a long commute home it may be well worth it, after all, renting may get you a better apartment in the future.


If you’re not OK with answering all of these questions without having some answers already, maybe renting just isn’t your thing. There’s nowhere to go off with a full analysis – either you can live without some great prospects, or you’ll have to learn. Think about what it would be like to advertise in a magazine that every single person has read – that would truly limit the available pool of potential renters. And if you have options to move and settle in, do you want to give up your dream of finding space in the heart of downtown, or do you want something that may not be so easy to come by?

The numbers

Let’s face it: the numbers don’t lie. The numbers are always the best thing on earth. They tell you what’s keeping you from living and what may keep you from finding the house of your dreams. Numbers like how much you’re going to pay per month is, without fail, the single most important number to understand. No dream has a perfect price and mortgage, but there is one number that always comes up – how much you’re willing to pay to live there. It can be awkward, but it’s worthwhile to work this one out. Most landlords will probably tell you that you can expect to pay between 1st and 3rd month’s rent, but this can change include events like how many offers you get, and what you end up paying. In other words, look into this number. Let’s say that the monthly rental amount is $1,000. If you had something to stay in for $1,000, then your rent amount is $1,000 x 12 months x 12 months x 12 months! Not fixed, in this instance, but it should give you a figure to help you determine where you stand.


This may sound like a bit of a ‘no brainer’, but I would like to make an exception here. The other factors you should work out with is how much you’re willing to work into your new place. First of all, most will want you to pay advance at move-in, so you should factor that into your calculations. You should also take into account the cleaning fee – which, usually, is $50 or so. It’s only fair for you to pay that, but it’s an additional expense that you should factor into your budget.

Advertise and get pre-approved

The last and most easily overlooked is how much you’re willing to spend on advertising, especially when you’re considering renting a place. The trick is to make sure that as much of the place you’re renting as possible is advertised.