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Old 01-23-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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Hello all -

For the first time in my life, after living in apartment complexes, small apartment buildings, and rooms in houses with friends, I am looking to rent a house. So far, it has been a slightly different process.

I am curious to know - what do you think the major differences are in the process of renting a house vs renting an apartment? Is it different at all? Is it more selective, more difficult, and so on...
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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Having been both a house and apartment tenant I'm not sure that there are any major differences where the renting process is concerned. Where both are concerned, basics such as general maintenance, appliance maintenance, garbage collection and utility costs, etc. should all be spelled out in the lease agreement. Some rental houses include landscaping/yard maintenance, snow removal, etc. in the rent while others require that you take care of those issues. Hope that helps for a start!
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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In general, it is not unusual for those renting a single family home to have greater responsibilities for things such as yard, trash collection, watering, utilities, etc.

Multi-Units generally have common areas and dumpsters and include water, sometimes cable plus may have amenities like a pool and gym...

It really is a lifestyle choice...

Some wouldn't take a single family home for any reason... they prefer living in a well run complex with a on site manager/maintenance and having more services rolled into the rent.

On the other hand... others feel apartment living is claustrophobic and even the sound of neighbors coming or going is a nuisance.

One thing I always ask perspective house renters when they say they love a big yard and gardening is to list the equipment they have...

The last home vacancy was rented by a family that formerly owned a home... they are outstanding tenants and truly treat the home as it was theirs... the landscaping improves every month they have been there.

As stated... make sure responsibilities are clearly defined in the rental agreement... you don't want to find yourself responsible for watering and then be in shock when the summer water bill is over $200...
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
As stated... make sure responsibilities are clearly defined in the rental agreement... you don't want to find yourself responsible for watering and then be in shock when the summer water bill is over $200...
And if watering IS your responsibility, look into a very simple and easily reversible diversion of plumbing to put your "grey water" (from shower/bathtub and kitchen), as well as the rainwater from your roof downspouts, into a free-standing tank. They come in all shapes and sizes with a hose attachment and can save you a huge bundle when you're charged for municipal piped water!
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:50 PM
 
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If you are renting from a landlord with experience renting houses, the rpocess will be basicallyt he same just with some added issues related tot he potentially extra duties of a house.

But often, many SFRs are rented by homeowners who cant sell it or are desperently trying to not go bankrupt, or think that renting a place is a simple easy money making thing, or they are relocating and still want to hold onto the house, or just because some friend is going to help out or knows everthing there is to this. As a result the process may be so messed up or makes no sensse that the lease, agreement, rules, this and that will frustrate you to no ends. So don;t be afraid if the process seems weird to come right out and ask if they know what they are doing.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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Good advice all around.

The only other thing I can think of to add is that many houses are in a homeowner's association. Whereas in an apartment, you are likely to get a copy of apartment rules, in a subdivision, not all landlords will print out the CCRs (rules list) for the homeowners assocation, but in most cases, you will be expected to abide by them. The most common complaints I get are regarding garbage cans, yard maintenance and cars. The one to know about before moving in is the one about cars. Some subdivisions in my area do not allow cars to park in the driveway or in the street long term (even if being driven regularly), and many do not allow trailers, RVs, etc. So that is good to know before signing a lease, in case you have 3 cars and it is only a 2 car garage, and you find out you aren't allowed to have the 3rd car there.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:15 PM
 
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I've done both; & honestly I've enjoyed both. The benefits of renting an apartment or condo include: knowing your neighbors are looking out for you 24/7; heating bills are way less $$, etc.
The drawbacks are sometimes there's people in the building that party when you want it quiet, or vice versa, or parking conflicts...apartment buildings have more transients, as well

The benefits of renting a house: privacy, you can be as loud as you want, you get your own yard, more space,etc.
Drawbacks: higher rent, higher utilities, sometimes you realize your neighbors are not worth knowing.....that's basically it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:22 PM
 
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Thanks all.

My girlfriend and I finally got tired of the space restrictions of an apartment in the city, so we wanted a place where we could feel at 'home.'

We have had some trouble getting out-bid for places we saw advertised online. Came in, filled out the application for the desired rent/lease term, and ended up losing out on the place to someone else. It is frustrating!
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
And if watering IS your responsibility, look into a very simple and easily reversible diversion of plumbing to put your "grey water" (from shower/bathtub and kitchen), as well as the rainwater from your roof downspouts, into a free-standing tank. They come in all shapes and sizes with a hose attachment and can save you a huge bundle when you're charged for municipal piped water!
Very true... except where I am it is a Code Violation chargeable to the Owner...

The Code was recently amended and allows limited Grey Water use with an engineered system, signed off permit and the installation and annual certification of a code approved back-flow device.

During the drought... we channeled laundry water to plastic rain barrels and used it to water the plants... worked well... highly illegal back then...

Friend in Colorado are prohibited from diverting any rain water... even if it flows from the roof down spouts...

I think Arizona has some of the most up to date water conservation statutes in the Country...
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:33 PM
 
27,790 posts, read 58,472,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browns47 View Post
Thanks all.

My girlfriend and I finally got tired of the space restrictions of an apartment in the city, so we wanted a place where we could feel at 'home.'

We have had some trouble getting out-bid for places we saw advertised online. Came in, filled out the application for the desired rent/lease term, and ended up losing out on the place to someone else. It is frustrating!
In many areas the market has done a 180... gone are leasing incentives and off-sets...
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