Years ago it was thought that renting a home was the equivalent of throwing your money away. The house wasn’t really yours and you weren’t building any equity. But now the housing boom has fizzled and those who either own or have owned a home are finding themselves in the same boat as the renters they previously shunned. Upside down home values have made it impossible for homeowners to gain equity and they end up trapped in homes they‘ll never truly own. So renting instead of buying, renting a house is becoming the more popular choice. Here are four tips to make you a rental rock star!

1) Got your papers? The Boy scouts said it best. Be prepared! Having organized documents with your rental history, landlord contact information, credit report, proof of income, and references work wonders and squash your renter competition. Got a short sale or foreclosure on your plate? Have a plan detailing how you can afford and plan to make responsible and timely payments.

2) Become Inspector Gadget. Don’t be afraid to become a white gloved inspector when you find a house. Look for any damage or repair items and have them noted in the lease agreement or taken care of prior to move in. A non properly inspected property could cause you to be blamed for damages.

3) Read between the lines. Comb through your rental agreement carefully. Your lease may list something you don’t want to miss such as pet or house guest restrictions. The contract should outline how much of a deposit is required, if that deposit is refundable, the lease term, and any additional fees. If your lease agreement is missing any important details or you are left with questions, make sure to get everything in writing.

4) Protect your stuff. Your landlord insurance won’t cover your stuff if something happens to it via theft or damage, and it also won’t cover a suing if someone gets hurt in the house. Ok, so maybe you don’t need volcano insurance, but it certainly pays to shop around for the best deal to protect yourself and your stuff!



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This is filed under Rentals.

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