Rent research is an easy task, that is, if you know what you should consider and the resources you need to help you decide and come up with the right choice.
Thus, effective planning is key. I will share with you five (5) steps to effectively plan your rent research that I personally tried and worked well for me. In general, these steps can help you create a rent research strategy in finding your new home.
For this post, I will focus my rent research in Austin, Texas. In case you are wondering, Austin is a tech nerd’s paradise. Austin’s tech industry is definitely on the rise with satellite offices for the most popular tech companies (AMD, Apple, AT&T, Dell, Google, Intel, Facebook, 3M, and PayPal) and named as one of the 10 best cities for tech startups in the US. If you are planning to move out to a place where you can nerd-out and feel the tech vibe, then Austin may be the place for you.
Now you’re excited, let’s start with our rent research strategy!
Set a budget
Let’s get real with this one. If you’re someone who’s trying to live within your means, it is crucial for you to know how much you are willing to spend for your needs – and your rent. Check your finances and set a budget you are confident enough to pay for rent per year/month. Also, consider adjustments to cover sudden changes in rental fees over the year. The cost of living in Austin is slightly higher than average. The next strategy is to look at your preferences.
Jot down your preferences and your budget
After computing for your estimated budget for rent, consider your preferences. Let’s try this one: I’m looking for a 1-bedroom apartment that costs quite cheaper than average. It should be pet-friendly and nearby grocery stores, etc.
Austin is known for frequent festivals and quirky events, Tex-Mex and barbeque, booming night life, and a mild weather perfect for strolling and recreational activities. Yet, it is not as safe as the rest of Texas and public transportation system is definitely not the greatest. These are the things you may consider if you are planning to find a place to rent in Austin. We have different preferences and this will definitely help us in making our choices. As they say, you get what you pay for.
Check out the average rent for each location that fits your preferences
You can start by checking out the average rental fees by neighborhood. From here, you can short list the results based on your preferences. You should be very particular with your preferences as these will make an impact in your choices. I suggest to have at least top 3-5 preferences to filter the results of your rent research easier.
The cost of living in Austin might be slightly higher than average but there is a huge difference in rental costs between the most affordable neighborhoods to the most expensive ones.
Find recommendations from trusted rent research sources
Now that you have all the details you need for your rent research, it is best if you will be guided by trusted and relevant rent research resources. One of the best examples I found online is Zumper. It has filter by location, price range, bedroom count, pet-friendly, or amenity and an option to set an alert to get notifications when a new listing is posted.
According to Zumper, the average rent for a studio apartment in Austin decreased by -9% to $1,296. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment decreased by -4% to $1,489, and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment decreased by -2% to $1,895. From here, I can decide whether my budget fits for a 1-bedroom apartment or if I would settle for a studio apartment instead. This is just an example on a how a relevant online resource can help you in your rent research.
List down your options and start sending your inquiries
Once you have the list, run through each listings to further narrow down the results of your rent research. You can have your top five (5) and another five (5) options in case the first few choices were too good to be true. Then, if you have other inquiries, send them a message. It’s not like you’re moving out asap, but it’s more of getting the gist of gathering more information that might help you improve your rent research.
I’m sure you’re on your way to find the best options for a house, room, condo, or apartment for rent when you follow these five (5) steps to effectively plan your rent research – not just in Austin but anywhere it suits your interest. If you have any thoughts you want to share or if you have any questions in mind related to this topic, feel free to write them on the comments section and I will be glad to be of help.
Thanks for reading!