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Finding the "Perfect Property" to Rent
We all have our own thoughts on what makes the "perfect property" to call home. Those in the market to buy will tell you they know EXACTLY what they want and where they want to buy.
But how often do we speak to people who have bought and they tell you it's "not exactly what we wanted, but we love it"? From my experience it's more often than not.
The same goes with renting.
I can't recall one tenant I've either met or worked with in the past 6 years (that's a lot of tenants) who moved into a property that ticked every single "Wish List" box.
Having a Wish List is a great starting point. In fact, it's a must.
Suburb choice is generally the first consideration. Then write a list of all the things you would love your new place to include, before spending some time considering what are "must haves" and "nice to haves".
Keeping an open mind about the suburb you want to reside in, can have some surprising results. I recently worked with lovely clients who had their hearts set on a small house in Collingwood, Fitzroy North or Prahran. They wanted to immerse themselves in the "community feel" of these suburbs. A chance visit to Kensington aroused their curiosity. Described as, "a village by the city, Kensington boasts an understated charm with a laidback vibe." Several inspections later and my clients were approved on a period house they fell in love with.
Another family were focussed on Kensington, Flemington and Ascot Vale, with easy access to their business their main consideration. However, a house in Moonee Ponds has become their new home - slightly longer travel time to work, but a house that ticked every other box for them.
If living in Pascoe Vale South rather than Essendon was going to secure you a similar (or slightly better) property for $30 less a week would this be a consideration?
Be open minded too about your "negotiables" and "not-negotiables" - sometimes it can be the difference between securing a property and not. For example, can a large shed substitute for a garage? Are you prepared to accept cooling in the living room and main bedroom but not in the rest of the property? Will a park at the end of the street make up for a smaller yard?
The lack of a dishwasher almost caused a recent client to walk away from a property. However, when we weighed up the absent dishwasher against everything else the property offered, he realised it was the only thing not on his list. And he was thrilled when approved for the property.
The perfect property does exist, sometimes it's just a matter of being prepared to make subtle compromises.
Who is my neighbour?
Peering through the blinds or the peephole wondering who is moving in next door or across the hallway is something most of us have done in our lives.
We don't necessarily want to know every aspect of our neighbours lives but we often want to know, especially if living alone or with a young family, if our "newly moved in" neighbour is going to be respectful and considerate of those around them.
Earlier this month it was interesting to read about a relatively new apartment block in the City of Whitehorse where residents, after purchasing or renting, have discovered that 15 of the 79 apartments are public housing, of which a handful of these 15 DHHS apartments are home to people who have no respect for those trying to live peacefully around them. Listening to late night fights, finding rubbish in hallways and the scourge of drugs have become a daily headache for most residents.
Public housing is essential and desperately needed, however both purchasers and prospective tenants need to be made aware of the number of public housing apartments in a complex when looking at a property. At least a tenant, after signing a lease, has the option to move on if they find themselves in a situation where they feel threatened, scared or intimidated. The same can't be said for a Landlord/Owner occupier who stands to lose considerable dollars.
Real Estate agents and developers need to be transparent regarding public housing, if this information is available, and buyers and tenants need to ask. If the answer is "I don't know" then delve a little more.
We all have the right to feel safe in our homes, including those most vulnerable. Perhaps the DHHS need to be more thorough with their vetting process when placing tenants into apartment blocks containing private and public accommodation, so we can all live peacefully.
Rent Affordability and Income
Have you ever wondered what factors a Property Manager looks at when processing a rental application for a property? Learn more about rent affordability versus income.
There are many considerations a Property Manager looks at when selecting the “best tenant” for a rental property. Rental affordability is one consideration. When assessing whether a person can realistically afford the rent and will pay it on time, Property Managers generally consider applicants for whom rent constitutes no more than 30%- 40% of their income.
I’ve seen many applications over the years where someone, for example, is applying for a property at $600 a week but their application and supporting payslips only show income of $1500 a week. The general rule of thumb that most agents use is:
You need to provide evidence that your income / wages is a minimum of 3 times the weekly rent.
Using our example of a property for rent at $600 a week, providing evidence of income/ wages of $1800 a week is required.
But don’t despair if your wages don’t meet this criteria. There are several other things you can look at:
The first thing is to make a list of what are your “not negotiables” in a property, such as “The property must have a car space” and what you are willing to compromise on - “I can survive without cooling in every room.” Compromising on a couple of small things on your Wish List and a $500 a week (rather than $600 a week) property might end up ticking your boxes. And there’s your affordability sorted on your $1500 a week wage.
If you decide that you must have EVERYTHING on your Wish list and you can’t compromise on a cheaper property, then here’s some suggestions:
Do you have money in savings or a Term Deposit that you can provide evidence of?
Do you have a second/third job that you haven’t listed on your application? A recent client had a one day a week job (in addition to her other job) that saw her earning an additional $200. This extra $200 was the difference between rental affordability and not.
Is there a family member who would be happy and willing to have their name on the lease with you even if they won’t be residing at the property? Is so, the nominated person will need to complete their own application and provide ID documentation and wages evidence to support their application.
Do you receive regular payments such as Child Support, money from a Family Trust or similar that is evident on a bank statement?
Remembering the “income evidence must be three times the rent” rule will ensure you find a property you love but, as importantly, a property you can afford.
Your Home Hunter helps time poor professionals find a rental property to call home in Melbourne.
So you can focus on what you do best, without the stress and frustration!
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