Selecting a unit that is right for your family is a fundamental process. There are many things to consider. You will want to be sure that the unit you choose will be the right fit for your family’s needs and you will need to maintain a good working relationship with your prospective landlord.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do I prefer to be close to my work?
- Do I prefer a unit close to public transportation because I do not have reliable transportation?
- Do I prefer to be closer to my children’s school or family members?
- Do I prefer to be close to the church or other supportive organizations?
- Do I prefer to be close to medical facilities?
- Do I prefer to be in a family-friendly neighborhood?
- Do I prefer to be in a more single, elderly or near-elderly neighborhood?
- Do I prefer amenities like walking trails, gym, pools?
- Do I prefer to be close to local restaurants and grocery stores?
- Do I prefer a yard? And if so, can I afford the yard care, or does it need to be included in the rent?
- Are pets allowed? Can I afford an additional pet deposit and unit maintenance?
- Do I prefer a landlord who will do all the repairs, or do I prefer a landlord who will allow me to do repairs?
- I prefer a neighborhood where the surrounding areas are clean and safe.
- Do I want to get into a unit that I can later purchase?
- If you never want to purchase a home, consider how much rent you are willing to pay overtime?
If you are a family on a fixed income, you may also want to consider the following:
- Where can I find a unit where I will be provided the most financial stability?
- How often am I willing to invest in a move, or do I want to choose a unit and be there for a long time?
- How often can I afford an increase in rent or changes in utilities? If this occurs, are there ways I can supplement my income to afford the increase?
You are encouraged to look around at different housing types and compare your options to make sure you make the best available choice based on your priorities.
Make sure to note anything that isn’t clear to you and ask lots of questions before making your selection.
A few questions you might consider asking are:
- How much is the rent?
- Are there late fees?
- If you have pets, are pets allowed? Are there fees for pets?
- Is there an application fee?
- Is there a homeowner’s association or condo association? Are the HOA fees included in the rent?
- How much is the security deposit?
- What utilities are you responsible for?
- What appliances are included?
- What is the process for requesting repairs?
- What repairs are covered by your landlord vs. which ones will you cover?
- Is pest control or yard care included?
- What amenities are included?
- How often is the rent increased?
You may even request a copy of the lease ahead of time so that you can be familiar with the requirements before beginning the application process. Remember, you are partners, along with your landlord, in this program. You will need to work together for you to both be successful, so you will want to be sure to make the best choice you can for your family.