26 March, 2015 / Category: Blog
If you’re on the market for a rental property, it’s important to consider your reasons as to why. Will you be renting temporarily while you look for a home to buy? Or will your rental residency be a longer-term solution? If the latter is the case, it’s important to think of the move much the same way as you would if you were looking to buy. For example, the location and the style of the property should mimic that of a home you might one day purchase.
For this reason, when browsing the market for a long-term rental, it’s important to distinguish what your property will need to suit your lifestyle, versus what you think you want.
For those who do not own cars, this point is of no importance. However, if you own a family car, or a 4-wheel drive you like to keep for weekends, it’s important that your vehicle will have a place to stay. If you do own a car, do your best to find a home with appropriate off street parking. Or, if the rental lacks a suitable garage, make sure there’s (safe) street parking to compensate.
Heating & cooling
If you live in an overly hot or cold climate, efficient temperature control in your home is definitely desirable. However, it’s not as necessary as some believe. If your rental is equipped with well-distributed heating, and energy efficient cooling, it’s definitely a plus. But don’t let it be a deal breaker if you have to buy a fan for summer, or a good old-fashioned electric blanket to keep you warm in colder months.
Contrary to popular belief, a dishwasher is not one of life’s necessities. In today’s world, the presence of a dishwasher in the kitchen is very commonplace. However, it’s important not to let the absence of these extras put you off what could otherwise be the perfect home for you. Microwaves, washing machines and dishwashers can all be easily added to your home, but an extra bedroom or better postcode can’t be; keep your priorities in order.
A big backyard
While wide, open outdoor spaces are certainly fitting with the Australian lifestyle, there are alternative ways of getting fresh air. While the rental you’re considering may not have an acre of land, it may have a small balcony, courtyard, or front garden. Ask yourself: how much outdoor space do I really need? The amount will vary greatly depending on your lifestyle. Be realistic, and don’t sign up for a land parcel that you cannot maintain.
You’ve heard it all before, but when it comes to property, there is just no denying the importance of good location. Even when you’re not looking to buy, the postcode of your home can make all the difference when it comes to your enjoyment of the space.
If you’re planning to start a family, or you’re considering sharing with friends, there’s no point moving into a small, two-bedroom apartment. When choosing a property, ensure that there are enough rooms to suit your present situation, as well as your future plans. Likewise, there’s no point paying more rent for those two spare rooms you think you’d like to have. Larger properties might seem more desirable, but they’re not always essential.
It’s relatively simple; if you hate verandahs, don’t move into a Queenslander. Likewise, if you entertain a lot, don’t move into a pokey unit. It may seem shallow, but the architectural style of your rental should be to your tastes, as well as your lifestyle. Whether it’s a villa, an apartment, a unit, a townhouse, or a two-story home, the design of your property needs to meet your needs. If it doesn’t suit you, do not sign the lease.
There’s no point moving into your dream home if it’s in the middle of nowhere. While you might think that the home is worth a lengthy transit at the beginning and end of your day, it’s often not worth your while. Ideally, your rental should be near the everyday amenities your lifestyle requires. Close proximity to shops and public transport will make day-to-day living much simpler. Additionally, if you have a young family, closeness to parks and schools is an absolute must. Getting the kids to and from activities shouldn’t be a struggle. And so, before you commit, make sure that the neighbourhood has the services you need.
A good lease
Whether you’re after a short-term lease, or a longer-term arrangement, most real estate agents are open to negotiation. Many tenants who opt for 18 month to 2-year arrangements do so for additional security, or to meet work transfer requirements; understandable motives in the search for a long-term lease. Most fortunately, while you cannot change the location or the style of your rental, you can always negotiate the terms, inclusions, and the price where it’s required.
At Infolio, we believe that there’s no harm in laying out your own terms, provided you believe that you would be a fitting tenant. For this reason, we encourage all potential occupants submit their applications, clearly stating the conditions they require on their forms, whether it’s a longer lease, an altered price, or additional inclusions. It’s not always wise to walk away from your dream rental, assuming the landlord would reject a polite negotiation. If they believe you would make a good fit, you may be surprised by how reasonable the agent can be.
Be practical, not precious
At the end of the day, it’s important your home has the essentials, not the extras. And while different people choose to rent for different reasons, it’s important to take the decision seriously. Where possible, treat signing a lease just like you would treat signing the deeds to a house. Favour a great location over luscious grounds, adequate bedrooms over a rumpus room, and proximity over personal charm. Your home should compliment your lifestyle completely, regardless of whether you’re the owner or the tenant.