Problem finding what you’re looking for? Have you tried the following ideas?
1. The number one way to find the perfect rental for your family in the area you want to live is: walk the neighborhood!
Find where you want to be and walk it, talk to neighbors. They know which properties are rentals or if a neighbor is hesitant to advertise but needs to rent.Years ago, my husband and I drove by some ADORABLE 1920’s bungalows in downtown Pasadena, CA. We stopped the car to look because they were so beautiful and the location was perfect. There were amazing rose trees all along the walkway in the center courtyard that connected the six individual bungalows. My husband said, “I’m going to go knock on the door to see if anything’s available.” I couldn’t imagine we’d be so lucky – but, we were! Of course the residents knew each other and the woman who answered the door told him that one was actually available but, because they were so desirable, they were never marketed but rented by word of mouth. We lived there (and loved it) for years.
Landlords are looking for you. Many wonderful properties are never advertised because homeowners are afraid of the undesirable calls and lookers they may get. Many property owners are more comfortable reading your qualifications first and calling someone they’ve selected. It’s usually a better tenant who will market themselves. Post yourself in “housing wanted” ads. You may find the landlord will even lower the rent to get a better tenant.
3. If you find an area where you want to live, call, write or knock on doors of homes that are listed “for sale”. A home seller who needs to move quickly or has had no luck in the retail market may be willing to rent to a good potential customer. One thing’s for sure, you won’t know if you don’t ask!
4. Along those same lines, check out vacation rentals. Fewer people are traveling or spending money for vacations so many vacation rentals are sitting vacant. The owners may be willing to do a long term rental for the year or even longer.
5. Check out bulletin boards in the areas you love. Grocery stores, drug stores, coffee shops, and churches have boards where they post local news and events. Don’t forget to leave your own “looking for” information on the boards before you leave!
6. If you’re busy, there are companies that will find a property for you. Do a Google search to find ones in your area. Or go to a local real estate office that handles rentals to see what they have available. Many people start with on-line searching. Type in “houses for rent” or “houses for lease” in your city to see what comes up.
7. Be sure to tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a home. You’ll be amazed how many people know of someone with an available property. It’s all about networking!
As always, buyer beware. Be sure you’re leasing from a reputable landlord or company. What you don’t know can hurt you.
Let me know what you find and please share any additional ideas you have.