When you’re conducting a first house hunt on a tight budget, you are usually inclined to ignore all warning signs indicating that a certain property may jeopardize your safety, comfort or financial situation. You know what they say: on a highly competitive market with a short housing supply and a high demand for cheap accommodation options, when something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
What Are The Things That You Should Give Up to Spend Less on Rent?
This being said, what kind of compromises should you agree to make to get the keys to a somewhat attractive house or apartment that you could actually afford in the long run? At the end of the day, only you can draw the line between determination and pure desperation while comparing various alternatives in your preferred ZIP codes.
Some may agree to get roommates and split the costs with their cohabitants; others may opt for a small, unfurnished apartment to keep costs in check. Some may choose to avoid for rent properties located in some of the most desirable neighborhoods and settle for decent places situated in an area with a low crime rate. All these strategies can be quite effective, especially if you make a final call based on the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz, California’s favorite apartment finding service. Take a look at recent listings to identify the best cities/ZIP codes where the odds of finding a place within your budget are relatively high.
5 Bad Signs Indicating That a Californian Rental Is Clearly Not “The One”
While making small compromises is the key to a successful apartment hunt, remember that you should never ignore red flags indicating that your property of choice is inhabitable and/or potentially dangerous or simply not the best fit for you. Here are five such drawbacks that you should take into consideration during the apartment search phase.
- Safety Threats. To being with, you should know that drawbacks associated with a piece of real estate fall into three categories: those that put your safety/life on the line, those that lower your level of comfort and the ones that annoy you to death. By far, safety threats are the number one concern that should never become your problem as a tenant. To avoid such risk factors, always check reports available online to identify and compare crime rates in different neighborhoods before renting. Also, tour the property during the day and at night to figure out whether or not you feel safe in this new environment. After completing this step, extend your investigation by visiting the places that you would normally go to on a regular basis: the park, a supermarket and so on. Do you feel safe and comfortable walking alone from point A to point B? Choose to filter your search results based on your answer.
- Major Issues with the Basic Systems of Your Building. Ideally, any dependable landlord should invest time and money in its rental to make sure that all its basic systems are running like new. However, problems may arise at any given point in time, so you should do your homework and conduct an ample inspection to discover potential hazards before they become an actual issue. An odd or shoddy electrical box or circuit breaker could be seen as a warning sign; the same goes for an old, poorly maintained furnace that may very well cause a carbon monoxide leak. Don’t leave the house without inspecting the plumbing system. Flush the toilers and pressure test the shower. Go inside the kitchen and turn on the oven. If you get a distinctive smell of gas, run for your life and never look back. The same goes for non-lethal threats that may be bothering you during your first house tour (like walls with peeling paint, cracks in the walls/floors or rusty, defective appliances), especially if you may have to spend money out of your pockets to replace them or if you get fishy reassurances (“Yes, this can be easily fixed. I just need to find the time/right kind of help to do it. Maybe one of these days..”) from a potential landlord.
- Foul Odors. We know what you may say: foul odors are not the worst problem that you can think of, and they could never stop you from renting a cheap apartment that is much more affordable than similar options located on the same street. While we appreciate your determination, note that some odors can signal a more complicated issue, like a mold contamination, for example. Moreover, heavy smells (of smoke, urine and so on) can be difficult to eliminate, especially if they are already impregnated in carpets, upholstery and carpet pads.
- Pest Problems. Pest problems represent a deal breaker because they are very unpleasant and costly. Moreover, while dealing with this issue, you may have to take this matter into your own hands and incur the costs of a potential decontamination (cleaning, sanitizing and restoration of indoor spaces), especially if your landlord fails to respond to your complaint/request in a prompt manner. Because you wouldn’t want to share your slice of cake or pillow with a colony of ants, trust us when we say that you will call a team of decontaminators as soon as you identify the problem.
- Disrupting Factors That Make You Feel Uncomfortable in Your Own Apartment. People who are constantly yelling are annoying. Yes, you could always call the police, but would your intervention put an end to this type of unpleasant stories for good? Probably not! While you can’t choose your family, you can definitely choose your landlord and neighbors and this is great privilege that you should never give up.
The truth is that even in this market, you can still afford to be a demanding tenant in the state of California. Use the insight provided by Apartment Hunterz to compare thousands of listings and choose the one that speaks to you. The whole selection process is simple, painless and convenient. Test the effectiveness of this apartment finding service and simplify your future house hunts using the very best tips and tools designed by true Californian real estate experts.