The Best Tips for Finding Your Perfect Home

Tips for finding your next home

There’s nothing more stressful than having to pack up and find a new home. 

Whether you got a job in a new city, need more space for your growing family, or you absolutely can’t stand your neighbors. 

There’s a whole new level of stress that comes with finding a new place to live.

Although, the overall process is pretty stressful. As long as you do your research and plan your move well in advance, it should be an easy transition.  One of the most helpful tools we use to help us find a rental is Zumper.

Moving to Virginia

In 2018, I packed up my home in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to the Norfolk, Virginia area.  It was an impulsive move, but necessary.  I wanted to be with my fiancée and didn’t want to wait any longer.  At the time she was living with her brother, so we were on the hunt for the perfect place for us.

Location, Location, Location

Before you can pack up and move you need to know where you’re going.  Even if you know what city you’re moving to, do you know what part of the city you want to live? 

You should think about your morning commute and how that will affect your day.  How close do you want your neighbors? Are you OK with having a family of cloggers live in the apartment above you?

Another thing to consider is the ratio between renter-occupied and owner-occupied households.  I know that for some, this level of research might be a little extreme. 

However, this does give you a better idea of the rental market and may help you determine if that area is really a place you want to live. Recent data by Zumper shows 24% of housing units are renter-occupied in Norfolk.  This means that there are very few rentals in the area, which could drive up the demand and the cost. It might be worth taking a look in a nearby area.

Consider the Cost

Where you decide to live might be limited by how much you can afford. 

Be sure to set a budget before starting your search.  You might quickly find the perfect home, but it’ll be heartbreaking when you learn that it costs well over what you had budgeted.

On our quest to find a 2-bedroom rental in Norfolk we used the market analysis tools within Zumper.  Here we can zero in on what part of Norfolk we want to live in and get the median rent price. 

According to Zumper, the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in the Ghent area of Norfolk is $925.  And this was exactly what we’re looking for!

How Much Space Do You Need?

When looking for your new home, you need to consider how much space you really need. 

Regardless if you’re renting or buying a home, the cost will be based on the square footage.  And of course, the bigger the home, the bigger the price. 

If you’re single and living alone, do you really need that third bedroom that collects junk?  Maybe it would be better to rent a storage unit and save a few hundred bucks a month!

Do You Need Amenities

Do you want your new home to have access to a public swimming pool?  Maybe an onsite fitness center?  These are both important amenities to consider when looking for your new home.  They could potentially save you a lot of money over the year too! 

However, if you’re more interested in renting a single-family home, then an amenity for you might be a large backyard or a garage.  Either way, you should figure out exactly what you want before you start looking.

Be Prepared for the Application

There is nothing simple about the application process for renting a home.  There is a ton of information that you need when applying. This includes your previous rental history with information like your landlord’s name and phone number.  You should have the full addresses of all the places you lived over the past 5 years. 

It’s also important to know your credit score and your credit history.  If you have a low score and poor credit, you might need to get a friend or family member to cosign on the home.  Of course, that is never an ideal situation, and honestly, nobody is ever excited about being a cosigner.  Make sure that you get all of your financial affairs in order before you apply for your next rental.

Wrapping Up

Finding a new home doesn’t have to be stressful.  As long as you take advantage of all the tools available to you and do a little planning, everything should go fairly smoothly. 

If you’re on the hunt for a rental, the only website you need is Zumper.  And you can apply online fright from the Zumper app!

With real-time alerts, you’ll never miss out on knowing when the property you really want is available. You can filter by location, price range, bedroom count, if it’s pet-friendly, or by particular amenity.  After you set an alert, you’ll get notifications when a new listing is posted.

Good luck on the search for your next home!

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