Search For your Dream Home


Renter’s Guide

Whether you are making a big cross-country move or you’re just looking for a new neighborhood in your current city, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself before you start searching for a rental home. Writing down your answers will help keep your search on track.

Figuring Out What You Really Want and Need

What is your ideal neighborhood?

Do you have to have a place that’s near the newest bars, shops and restaurants or are you looking for a quieter, family friendly area? Remember that you’re not only renting the home, but you’re also renting a home in a particular locale. Make sure that you are happy with the area before you search.

How big a place do you need?

Think about what kind of space you need and can afford in a home. If it’s just you, are you comfortable with a studio or do you need extra space for a home office or guest room? If you have a roommate, a spouse or a family, think about the amount of space you will need for everyone. And remember: Square footage equals money.

What kind of outdoor space do you want?

In a lot of cities, outdoor space can be hard to come by, but if it’s available, what type of outdoor space would you want? Do you need a big yard for your family or pet, or do you prefer a paved space for a couple of plants and a patio chair?

Setting a Realistic Rental Budget
Before you start a serious search for places to live, it’s smart to figure out how much rent you can really afford. Setting a realistic rental budget now can save you disappointment later by preventing you from falling for the “perfect” place that costs more than you should spend.

Paying 30 percent of your income on rent used to be the basic guideline but that may be misleading. Is that income “gross” or “net” (before or after taxes)? Does the rent include utilities? And if you have student loans, a car payment, or credit card bills to pay, 30 percent just might not be possible.

Deciding Whether to Rent or Buy Isn't Always Easy
When it comes to deciding if you should rent or buy your next home, you might think it’s a financial decision. And for the most part, you’re right. But the responsibilities or timing of home ownership might not be right for you. First, let’s dig into the numbers:

Follow the money

Whether renting or buying is more cost effective depends on your housing market. It’s good to know what you’re facing financially in your housing marketplace, so check out median home values and rent in your area.

Doing the math

There are four basic steps to determine renting vs. buying:

  • Calculate the monthly cost of home ownership
  • Calculate the tax benefits of home ownership
  • Subtract the tax benefits from the cost of ownership to get the “after tax cost”
  • Compare the after tax cost to market rent for a comparable property

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(985) 318-2615


Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.  They can be contacted at 985-727-7000.