It is important to know what goes on during a day in the life of a prospective tenant. It is beside the point if you yourself have been that wandering tenant on a sunny Saturday morning or if you are on the other end of the spectrum as a landlord finding the perfect occupant. This article is relevant to both parties as it explores the thought process of a leasee and how a leaser can adjust their situation to better suit this way of thinking.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Firstly a tenant needs to narrow down the locations in which they are willing to live. We recommend having no more than 3 suburbs in mind in order to have an achievable radius of potential properties. Once location is established, the next step is to figure out what are the deal breakers. This is obviously dependent on the property’s features, however location also plays a part. Is the property on a main road? Will street parking be an issue and if so, is a car spot or garage a non-negotiable? A common denominator throughout this article is that convenience will win, every…single…time. Absolutely no one wants to arrive home from a 9 hour work day at 7pm and be searching for a parking spot for 15 minutes. Other aspects to consider may be, transport options, neighborhood safety, local schools and universities, access to shops and most importantly; PRICE! The area will mostly likely determine the cost of rent, be sure to have your finances in order before picking an area. A great example of this in our case is Dee Why vs Freshwater – these suburbs are pretty much neighbouring on Sydney’s Northern Beaches however you will see properties in Freshwater asking for at least 25% more than Dee Why for the exact same size and quality of property purely due to the demand of the area and its exclusivity.
NEW VS ESTABLISHED? This topic usually comes down to personal preference but it is good to consider the pros and cons of both options. The most obvious benefit of established properties, whether it be units or houses, is its structural integrity, in other words the build and material of these properties tends to be better quality, there are numerous case studies to support this. Established properties also tend to have more character, bigger bedrooms,in most cases more storage and can often be a tad cheaper. On the contrary, newer builds can be marked up due to never being lived in and are often open plan living which seems to be an increasingly common preference. In terms of new apartments, these usually come with a secure underground car spot, fresher paint/carpet, belong to a uniform block and in a centralised area close to shops and transport. This is simply something to think about if you have your sights set on a brand spanking new place with a clean slate or prefer a bit of character and homeliness.
TIMING..tick tock? This is where so many tenants go wrong. Finding a new rental can either be a super exciting time for some or a stressful inconvenience for others. Depending on how much time you want to allocate to your conquest, we recommend you give yourself a small window to ensure you have adequate time to find your new home. The issue with starting inspections too early is finding a property you really love but realising it is available sooner than you require. If you submit an application on this property and ask to move in at a later date than advertised then often the owners will prefer tenants that are ready to move in ASAP! On the other hand, leaving yourself too little time to find your property may end up forcing you into a place that isn’t quite right, all because you rushed it. We recommend being reasonable with yourself and allocating at most 5 weeks and at least 3 weeks to find your dream rental, which will allow move out and move in dates to match up well. This brings me to my next section on how to spend your weekend in action. As a landlord it is important to try and be flexible with dates as this will allow agents to be a little pickier ensure the right person occupies the property, someone who will look after it.
PLANNING YOUR SATURDAY MINUS THE CHAOS! For most people with regular jobs, Saturday is the go to inspection day which tends to be filled with speeding and frustration. Although most properties are also open on Wednesdays it is clear that nationwide Saturday is “real estate day”, however if you find an agency willing to take you through a vacant property at any time (like us..) – take a note of this, flexibility is a good indicator that they care! There are 2 mobile phone applications we recommend downloading and using, Realestate.com and Domain. These apps will allow you to filter through their database to narrow down a list of properties that you can hold in a “favourites’ folder. This folder then filters the properties that are OFI (Open for Inspection) and will create a run-sheet for each of your upcoming Saturdays. This way you have a clear plan of where you have to be and when, provided directions and contact numbers of agents if you get lost. If you are attempting to view more than 6 or 7 properties per Saturday you are probably biting off more than you can chew and you will exhaust yourself. Finding a new rental should be an joyful process therefore avoid feeling frazzled on a Sunday night after a long weekend of time wasting inspections, by having a simple game plan each week with a clear idea of what property you want.
NEGOTIATION AND MARKET POSITION. Last but not least it is important to note we are going through a time in the world of real estate where prices have obviously plummeted and the market is simply at a weak point. Although we are likely to see this start to change, it is important to know as a tenant you are currently in a position to haggle. In saying this, it is completely dependent on the property, area, agent and landlord and when we say “negotiate” we do mean to a reasonable extent. The asking rental price for a property is often agreed on between an agent’s appraisal and an owners expectation, offering a slightly competitive figure is a good move however if you are willing to pay the asking price this will often speed up application approval and place you in front of the other front runners. It is always good to firstly ask the agent if the property is in a position to negotiate especially in a market as competitive as the current one.
Being a prospective tenant in a flooded market often has its challenges however being an owner with a vacant property can also foresee many roadblocks. It is important both parties utilise their best resources during these processes, these being the mobile applications mentioned above, a bit of general market research and most importantly the listing agencies! Having some expertise to guide you through this journey can be the difference between finding a rental you that does the and finding a rental you love so much you may one day purchase it! Let us at Property Providers offer our knowledge and make this process an enjoyable one, no question is a silly question.