There is nothing better than having a large house all to yourself without the massive down payment and 30 – 40 year mortgage commitment! Additionally you still have the flexibility to move out at the end of the lease and find something different. If you have never rented a house before, you will find this article particularly helpful.
If you’re like most renters, you will have almost every nook and cranny of your small apartment or condo cluttered with knick knacks, collectibles, boxes, etc. For these packrats, it appears the apartment keeps getting smaller. Eventually you’re forced to either get rid of all your stuff or find a bigger place. Houses on the other hand, will be more likely to have extra storage, basements, maybe a garage, and even extra bedrooms. Perfect for all your valuables!
Or maybe you have pets. Most apartment buildings are not friendly to pets, especially to larger dogs or large collections of animals. Finding a private rental house may be just what you’ve been looking for.
Renting a house is not cheap, when compared to renting an apartment. In some cities within western Canada, renting a house is about the same price as renting a townhouse. Of course, this depends entirely upon location and condition of the property.
Typically, renting a house guarantees free maintenance services for the duration of the lease. Ask the landlord who is responsible for repairs (you or the landlord). In most areas, the landlord is bound to guarantee a livable environment for the renters, which includes doing repairs and preventative maintenance. Check with your local tenancy laws about the division of responsibilities. You can usually find these at a local library. In the case of Alberta Canada (where the author of this article resides), these laws can be found at www.HopeStreet.ca.
Renting a home that is under a property manager’s control is also an excellent option. The property manager will be familiar with rules, regulations, and will likely have a large support network in place to support the home in case maintenance or other emergency issues arise. Smart landlords outsource the management of their homes to licensed and trained property managers.
Here are some questions you should ask before signing a lease with a new landlord and a new home:
What is the length of the lease? Are there any penalties for breaking the lease or getting out of the property early?
Is a security deposit required? Are deposits refundable and under what circumstances?
Who does the yard work and other outdoor maintenance?
Who does the indoor maintenance?
Can you paint or alter the walls? Can you hang paintings? Can you alter the garden?
Is the house insured against fire or other damage?
Who pays the utility bills such as electricity, heating, water, etc.?
If the landlord decides to sell the house, by law they must give you a certain amount of notice to vacate the home and find a new residence. Often, the new owner will want to continue to rent the home to you. Check your local laws to see how much time you are allotted to vacate. In some cases, including the province of Alberta, Canada, you have until your lease is up.
Best of all, most homes will rent for far less than the monthly expense of owning them. For instance, a $250,000 home may fetch $1250 per month in rent. In retrospect, based on today’s mortgage rates, the cost to pay the mortgage alone for such a home would be in the $1500 per month range. This doesn’t include additional costs such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, mortgage insurance fees, etc. Now, let’s not forget that the owner would also be able to collect a return on the purchase price of the home should he or she elect to invest it elsewhere, which must be factored into the calculations. Renting a house provides all the enjoyment and benefits of home ownership, but at a fraction of the cost and without the long-term commitment. Let the landlord take the long-term expensive commitment, while subsidizing your home’s expense.
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