Renting, Getting the Best Deal.
Renting is one of those things that with a little time and patience can get you the best place with the least amount of money and the greatest amenities.
To find the place that will be best for you and yours first make a list of your requirements.
For instance, we have a 70lb dog Great Pyrenees. Most places do not accept dogs over 20-30 pounds. This was my first question to each place.
Pencil- you will need to erase
Notebook or Spreadsheet
Phonebook, You may use a rental guide, but this will miss some of the best places.
A quite room
List of your needs and wants
An excuse to call back later. “I’ll talk to my husband.”
With all of your supplies in hand get focused. You want to take control of the conversation. This is going to be your new home. If you are on a cell phone then it is also your minutes. Hearing their spill is great but a waist of their time and yours if you need a fireplace or a big dog.
On a note pad or on a spreadsheet make these columns, plus any others that you think of.
Name, Phone, $ Per Month, Deposit, Pet Deposit, What they Pay (some pay water, some all bills), Bedrooms/Baths, Move In Date , Fireplace, W/D (washer/ dryer)or any other requirement that you have and Amenities.
Check the pictures for an example. On mine I listed the Pet 1st. This was because most places did not allow a dog his size.
Before you call
Look over your work. Does everything look great. Are there any questions that you want to ask. Write these on the top of the paper and add a column for it.
Before you make your first call remember do not accept any offers until you have called all the numbers available. We are living in the 2nd to last place that we called.
With all of your information at hand call your first apartment. This was a test run. If you were sloppy or slow it doesn’t matter. Do not be afraid of asking them to repeat their information. Be kind. Use please and thank you. You may be living at this place and paying rent to the person on the other end of the line. Be respectful as well. Say, Yes sir and No sir, and wait your turn to speak.
Write down the name given to you. Use it. People love to be called by their name and will be more helpful if you use their name.
Make corrections as you go
If you found something didn’t work fix it now. Example you noticed that they had a patio and you really want a patio, but it is not on your list. Add it. This does not mean that you have to add patio as a column. You can list it under amenities. You can even abbreviate it. Write P for patio or FP for fireplace. You may notice in the example picture above I used P if they accepted pets over 70lbs.
When you finish calling discuss with anyone that you will be living with the different options. Tell them the ones that you liked best and what you like. If they are on the internet then look at their site. This may give you some clue as to what to expect.
Make a short list
Circle or mark the best apartments. If you need to call back and ask any additional questions. Can you ride a bike on the sidewalks? Are there a lot of children in the area? Is there covered parking?
Now it is time to visit the apartment you choose in your short list. Taking someone with you is a great idea even if you are going to live alone. Another person will think of different questions to ask.
As you are shown through each place imagine your day if you lived here. What time would you get up for work? How will you eat and cook breakfast? Where will you and every other member of your family sleep? Where will you shower? Where will you hang your clothes? Will your couch, and table fit?
Think back and compare what you have before you. At this time you may have already chosen a place. If not then pick the top 2 and compare them. Compare how far is it to work, which is cheaper and which has the most amenities that you need and want.
Get ready for that move date and enjoy your new home.