How to Become a Happy First-Time Tenant in California in 5 Easy Steps

iStock_000024616341_SmallFor some reason or another, you have always felt drawn to big cities. You love the noisy crowds, the diversity and sometimes even the horrible traffic that gives you the opportunity to take a break and put your thoughts in order. You also have a passion for picturesque surroundings, love the breeze of the ocean and can’t get enough of sunbaths, fruity cocktails enjoyed on a beach chair and quality time spent with your best friends in classy restaurants and clubs.

What Challenges Could You Be Forced to Face as a First-Time Tenant?

These are only a few reasons why you’re so addicted to California and the exuberant lifestyle that this state encourages you to embrace. If you’re determined to spend more than a few months in the most populous and vibrant U.S. state, you may want to start looking for the best deals on the local housing market. Taking into consideration the fact that some of the most appealing Cali-based properties that will catch your eye at a first glance most likely carry astronomical price tags, it’s safe to say that exploring your options as a first-time tenant is no easy task.  As this wouldn’t be enough, prospects who are not familiar with the mechanism of the rental market may also be exposed to scams and other pitfalls, revolving around shady tactics employed by unscrupulous landlords. To avoid all these nightmares, you could always research different properties using the data delivered by a Californian apartment finder, instead of just settling for the first cheap place for rent that you may find on Craigslist. Here are a few steps that could guarantee your success as a first-time tenant.

5 Steps Leading to an Enjoyable House Hunt

  1. Set up a Realistic Budget Based on the City/Neighborhood That You’re Targeting. You can’t and shouldn’t dream about renting a place in downtown Los Angeles, when you could barely afford to pay rent in Fresno. In order to prevent frustration and deceptions, you have to put pen to paper and evaluate your financial situation in an objective manner. Find out how much money you can realistically afford to pour into your rental of choice. Location is an extremely important criterion that should be factored in. Keep in mind that the price tags carried by most properties also vary a great deal based on the neighborhood where they are located. For instance, according to LA Weekly, Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Elysian Valley are listed among ten of the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles where you could rent a beautiful single-family home without getting covered in debt. Even so, the concept of affordability may be interpreted differently by people looking for a new roof over their head. For instance, if you think that a property that costs more than $1,500 per month is way out of your league, don’t even bother looking for apartments or houses for rent located in the budget-friendly El Sereno, as the median rent in this area is estimated at $1,953.
  2. Take the Little Extras into Consideration. Even if you’ve managed to lower your landlord’s asking price and score a good deal, analyze all the aspects before signing on the dotted line. Would you also be able to cope with the bills that will be piling up month after month? Here’s a simple tip that may offer you the best answer to this question: call the utility providers, give them your address and find out how much the previous tenant spent on cable, heat and electricity.
  3. Prove That You Are the Ideal Tenant. Whether you like it or not, most landlords screen their potential tenants thoroughly to avoid security risks, damages and financial losses. As a first-time tenant, you won’t be able to rely on referrals from your previous landlord to make an awesome first impression. On the other hand, you have other paths that you can explore to connect with a landlord or property manager on a higher level. Tell the landlord that you are ready to pay the security deposit and get your checkbook ready. Also, you can let him know that you are willing to pay a month’s rent in advance, to prove that you match the profile of the perfect tenant.
  4. Tour the Property in Person. Don’t sign anything before inspecting the property in person. While photos and virtual tours can offer you the most important details that you usually weigh before renting or buying a place, do not skip the property tour that will help you feel the vibe of the place and spot potential structural flaws, obvious signs of wear and tear and other problems that may make a property become less desirable in the eyes of new tenants.
  5. Explore Other Options Using the Data Delivered by a Respectable Apartment Finder. Last but not least, conduct your first house hunt by relying on the information delivered by Apartment Hunterz, California’s best-loved apartment finding service. By following this path, you could check out and compare different listings in real time, save your searches so that you could revisit your favorites at any given point in time, filter different properties based on the things that matter to you the most (city, neighborhood, current condition, type of accommodation option, price, amenities and so on) and submit your paperwork online. Using the same service, you can also reach landlords and property managers with just a few clicks and get pertinent answers to all your questions in no time.

As a first-time tenant who is determined to make the most of bargains spotted on the local housing market, you clearly need a helping hand when it comes to inventorying and analyzing your options. Instead of wandering in the dark or taking chances, choose to take the easy (and safe) way out: put the insight offered by Apartment Hunterz to good use to turn your first house hunt into a major victory.

May 2015