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how to rent house in US ? please help !

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by savannas, May 13, 2010.

  1. savannas

    savannas Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear IL in US,
    We stay in southwest US and we are looking to rent a condo or an independent house.. So far we have only rented apartments - so we are usually used to only going to an apartment leasing office/looking at model apt etc. Now, we dont know how to approach landlords of independent houses/condos. We checked google and there are many available online.. but we want to know how to approach landlord..
    1. Would you prefer to talk to landlord directly or would you rent through a real estate broker (who also does rentals) or go through a rental management company or look up craiglist?
    2. How to make out the difference between a good landlord/bad landlord?
    3. Who usually takes care of maintenance issues (plumbing etc) for independent houses??

    Finally anybody who has rented house with good/bad experiences please give some tips advice on how to proceed wisely ..

    thanks
    Savitha
     
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  2. gokusha

    gokusha IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi savannas

    We rented Condo from Owner, actually we got know to this vacany through one of myhubby's collegue who is friend of this owner.

    So, he gave us owner's number plus informed him about us.We called him and fixed on weekend to show him the condo. At the first meet itseems he moved very well with us &with our kid as known friend. He is also from same city of ours(chennai).

    Language wasn't issue at any point. Then we put agreement on one day, shifted on the date we mentioned in agreement. After shifting we had few issue with closet, toilet....we informed him &he asked us time till weekend & fixed it on the same weekend.

    One of the IL friend by name "Nitha" rented condo through real estate broker. Intial things were dealt with broker, later she gave them owner number to deal other details &doubts with him(Ig uess he is not Indian).

    As now she is busy with packing and shifting this weekend, otherwise she can pour more about her experience.

    Before this condo, we were in Jersey city for 3yrs in Independent house, where owner were downstairs, we were residing upstaris. It was kind of Indian system, owner were also Indian. Ofcourse we had few problem like checking heater system often if they get electirc billhigh...other instruction like usuage of water blah blah...sometime they were good...

    You can rent independent house also, but see that owner doesn't reside along with you in any floor.That way we can be little free...

    All the best.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  3. savannas

    savannas Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Usha,
    Thanks a lot for your detailed post. First of all, your experience as well as Nitha's gives me some hope! Nextly, I have some questions regarding what you brought up - condos.. -we are also looking at condos as well as independent houses.. - we will be in ttc etc very soon and our moving is kind of aligned on tht direction as well.. - do you think from that angle, condo or independent house has any adv/disadvantage between each other ? Also, did you live in a rented house in a gated community or otherwise.. how would we decide if a community is safe for us or not.. I am asking this because dh works and I study - so when parents come, we want a safe surrounding.. would there be any way to judge from looking at neighbors houses? ?
    Regarding the real estate broker, I will hope to hear from Nitha as soon :) Because we dont know too many indians around.. and even among them, most people are recent home-buyers !
    Anyways, so those were my questions...
    thanks so much for your quick and detailed response once again..
    Regards,
    Savitha
     
  4. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    check the local listings in your city on craigslist.com - that's how we find our rentals.

    with apt, the maintanence and amenities are good. with private owners, unless the unit is managed by a proffessional management company, you are up to the mercy of the landlord. but you end up getting more bang for your buck when renting a private unit.

    for example we paid $2100 per month to rent a 2 bed 2 bath 1100 sq feet apt in the bay area with washer/dryer, gym, swimming pool and 24 hr maintence. for $2150 we are now renting a 3 bed 2.5 bath 1400 sq. feet single family home with 2 car garage (additional 400 sq feet of space) and a nice backyard for our kid (he just loves being there).

    ofcourse, utlities are higher with a bigger place, but if it is recently (<15 yrs) constructed, the energy savings of newer appliances keeps utilities low. our landlord is also indian and we do have to keep reminding him to fix stuff but he gets it done sooner rather than later.

    I will not consider living in an apt again!
     
  5. gokusha

    gokusha IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Savannas,

    You are welcome. Let me ask Nitha to share her experience, when she is free.

    Regarding Advan/disadv i didn't find any difference, if independence might be with kids jumping we don't need to keep restricting them often. But in condo or apt, i keep saying my daughter walk slowly,,don't run(she is just 22months:))

    But again this is not major issue, if we take 1st floor, we willnot have any issue or my god grace's if you get good tenant down then its not gonna be issue. Mine some old couple reside, they never complaint, but we are little cautious thats it.

    Regarding selecting the area, we first enquire about neighbourhood, shops school . Here just 10% Indian community in our condo, mostly its white and korean, but there is one shopping plaza behind our community, two school within walking distance.

    Yes previous one was gated, to get the correct picture, you can imagine ours houses at India. This one has good surrounding strong wall...maintainence is too good. In previous any outer has to cross the owner entrance and come towards us, in that way very safe:))

    This one has security lock, speaker etc., we can check from home who is at our unit entrance, unlock from inside by hearing their voice.

    Hope i have given enough details, do buzz me if you need any information.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  6. vaidehi

    vaidehi Silver IL'ite

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    Hi all,

    This is was good inf on Renting houses, i have a major doubt...... related to cleanliness? Are these owners very strict and charge penalty at the end of lease.? coz i have heard they are quite strict and just find ways to deduct ur advance and usually its a trouble ? I have a 6 yr old son .... though i am a freak but still sometimes accident happens.... please throw some light
     
  7. gokusha

    gokusha IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi vaidehi,

    Not sure, let me share my experience.

    Previous one, we kept it like weekly cleaning, finally also we cleaned A-Z.

    More over we were just couple most of the day, at the time of vacanting we had only 6months baby.So they didn't charge any amount plus returned our security deposit also completely.

    Current one, i can give you based on previous one who was before us. I think his family was at India, only gent...wash basin got rust,,,kitchen was little dirty...so owner did professional cleaning, changed washbin everything and charged him i guess or deducted from his security deposit, thats was we heard from owner.

    Though we felt happy, we got good one immediately, its always hint for us too,,,,while we vacant this house.....so i keep cleaning all the stuff weekly once, but still we can't restrict our kids...
     
  8. aditim

    aditim Senior IL'ite

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    Even we are in the process of shifting to Princeton Area and this post helped me a lot in understanding the pro's and con's of renting an apt vs a condo or single family home.

    I must say it was a timely post and provided me with all the questions that I had in mind. :)
     
  9. vaidehi

    vaidehi Silver IL'ite

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    Thank u Usha, that was a detailed info on Renting a house, I somehow get a feeling that Home owners are very rude and it makes life very difficult for the tenant :) .
     
  10. savannas

    savannas Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Usha,
    You hav done an awesome job with the details of your renting experience. Things like nearby shops, door alarms, the mike at entrance.. those are all very good tips that I would nothave thought of on my own :) and it looks like a lot of us out here, are currently in the renting phase - thanks for your phenomenal help ! btw, what is 'buzzing' - as in is it the usual sense, or is there a special meaning in IL ? I have always wondered how to ask specific questions to some one specific in IL, without having to post a thread in a forum in general.. could you throw light on that ?

    Regards,

    Savitha
     

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