Finding the right place to live will make the difference between living in a place you look forward to getting home to, or constantly working out how to break the lease!
Many choices about where we live are made because of our familiarity and existing knowledge of a particular area, in which case much of your decision is already made, but in the event you need to find somewhere new and unfamiliar to live, here are some helpful reminders of the physical and emotional aspects of choosing your next perfect rental property:
Take heed of your first impressions as you drive around the corner, into the street and pull up near the property. These will give you an immediate comfort rating. Have a look at the street, the lighting, litter, people on the street and the availability of parking spaces.
Finding that sense of community where you live will make you feel comfortably part of a neighbourhood. Look at the quality of the gardens, their maintenance and the neighbours' gardens for that sense of pride and cleanliness. Check out the external features of the building, is it in good repair, does it feel inviting? Are other properties in the street looked after?
If you don't have off street parking, your security at night time will be important. Check out the lighting, security access and dark areas, do you feel safe? This will also apply to your visitors.
How far are the nearest local shops, schools, pharmacy, deli, pub, cafes and restaurants? Are they in walking distance? If not in walking distance how will you get there? Where and how far is the nearest public transport of buses and trains?
If you like to walk and exercise, find out where the nearest parks, walkways, cycle tracks and gyms are.
Remind yourself what you wanted from your neighbourhood, was it for caf'e lifestyle or easy beach access or peace and quiet in your garden? Don't let a particular rental price or incentive compromise your real desire.
If you work from home and like your remote, then be sure to ask around or ring your telecommunications provider to find out if ADSL is installed for your entertainment and high speed internet access.
Some like it busy, some like it quiet. Consider 'possible noise factors' such as trains, planes, dogs, neighbours, kids playground, clubs, shortcuts, thorough fares and building projects, as well as the overall pollution effect.
Lastly, notice the people coming and going as they are likely to be your new neighbours and friends. Do you fit in? Is this demographic what you were looking for? The best possible feel you could get about an area is to stop and chat with a few of the locals, try out your conversation skills to obtain some on the ground feedback.
Go with your instinct and remember that one of the great advantages of renting is that you can move out after 6 or 12 months if you are not happy.
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Rent.com.au can also list your property for rent and have great advice and useful information and services for landlords on how to manage their property.