Posted Mar 26, 2012

Decisions, Decisions: How to Decide between Multiple Rentals

If you’re living in a city with an especially tight rental market, the idea of getting accepted to several apartments may seem preposterous to you — I mean, how much cash would you have to show up with at each open house to make that happen? But if you’ve done everything right, sometimes things will fall into place and you’ll get the upper hand. Here are a few things to think about when choosing between two or more apartments if they are yours for the taking.

  • Finances. Yes, of course look at the bottom line. If the rentals are priced differently, think about the difference from both a monthly AND a yearly perspective. If it’s $50 per month, that’s a gym membership, or at $600 per year, an iPad. Amenities included can make a big difference here as well: things like utilities, laundry, and parking can all add up to make even a more expensive rent a better deal.
  • The Landlord. Really think about whether this is a person you’d like to be in a long-term business relationship with. I’ve dealt with both management companies and with individual (‘mom and pop”) landlords, and have had good and bad experiences with both. Back in grad school, I loved that I was renting some guy’s grandmother’s cottage. It didn’t hurt that he also lived out of town. Now, I like working with a management company, because the people working there are also renters, and seem to be both looking out for us and are apt to be less emotional when it comes to issues that inevitably arise. Do you best to find out who you’ll be working with.
  • Your gut. If you walked into a place and you fell in love, a new iPad or a so-so landlord probably won’t be able to distract from a place you have already started to call home. I certainly encourage you to make a list of pros and cons, but this is your home we’re talking about. You should really, really love it.

What do you think, Lovelies? How else do you choose between possible future homes?

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