Before you begin looking for a place to rent, take the time to consider:
There are three main costs associated with renting:
You will need to work out how much you can afford to spend on all three of these costs. Failure to do this could see you miscalculate your total expenditure and blow your budget. You could end up paying money on the security deposit, advance rental and find yourself unable to pay for the satellite television or telephone connection.
Use an income and expenditure worksheet, to determine your personal budget. How much could you afford to spend on rent each month after taking into account all other living expenses? Make sure you allow for unexpected expenses, e.g. medical or car repairs. Perhaps even allow an extra 10% of expenditure to ensure you can cover these expenses.
If you are trying to save money for a future expense, e.g. a deposit on a home or annual health insurance, remember to factor this into your monthly expenses. You could put it away in a special savings account so that you won't be tempted to use it for entertainment or the like.
Now determine how much you are likely to spend on start-up costs, such as:
Do you have sufficient savings to pay for all these items? If not, then keep in mind that many of these items could be provided by the landlord, borrowed from friends or bought second hand.
There are many different types of rental housing to consider, including:
Both your budget and your lifestyle will influence where you choose to live. When considering the financial aspects, start by taking a look at the average rental values in the areas you like. This will enable you to determine which areas are likely to be within your budget.
Finding a location that suits your lifestyle is also very important. Look through the following list and note down those factors that are important to you.
Once you have worked out what you want in a rental, you are ready to start searching.