Actually going and looking at apartments or houses can be really confusing, especially if it’s your first time. What do you say to the landlord or agent? Should you show enthusiasm? What is the deal with deposits? These are only some of the many questions you probably have regarding this daunting process.
Step 1—Understanding the jargon
It’s really important that you understand real estate jargon so you can read the ‘properties to let’ section of the newspaper. I know it seems like double-dutch, but if you don’t understand the jargon you will have a hard time trying to work out the features of all the different properties that are being advertised.
You wouldn’t want to take the time to go and inspect a place that you thought was two bedrooms and one bathroom, when really it was two bathrooms and only one bedroom. Here are a few general terms to get you started.
Step 2—The inspection
An inspection is when a real estate agent or landlord takes you around a place that you are interested in renting. They show you all of its selling points, features and layout. If you are seriously looking to rent a place, and you know exactly what you want, you have to be aggressive as you may find that there are more people wanting to rent the kind of place you are after than there are rental properties.
When the Saturday paper comes out all the people who are looking for a rental property get it first thing in the morning and pore over it, marking all the properties they are interested in. They look at the inspection times, and develop a dayplan of how they are going to fit all the different inspections in. Most places have general inspection times, of anywhere between fifteen minutes and two hours, on Saturdays or Wednesdays.
You may find that you can only inspect some places by organising an appointment with the real estate agent, so they can take you through the place on your own. Alternatively, sometimes the real estate agent is happy for you to take the key and the address of the place, taking a $20 key deposit to ensure you come back.