Renting a home (especially if it is your first time) can be a bit intimidating. Don’t panic, though. I can help you figure out the steps that you need to make. This post is sponsored by Jax Historic Realty.
Renting A House In Florida
If you search through my website, I have quite a few landlord articles, so if you want to check those out, feel free, but as a landlord, I know the ins and outs when it comes to renting a home and I wanted to share my insight with you all today. Here is my guide to renting a house in Florida:
- Figure Out Your Housing Budget
First and foremost, you need to have a housing budget in mind. Do you know how much you can spend on your rent? Figuring this out will help you figure out the type of place you should be looking for, whether it is a shared apartment, a live-alone apartment, or a house with, or without roommates.
To figure out your budget, you need to start with your income and normal expenses. Typically, you should not spend more than ⅓ of your take-home pay on rent. If you live in a high-cost area, such as on the beach, you might have to use a bigger portion of your budget on your rent, however. Once you figure out how much you can spend, make sure to factor in utility costs. More than likely, you will have to cover all utilities, which include trash, gas, water, electric, and more.
Last but not least, you also need to factor in the price of renter’s insurance and please do not think that you can or should skimp on this – it is essential. Renter’s insurance can help protect your belongings in the event of theft, fire, or other disasters. It can also help you with the cost of temporary housing if something bad does happen.
- Location, Location, Location
Next up: your location. When searching for a new home, you are going to want to figure out 1) what your ideal location to live in would be and 2) do you HAVE to live in that area? When looking at homes, make sure you factor in how long your commute would be each day and where it is in relation to places that you frequently visit. A few questions that you might want to ask yourself is:
How far is it from my work?
How far is it from my family?
How far is it from my friends?
How far is it from anywhere that I frequently visit?
Are you looking for a place at the beach, or in the city?
- Ask A Lot Of Questions
When you are looking at a potential home, make sure you ask the landlord or the real estate agent who is showing you the home, a lot of questions. Ask about utilities, potential amenities, and any potential issues, as well. You will want to know what the security deposit is (a lot of the time it is one or two months rent), and when you can expect to receive that money back once you move out of the home if it is in good shape. Ask about the lease – how long the lease is and what happens if you break it early (just in case!). If you cannot commit to a long-term lease, ask if they would consider a month-to-month lease instead. For example, if you are looking at Murray Hills real estate, but know that it might take you a while to find your dream home, a month-to-month lease is a great option for you. Last but not least, you should also find out about any rules, quiet hours, and of course, pet policies. I am a cat mama and know how important it is to find a home that allows pets, so make sure you ask!
- Know When It’s Time To Buy A Home
Last but not least, know when it’s a good time for you to buy. Now, I definitely do not think renting is a bad thing by any means, but sometimes, you need to know when it’s time to invest in a property yourself and then potentially rent it out in the future (or not!). If you are considering buying your first (or second, or third) home in Florida, I would highly recommend finding a great real estate agent to discuss your needs with, such as Erin King Jax Historic Realty. “Erin King is a Best of Zillow® REALTOR® who specializes in Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods. Historic homes feel a bit like kindred spirits. For the past two decades, he has been passionate about telling their unique histories and restoring them to new life. Today, he helps other old home aficionados do the same.” When you are ready to stop renting and buy your first home, Erin can be there to help you out!