Looking for a place to rent? Consider these ‘hidden’ costs before signing a lease….
1) Not adding the cost of ‘Surprise’ utilities. I’m talking about the ones NOT included in your monthly rent when you calculate your payment. Trash, sewer, water, cable, electricity and gas can add several hundred dollars a month to your base rent. Are there HOA fees as well? If so, who pays them, you or the landlord?
2) Renting a home that does not fit into your lifestyle. For example, if you hate to commute, don’t look at houses 45 minutes each way from your job. Make sure you take traffic patterns and school zones into account as well.
3) Signing a lease for too long a period to lock in a rent rate. Will you really need a 4-year lease on a home?
4) Not signing a lease if you rent from a friend or family member. No matter how close you are, a rental agreement protects you both. When things are clearly spelled out on paper–who pays the sewer bill, who rakes the leaves–it’s easy to avoid misunderstandings.
5) Renting a home or apartment without a garage, especially if you hate cold weather! If this means paying extra for a garage space or a carport, make sure you calculate that in to your monthly rent.
6) Not reading the ‘fine print’ on the lease. What does ‘routine maintenance’ mean to you? What does ‘end-of-lease cleaning’ or ‘carpet cleaning’ mean?
7) Not renting from a professional property manager. In Colorado, you have to be a licensed realtor to manage property. To make sure you are renting from a licensed Property Manager, ask for their Real Estate agent ID number.
8) Thinking that you can keep the home as messy as you want, inside and out. Owners/managers should make periodic inspections to ensure that you are taking good care of their home. Your landlord can begin eviction proceedings on anything they deem unsatisfactory if you don’t correct those issues in a short period of time.
9) Know about the Warrant of Habitability. This law states that you are entitled to a certain level of living in your home such as heat, water, etc., or you can break the lease. But be careful of demanding that work gets done in a non-realistic timeframe.
10) Thinking of yourself as a permanent renter. The rental index is so high in Colorado now that it is almost cheaper for you to buy a home. There are grants to help in down payments, loan repayments, etc. Ask Link about some payment options, or work with a qualified mortgage counselor. There are thousands of mortgage people just waiting for you to call.
Why not make this the last year you rent a house? If you are looking to rent, buy, sell, or need a Property Manager who really cares about you and your family, please give me a call! It would be my pleasure to help you with your housing needs.
Link gives you Real Estate Options!