4 Foolproof Tips for Renters

Many Americans are opting to rent instead of buy right now. From the inevitable increase in interest rates to the increase in difficulty in actually getting a loan, renting is becoming more appealing by the day. Homes for rent are becoming nicer, allowing families to be able to rent without struggling for space. The renting market has gotten better, except in college towns, because college kids are becoming more likely to commute in the poor economy.

Anyway, since renting is more financially feasible, there are some things that you should do in order to keep it that way. Today, we’re looking at four tips that can help you keep your costs even lower if you decide to rent instead of buy.

  1. Don’t just settle for somewhere to live. Shop around for somewhere to live. Something that sounds like a good deal may be horrible when you go to look at it or find out where in your town it’s located. One home may include something that another one doesn’t. For example, I know someone who was trying to find a home for $500 a month or less, and she ended up settling for a home that was $525 a month. Did she compromise? Not really, the place she currently resides includes heat in the rent. Always look for those little things that may make the extra cost worth it… or the lesser cost not worth it.
  2. Double check your lease. Always read any contract carefully before signing it. Make sure that you are aware of all of the guidelines within it. The lease should tell you what your rent includes, what it doesn’t include, who covers repairs, lawn care if applicable, what is and isn’t allowed. The occupancy is important too, especially if you end up with a friend in trouble who needs to stay with you for a time. Before doing anything to your rental, check your terms in the lease. If it doesn’t list whatever you’re thinking about doing, call your landlord. That’s what they’re there for.
  3. Get Renter’s Insurance. Please, don’t make the mistake of not doing this. Just like homeowners, you need to get insurance for your property and your belongings. Sure, you’re renting the place, but everything in it is yours. Before you start to argue that it’s too expensive, most run about $25 to $50 a year for thousands of dollars worth of coverage. I think that’s well worth it, especially if you would end up having to replace something expensive like a computer.
  4. Keep Records. Every year, dozens of renters get falsely accused of not paying their rent. Many of them end up getting their credit scores destroyed, going to court, or just paying more money than they should have in the first place. Try to keep your bank statements, some banks will also give you scans of the checks you sent with your statement or, now some checkbooks leave a “copy” of the checks you write out with them.

So yes, don’t let renting stress you out. Follow these tips when looking for and living in a rental, and it will be as cost efficient as it is currently estimated to be. Enjoy your weekend!

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