Like every place else, it’s getting harder and harder to find homes for rent in Windsor Ontario. The real estate bust left many former homeowners, who were able to sell or lost their property, scrambling to find affordable housing. For others, the weak economy, uncertain job outlook and the rising housing costs, have made it impossible to buy a home. The number of rental homes available is therefore shrinking. So what is the best way to find a home quickly that you can afford?
1. Be ready. One minute there is little to choose from, and in a matter of seconds a new property can become available. Check regularly and faithfully and get to know several property management companies who will put you on a list or notify you when something may come up.
2. Get a copy of your credit report to provide to landlords so that it isn’t pulled over and over again, thus lowering your score. Also, review to make sure there are not any mistakes or issues that could pose a problem.
3. Create a budget before you start looking. What can you afford? Make a list of all of your expenses, including utilities, cable, water, etc. If your credit is not good, many of these companies will require a larger deposit. Call each to determine where you stand. This could make a huge difference in the type of rental property you want.
4. Make a list of what you want in a rental home. Is living on lots of land important to you? Or something close to work and schools? Maybe you need to live near public transportation. Also, do you want a home where landscaping and plowing are provided in the cost of rent?
5. Be prepared to wait as the hunt for a rental home is often unpredictable. Like I mentioned above, the search may take a day or maybe much longer. If you have children and desire a specific school district, then it’s very important not to leave the search at the last minute.
Here are some other tips in finding homes for rent in Windsor Ontario:
1. Drive around neighbourhoods you want to live in and search for “rental” signs. I knew of one person that saw some construction activity on a home that she knew was vacant. She drove by, went inside and found the owner who happened to be there. He wasn’t sure if he was going to sell the home or rent, so she gave him her business card and two days later he called her and said it was available to rent. The house was exactly what she was looking for and she is convinced, as am I, that there would have been many renters standing in line to submit their application if she hadn’t taken the initiative to seek out information.
2. Contact a real estate agent. Many times agents will know of homes that will soon be renting. This is especially true if they have a client whose home is not selling and renting may be the next option.
3. Look online several times a day and again, contact various property management agencies and get on their email list. Be ready to act!
Once you found a home, be ready to submit a rental application and again, have a copy of your credit report ready. Chances are, you will be competing with others, so if you don’t have perfect credit, or if you strongly desire a particular home, you may want to offer more or pay a few months rent in advance.
Word of caution: Make sure the home you are renting is not in foreclosure itself! This has not been uncommon that renters have found themselves in a home, happily settled, then learning that the home is in foreclosure. Chances are, you will be soon be gone, as will your deposit.
When visiting a home with a landlord for the first time, dress the part. Look nice as homeowners will notice and hesitate in renting to anyone that looks the least bit undesirable. Remember, they have neighbours they want to keep happy so their goal is to find the best possible renters for their home. And who can blame them?
And finally, while rental homes are going quickly, you still may be able to get a deal. If possible, you may consider offering a lower rental price but offering a longer lease, or larger refundable deposit.