Renting can be daunting, especially if you’re leaving home for the first time.
Even if you’ve rented as a student, the process is extremely different to what you might imagine.
I’m currently looking for a property in a completely new area and I will be moving away from home for what I hope is forever.
My search for a property has made me seriously consider what I value in a house.
There are key questions you might ask. For example. what is a necessity and what is a luxury?
Here I offer you five things you might want to consider when renting a property for the first time.
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
This is probably the most important question and no one wants to talk money but bear with me.
It’s important to establish how much you have available for rent and how much you have available for bills.
If it’s important to have bills included then you might want to live in an area that has a university.
Student housing often includes bills in the rent and it encourages other estate agents and landlords to follow suit.
Moving to a town or village where there are little or no students then it’s less likely you will have bills included with rent.
On this basis, once you have worked out what you can afford rent wise you can start to think about what is important in your house.
If you have a car then a parking space may be vital, if you have kids then you may need spare rooms. These are all necessities. Things you will not budge on.
It’s worth searching to see how it all fits into your budget. Can you get more than this for your money or are you pushing your limits.
It might help you decide what is ‘worth it’.
So if you have room with your money you have a chance to decide what are luxuries.
Maybe you want a conservatory, maybe you want a garden. It’s all up to you.
If you’re at the limits of your budget or it’s not within your budget you need to maybe reconsider location or what you’re spending your disposable income on.
But when moving out for the first time this shouldn’t be the case.
The most important piece of advice I can offer is to find out what is a necessity and what is a luxury.
DO YOU WANT IT FURNISHED OR UNFURNISHED?
When you are renting properties can be let in three different ways.
Firstly the property could be furnished. This is exactly what it says on the tin. All the household items are already in place when you move in courtesy of the landlord.
For example, the house will contain the necessary beds, tables, sofas, wardrobes etc.
In almost every case the house will have a fridge and freezer however, you may still need to buy a microwaves.
The second option is part furnished. What this actually means is quite hazy.
Often it suggests that the property contains carpets and curtains only although many unfurnished properties are also let out like this.
Either way, like an unfurnished property you have to bring your own furniture with you.
Sometimes landlords will provide washing machines, fridges and freezers although you should always check beforehand.
This is an important decision to make because if you’re just out of university with crippling debt and knee-deep in an overdraft you may have little funds available.
Sometimes furnished is useful because you don’t have the hassle of having to buy furniture, but then you have to be more careful as you’re using someone else’s stuff.
You may not have a choice. In many areas with no student population it’s almost a guarantee that all houses will come unfurnished, which is something to watch out for.
DO YOU WANT TO BE IN AN URBAN OR RURAL AREA?
Wherever you go you’ll almost always have the option to be in the centre of the action be it a town or a city.
There’s pros and cons to living in urban areas.
There is more chance of better transport links. If you don’t drive then living in an urban area will be much more convenient, so maybe that’s something to consider.
Urban areas are busier. You’re likely to be at the heart of things with shops, restaurants and other amenities on your doorstep.
If nightlife is important to you then it’s likely that you’re better off in an urban area unless there are night buses, which is something worth checking.
So then there’s the countryside. You can be anywhere from in the middle of nowhere, to a village on the outskirts.
You’re more likely to get more for your money in the countryside but there are some clear downsides.
You may have limited access to transport links and amenities, which is something to be aware of.