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Virginia
05-12-2015, 11:53 PM
No, not buying...not yet ;)

But DH and I are looking to lease a house. Our current lease is up on June 30th and goes month-to-month after that, which means we won't be homeless.

What will help us in this process?
Any moving/packing tips?
Any tips on getting people to call us back about showings? Lol.
Any tips for when we're actually doing the showing- things to look for or ask?

snooch
05-13-2015, 02:12 AM
No, not buying...not yet ;)

But DH and I are looking to lease a house. Our current lease is up on June 30th and goes month-to-month after that, which means we won't be homeless.

What will help us in this process?
Any moving/packing tips?
Any tips on getting people to call us back about showings? Lol.
Any tips for when we're actually doing the showing- things to look for or ask?

I loved the first house I rented so much I ended up buying it after renting for two years!

Use legit sites to search. Not craigslist, not even Zillow - use realtor.com or homes.com and use the For Rent feature. Otherwise you'll get scammy results. There are scams all over the country where people find homes that are or were for sale and grab their pictures, then list them for rent acting as the owner's "agent". They tell people to drive by the house, which often still has a realtor sign in the yard, and take a look at it, then collect deposits and disappear.

You can also talk to a realtor about pulling rental listings for you. That's how I found the house I rented and ultimately purchased. They will do this at no cost because you are a future client and it's a quick thing for them to run legit rental listings for you. They can help facilitate a showing with the owner or agent too.

Be prepared for first and last month's rent, a damage deposit, and a pet deposit. It costs more because people want protection for their houses that they have to pay the mortgage on, so don't be shocked at the up-front costs.

When you're seeing a house, flush the toilets; turn the faucets on and off; open and close the blinds; turn on light switches; check windows for tears in the screens. These are little details that are often overlooked, but can be big pains when you move into a house and find that you're having to call the landlord for repairs. Take a measuring tape with you and measure walls for any big pieces of furniture you have.

mina
05-13-2015, 06:24 AM
Use a real estate agent. Have a list of questions ready when you view the house. Always be on time to showings. I rent my house in Ga. Out, It's handled by my parents, but when people show up and are on time it bodes well in their favor. We had so many call for a viewing and then either never show or come really late without any notice.

blythe_ann
05-13-2015, 10:25 AM
What snooch said.
Also, check your credit score before going to deep. Make sure you are in good credit standing. Most landlords check your background and do a credit check before renting (which makes sense), and might turn you down if you are lower than they'd like (sometimes, they like you to be REALLY high).

Packing tips... pack early (the non essentials... like the thanksgiving turkey roasting pan and things), pack light, write what is in every box on the box (or you can get really fancy and make an excel, label your boxes with a number and then keep track of what is in every numbered box for easy access). Pack your cleaning supplies last because you'll need them to clean the last day in your apartment... and your first day in your house... because there is something about moving in to someplace where someone else has lived that's creepy.
And... grocery stores have apple boxes. Best size for moving and sturdy boxes to carry heavy things :).

Virginia
05-13-2015, 01:15 PM
Awesome advice; thank you!

Snooth, I have several real estate friends. One of them ran a list for me a few months ago...his wife just had a baby, so I feel kind of bad asking him to run a different list now that we know where we're moving. Thanks for sharing your experience. I've found some places on Trulia and Zillow that I have emailed or called. I only contact houses that have lots of interior pictures and ads that have correct grammar/spelling :bag I'll definitely check out the sites you provided.

Both of us have credit scores that are well above 700, so hopefully we're OK on that front. All of our debt is secured (student loans), and I pay all my bills on time. My DH does now that he is married to me ;)

Blythe, totally agree w/ you about cleaning. Haha.

I'm wondering if I should hire a professional cleaner to clean after we move, especially since we had cats in the apartment?

Mina, what kinds of questions would you recommend asking? I love that idea.

mina
05-13-2015, 04:42 PM
I would ask things about if all the outlets, plumbing, heat//ac, etc… work,
if I could paint or install different fixtures, or hang pictures?,
could I change the locks?,
about how much are utilities in that specific house?
what kind of heating or ac is in the house?
how much is the deposit? is it refundable?
If you plan on having pets what is the policy? pet deposit? or any extra cleaning fees when you move out?
Do all the appliances work?

snooch
05-13-2015, 04:49 PM
I'd also drive by any house you are considering renting after dark. See what the neighborhood is like at 11pm. Are street lights working? Are there people loitering around? Are there house parties on Friday night? And check your local police blotter for crime activity in that neighborhood.

Virginia
05-13-2015, 05:01 PM
Y'all are so smart. Thank you!

I drove by there in the day recently and liked the neighborhood pretty well. I saw a love the idea of checking the local police blotter for criminal activity...didn't even think about that.

Virginia
05-18-2015, 02:30 AM
Well, we had a showing Saturday morning and were kind of underwhelmed with the house.
We LOVE the location- right by bike/hiking trails and a river :)

But the house is full of older carpet, and that just seems like it is going to bother DH's allergies. Also, as suggested, we ran water and flushed toilets, and one of the faucets wasn't working great.

And one of the lights didn't work. I actually didn't like the lighting in the house anyway. It reminded me of rows of desk lamps, if that makes sense.

So...back to the drawing board... sigh

blythe_ann
05-18-2015, 09:44 AM
You'll find something :)

snooch
05-18-2015, 09:45 AM
You'll find lots like that, unfortunately. It helps if you can find out the year the house was built. Older houses (like 30, 40 years old) that are for rent tend to have been in families a long time and stay rented, so they aren't in the best shape.

Onward and upward :)

Virginia
05-18-2015, 08:54 PM
We will find something :) Hopefully sooner rather than later because of my traveling schedule!

GM
05-19-2015, 01:43 AM
Well, we had a showing Saturday morning and were kind of underwhelmed with the house.
We LOVE the location- right by bike/hiking trails and a river :)

But the house is full of older carpet, and that just seems like it is going to bother DH's allergies. Also, as suggested, we ran water and flushed toilets, and one of the faucets wasn't working great.

And one of the lights didn't work. I actually didn't like the lighting in the house anyway. It reminded me of rows of desk lamps, if that makes sense.

So...back to the drawing board... sigh

You could request a carpet change. WE had a tenant ask us to change the carpet because of color choice. When you need your house rented you'll do it :)

Virginia
05-19-2015, 08:19 PM
You could request a carpet change. WE had a tenant ask us to change the carpet because of color choice. When you need your house rented you'll do it :)

Did not know you could do that! Thank you for the tip :D I'll talk to DH and see if he'd be more interested in the property if they did that.

We looked at another house today. SO MUCH nicer than the first one, and in a more upscale neighborhood, but it's a bit on the expensive side (though still below budget), and we'd have to buy a fridge. It's also got like four other people looking at it...

Hopefully looking at another place tomorrow... it's cheaper, has (laminate) wood flooring throughout (MUCH better than carpet for DH's allergies), and available when we need to move. Fingers crossed!

This is stressful. I can't imagine how much MORE stressful buying and selling is!!