6 Questions to Ask Yourself about a Rental Property

by Rebecca Green | Updated: May 9, 2019

It’s not always easy to feel sure whether a particular rental property is the right one for you. The distractions of a new place — especially if it has cosmetic appeal — may cloud your judgment. Knowing the right questions to ask yourself about a rental will keep you from getting lost in the superficial appeal. To help you hone in on the aspects of a rental home that you should pay attention to, we offer six questions to clear your head and make the right choice more apparent.

Is this the right location?

There’s a reason why location ranks as one of the most important aspects of a property’s desirability. We’ve all looked at rentals that made us think it would be okay to overlook something – a longer distance from work, school or friends, for instance. It's not just about finding a great neighborhood, though that's very important. Before signing a lease, think hard about where it's located in relation to the places, activities, and people that mean so much to you.

How is cell phone reception?

This question may seem unimportant. After all, with a cell phone, you aren’t bound to your home to make and receive calls. But do you want to have to walk outside to make a call? You need to be able to make phone calls, so this turns out to be really important.
While you’re doing a walk-through of the rental property, try your phone from different parts of the house. If a friend or roommate is with you, have them try, too. If different phones and carriers net you a strong signal, you should be in business.

How convenient is doing laundry?

Is there a washer and dryer already in the unit? If not, are there hookups for them? If not, then laundry could turn into a large chore. Ask if there are laundry services in the area, and ask yourself if you're willing to put that much effort into doing the laundry. If not, you should look for a new place.

How much freedom do I have/need to customize?

Consider your preferences carefully when it comes to changing up a home’s decor. Do they let you paint or use nails to hang things on the wall? Do you even need those things? If you want to decorate in a way that they don't allow, this may not be the best match for you.

What will I eventually come to hate?

No place is perfect, and the new one is no exception. You'll hate something about it, and that's okay. Try to predict what that might be about your new place, and see how bad that is. If you see potential deal breakers, it's better to realize that and possibly change plans before it's too late.

Is this the place I’ll want to come home to every night?

This question is the true test to decide how comfortable you with a prospective rental home. How do you think you will feel when you open the door to your home every night? Will it be a sanctuary? Can you imagine settling in there, or hosting a holiday get-together? Trust your intuition to answer this question for you about your overall comfort with a space.
Choosing where we will live when renting is an important decision. The best way to get clarity and make the right decision is to ask a few important questions, like these.
Categories: Renters

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