Choosing the Right Rental Property for Your Needs
Often, when moving to a new area, it can be a good idea to rent a property, even if you're eventually planning to purchase a home. Renting a property allows you to get familiar with the area, identify the neighborhood or town you'd like to live in, and conduct a search for a new home without a time crunch. Of course, rending a home to live in is also a popular choice, with about 36 percent of the American population choosing to rent versus 64 percent of people who are homeowners.
But whether you choose to rent for a long time or a short time, it's vital to determine the right rental property for your needs. This will depend on a number of factors: your eventual plans, the amount of space you need, the location you desire, the style of living you desire, and more. Read on to learn about three of the most popular types of rental properties and determine which is right for you.
When most people think of renting, they generally think of an apartment. Apartments and their buildings can be large or small, and types of apartments can vary wildly depending on your budget and the location. Generally, apartments feature one to two bedrooms, though some may have three or four bedrooms. There is also generally a kitchen, one or two bathrooms, and a social area. Apartments are typically modest in size, appropriate for one to two adults, with the average size of an apartment at 861 square feet, with a footprint of 24'x35'.
An apartment might be the right choice for you if:
- You're a single adult or in a couple looking for a modest dwelling
- You're moving from one apartment into another
- You intend to rent an apartment for a finite period of time, and are willing to rent a storage unit until you move into a larger home
The Rented Home
Rental houses are another option. They usually offer more freedom, as you have access to the whole building. They are also larger than apartments, as you have the whole house. Rental houses can provide benefits that apartments usually can't, such as the access to a yard or other outdoor space, more freedom to decorate or own pets, and a greater sense of "ownership." However, this sense of ownership comes with responsibilities, as rental homes often lack the property maintenance of managed apartment buildings. When renting a home, you may be expected to maintain the property, handle maintenance tasks, hire technicians, etc.
A rental home might be right for you if:
- You're moving to a new place and want some time to search for a permanent house, but don't want to downsize
- You're currently living in an apartment and want to upgrade
For people who want to own property, one major downside of renting is the fact that the money spent on rent each month cannot be saved towards a down payment. Rent-to-own properties can help with this. With a rent-to-own property, the money that you spend on rent each month can be put towards the down payment of the property. Rent-to-own properties are often houses, although you may find condominium units as well.
A rent-to-own home might be right for you if:
- You don't have enough saved up for a down payment, but you want to own property
- You don't mind renting in the short term, but want to own property eventually
- You're not sure if homeownership is right for you, but you want the option in the future.
It's vital to ensure that you're renting the right property for you and your lifestyle. Balancing cost, location, amenities, and size can be difficult, and you will likely need to compromise on some things. When considering what kind of property to rent, make sure you think about:
- Size. Are you comfortable in a small apartment or do you need more space?
- Location. Do you want an apartment in the center of the city, or would you prefer a house further out?
- Cost. A house is generally more expensive to rent than an apartment.
- Amenities. Luxury apartment buildings might feature amenities such as a gym or recreation area in the building, while other downtown apartment buildings might be within walking distance to amenities and shops. Houses may require driving or public transport to access these same amenities.