How to choose the right flat or house for you to rent

08May 2012

Moving out is stressful enough so when it is up to you to choose your new place, make sure it is the right for you so it will make you happy and feel like home. First you need to determine whether you want to rent out a house or a flat. Then, where do you want it to be located. And the most important thing to consider - how much can you spend on rent.
Choosing the location of your new rented home requires careful consideration. The area of your home has to make your life more comfortable one way or another - close to your work, your children's school or your favorite place to hang out. If these three are not in the same area then it makes choosing the location even harder. Try finding a place which will minimize your amount of travelling. Choose an area where you spend the most time to save some money on travel expenses. Another thing to look for is a safe area, with low percentage of crime and ideally a park, if you have children. Once you have found the area for you, determine how much space you need. Think about the future - do you plan on living there as long as possible, do you have or want many children? Having an extra room even just for guests is always a good idea if you can afford it. If you are single and have no plans to start a family soon, then rent a one-bedroom flat and you will be just fine. The most important factor in choosing is of course money. If you spend too much on rent you will be left with too little for actually living your life and enjoying having guests at your place. Try to keep living within your actual means - a useful rule is not to spend more than 25-30% of your monthly income on accommodation. This will secure your comfortable life in your new home. When you start checking flats or houses to rent notice the following things: smell, water, cleanness, paint, flooring, the condition of the appliances and the cost of gas/electricity.  If the flat smells of cigarette or pets, especially if there is furniture, carpets and curtains, it can be very difficult to get the smell out. Don't trust the landlord that he will do it for you - if he had wanted to take care of it, he wouldn't have invited you for a check out without fixing the problem beforehand. Check the appliances and if they work properly (turn on the stove and the oven, check the fridge and how its motor sounds when it's on), as well as how clean they are. This is usually a big turn off to people who are looking for a flat to rent. Check the bathroom by turning on the shower to test the pressure of the water; do the same with the sink and the kitchen tap; test the hot water temperature to see if it's hot enough for you. Flush the toilet to make sure it flushes properly and the water stops running eventually. Inquire about any policy if there are problems with appliances and fixing needs to be done. Check if the flat is nicely painted - this is not that costly but it does wonders to a place. If the paint is cracked or old and pale and the landlord has ignored this, you can be sure that he ignores other things too. Hardwood floors are best and have the longest durability, they are also easy to clean and look good. Check for any big spills or stains on the carpets.
Only after you have checked all these things and felt satisfied, can you make up your mind about the place to rent.

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