Find the perfect home by following these ten suggestions. Photo: Colourbox
1. Research the market
It is first and foremost important that you find a property that you can afford. A good starting point is to begin researching the market to see what properties cost in the area you are interested in. Rent prices can then be evaluated in relation to the market and your own budget.
2. Find a price level that matches your budget
An essential step is to make a personal budget in order to get an overview of your income and fixed expenses. When you’ve done that and gotten a clear picture of what you can afford in rent, it is then much easier to streamline your search and not waste time on places you can’t afford.
3. Prioritize your housing criteria
It can be a very good idea to make a priority list out of your housing criteria. When you know which things are more important to you than others, it can make your search much more effective and get you closer to your perfect home. Location, price and size of the room or apartment are often the most important, but for others it could be the need to find a pet-friendly solution.
4. Write a personal application
The housing market is characterised by high demand, so landlords receive a lot of inquiries each and every day. It’s important to make your application or statement of interest stand out. Don’t disappear in the flood of emails – be engaging and interesting and be sure to give the landlord a positive impression of yourself.
5. Be open to change
You cannot always expect to find a property that matches all of your criteria. You may have to accept a lease period that is shorter than you would like or move a little further from your workplace or school than is ideal. But even though you may have to compromise, keep your priorities in mind so that you can find a place where you will be happy.
6. Start the search early
If you start your housing search as early as possible, you will increase the likelihood of finding something that fits your criteria. Very few homes are available for immediate move-in, so it can pay off to be searching long before you actually need to move.
7. Be aware
Unfortunately, there are still many people who are cheated by fake landlords. It is important that you are always wary and don’t allow yourself to be tricked into transferring money to a foreign account or paying a deposit before your contract is signed.
8. Always sign your contract before paying a deposit
Never pay a deposit or pay for rent upfront before both parties have signed a contract. Only when both signatures are on the document does it become a binding contract and only then should you make any payments.
9. Don’t waste time
Make sure you are always searching. New properties come onto the market every day so it is important to always keep your eyes open. It can be a very good idea to sign up for email services from the various housing portals so that you can be notified every time a property matches your criteria. If you find one you like, react right away.
10. Make a team out of it
Often it can pay off to search for a home with others or to move in with someone who has a room to rent. Generally, there are many apartments and homes available that are both larger than an individual needs and more expensive than they can afford. When you hook up with others, you increase your options of finding the right home with the perfect location that fits your needs and, most importantly, your budget.