5 Things to Look for When Choosing Your First Rental

Finding the perfect rental can be a torturous experience, especially if it’s your first time– but not if you’re well-informed.

rental building


Matt Lyons


Jan 21, 2021

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Finding a rental apartment can be quite a challenge. It often involves sifting through countless listings, visiting multiple properties, and dealing with landlords. Moreover, you might encounter competition from other potential tenants.

However, if you're well informed about the process and the market, it becomes significantly easier. For instance, knowing the average rental prices in the area helps you budget accordingly. Also, familiarizing yourself with your rights as a tenant can prevent complications down the road.

In this piece, we shall cover five crucial things to consider when hunting for your first rental.

1. A Suitable Location 

Whether you’re planning on investing in a rental property or purely looking for a home, one thing holds true. Among the very first things to consider when choosing a rental should be its location. This will greatly impact your daily life, commute, and overall satisfaction with your new home.

Take some time to explore the neighborhood and assess safety, noise levels, proximity to green spaces, and accessibility to essential amenities like grocery stores or medical facilities. It's also a good idea to gauge traffic patterns and how they may affect your commute.

2. Affordability 

When it comes to choosing a rental property, sticking to your budget is crucial. Research the average rental costs in your desired location while factoring in utility expenses and any other additional fees that may come up during your lease term. This will help you avoid potential financial strain or stress caused by overextending yourself financially.

3. Adequate Space 

Think about not only how much space you require now but also what you may need down the line as circumstances change - such as if you decide to start a family or adopt a pet. It's important to ensure the property provides enough room for comfortable living while also catering to other needs like cooking, entertaining guests, and providing storage for personal belongings.

4. Condition 

A thorough inspection can save you from unexpected costs or discomfort later on. When touring the rental, keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear or potential hazards.

Make a note of these issues and discuss them with the landlord to ensure they are addressed before you move in. This way, you can avoid disputes or misunderstandings during your tenancy.

5. Lease Terms 

Taking the time to carefully review your rental agreement is essential to ensuring a smooth renting experience. Be sure that all agreed-upon terms are clearly outlined in the lease, including rent amounts, payment due dates, and maintenance responsibilities.

Additionally, ask about any restrictions on decorating or making alterations to the property. If anything appears unclear or unreasonable, don't hesitate to raise concerns with your landlord and negotiate mutually agreeable terms where possible.

Starting Your Rental Search Online

With the rise of digital technology, searching for an apartment online has become increasingly convenient and efficient. However, choosing the right website for your rental hunt is crucial to finding the perfect home.

With this in mind, it’s best to use a reputable rental website that provides multiple listings from the area or neighborhood you’re interested in.

Let’s say you’re looking for an apartment in Tennessee’s largest and most populous city. In this case, you’d want to use a site that not only lists apartments for rent in Nashville TN but also provides more comprehensive or specialized listings of the same.

It’s also a big plus to select a platform with advanced search filters that allow you to customize your search based on criteria like price range, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, and pet-friendliness. This will help save time by presenting only the most relevant options for your needs.

Virtual tours are another valuable feature provided by many websites nowadays. They offer an opportunity to explore a property without having to visit it physically first. This not only saves time but also helps save you money on transportation or gas while house hunting.

Lastly, don't forget to check out reviews and ratings from previous tenants or real estate agents' profiles before contacting the owner/property manager or visiting a property. These insights can reveal vital information about a rental's pros and cons from the actual experiences of people who have lived there before you make any commitment.


In summary, finding the perfect rental can be a torturous experience, especially if it’s your first time– but not if you’re well-informed. The above few tips will hopefully help you find a suitable place to call home without spending too much time, energy, and money on it!

Discover your dream home in German Village, OH.

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May 30, 2023
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