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Rental House Priority Criteria


Trinket

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OK. So I am busy looking for the perfect rental accomodation for me and my 2 boys, one dog, one cat and 15 fish. Some of you may remember why :unsure: I am seeing lots of places but each one has a serious flaw. For example, there is no place to keep my motorcycle where it will stay dry- or the landlord lives opposite - or there is no place for the dog to be on her 30 meter rope (all dogs have to be tied here)- or there is no upstairs or the bathroom looks old and so on....Because each one has a flaw I am thinking I have to prioritise on a scale of 1-10 perhaps which flaw is the worst one to have...

What I'd like to know is what other people think are important priorities when it comes to looking for a place to live/rent. Is it more important to you to be away from neighbours (some houses here are very close together) or are you a location/location/location person. Just hearing your ideas and experiences would help me sort my thoughts out here. Any input appreciated :)

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Quick reply from someone who has rented more houses in her time than she cares to count!

1. Space; light; storage (cupboards, shelves etc.): This is the most important of all to me.

Long-term, feeling cramped and not having enough places to put your things will send you nuts! Especially with kids. If everything else is OK you can always get a weather cover for your bike.

2. Atmosphere; some places feel 'good' and others don't. Always go with that, as a house pointing the wrong way or having a gloomy feel generally won't change.

3. Clean, functional utility areas. Doesn't matter if rooms are a little tired and could do with a re-paint (I have in the past done this myself) but yucky bathroom tiles and kitchens without extractors are depressing.

4. Location which makes shopping and travelling easy - being stuck out on a limb can feel isolating.

5. As for landlords living opposite - hmmm... I guess it depends on what he/she is like. It could feel a little less private than you'd like, I guess. Never happened to me so I can't judge.

6. Always try to negotiate before signing if there is something you'd like improved, ie. the carpets look as if they'd benefit from a steam clean. etc.

That's my list, babe! Back on later..........

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I think the place has to have a clean and open feel to it. No mystery smells.

Even if the carpet is a little worn, it should look clean and be a neutral color. Jewel tones will drive you crazy after awhile.

Adequate parking for yourself and a guest or two.

Consider whether you want a lawn and who will take care of it.

Location/location/location! What is the neighborhood like? Drive around and observe what is going on there at different times of the day.

Houses very close together aren't a big deal as long as your neighbors aren't noisy and neither are you, but I'd check that out.

Is it close to a school or will the boys have to have transportation? Is there anything around there "teenage friendly" for the boys to do...assuming thats not get into trouble, lol.

As far as the landlord living across...thats not always a problem. My son and d-i-l live in a house right next to their landlord's antique business and she never bothers them at all.

Will you be allowed to redecorate things that you don't like, such as wall colors, and will you be compensated for making those kind of improvements?

Are the appliances included in the house? Most rentals come with stoves and fridges, but not always washers and dryers.

You're not going to find "perfect" in a rental, but any imperfections should be something you can live with or improve yourself. You don't want to put money in a home thats not yours, but then again you have to be able to stand to live there. I think the main thing is cleanliness and openness, and are you allowed to have your pets. And closet space, of course.

Good luck Imogen, I know you will find the jewel you are looking for. :D

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Environment - Light, air, clean (not moldy), parks, schools and outside area close.

Functional - for cooking, cleaning clothes, shopping, getting kids to school, storing winter stuff in summer and vice versa, and so forth.

Try to find a place where the basic stuff you need for everyday life is most convenient. That's what we do with 90% of our time and effort - simply daily living.

The other stuff - it's just details. With a little tolerance, and with the right kind of personality and attitude, we can deal with details.

What improves the quality of your everyday living. Look for something that meets those needs.

Good luck!

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I've rented and looked at quite a few places too so I'll throw in what my experience has shown. I didn't make a list so much as write the most important things that sprang to mind.

- the general cleanliness of the house, including air quality. That is huge for me, as an ashtma sufferer, I've had to move due to this. Check for mould, drafts, and of course, the mystery odors! Keep an eye out for condensation on the windows too. Sometimes landlords can fool you by cleaning really well and masking a lot of problems like this, so look carefully.

- Neighbors and the landlord. It's hard to get a feel for this one when you're just looking, but see if you can notice anything 'off' about these people. Nothing is worse than constant music, parties or fighting from the neighbours, or a landlord who either doesn't care about anything or nags you to death, ideally you want someone who cares about their property and upkeeps it, but won't constantly be around either.

- As for the dog, maybe you can look for a place that has a lot of parks and good walking areas, and sacrifice the bigger yard? Just my thoughts. My mom has a dog in an apartment with a small yard, but we found ways to make sure she gets enough fresh air and exercise.

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Thankyou very much Pixie, vickie, daniel and Chrissy :) . Your input is really valued.

Pixie~ especially good suggestion on negotiating some extras before the contract is signed rather than after, good idea.

Vickie~ all houses here come unfurnished with flooring or tatami. Your point about the parking space is one I am still pondering because although I dont drive or own a car, I will have friends over and they would need a space. Its tricky though because apptms with park space usually involve an extra 5.000 a month ($50 or so) which seems a lot when I dont need it myself.

Daniel~ I agree convenience of location for our needs is top and that details can be worked around.

Chrissy~ Asthma, Justin has severe asthma and needs to use his nebuliser daily so moulds and traffic fumes etc are something I need to be watching out for.

Right now the situation is there is one house (only) suitable and not yet taken. I am hoping it will wait another few days as on Thursday (7th) the new magazine comes out with lots of new places. The house I am thinking about is in agreat location for us. And has an absolutely breathtaking view as its on a hill and a corner meaning no neighbours on the hill side- nice feature. There is even a sit out porch for dog and night views... However there are 4 problems I cant quite reckon with (or I'd have taken it already).

#1. is the landlord lives opposite. Now this could be good you never know - I noticed he is a handiman and is doing all sorts of work on his own house and the rental has had lots of renovation etc. He is about in his 60s with wife.

#2. This is my top price range. Absolute limit.

#3. Its one floor. So we all 3 have bedrooms kinda close. This is the worst 'deterrant' to me. I would have preferred to have the kids upstairs so I can catch a break from hiphop music. Plus the boys are not so happy about having rooms right beside each other with a paperthin wall between.

#4. No place for my motorcycle except on the road- risky. There are 4 high steps up to the house so I cant lift the bike to shelter!!

What do you think? Any comments?

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Thankyou very much Pixie, vickie, daniel and Chrissy :) . Your input is really valued.

Pixie~ especially good suggestion on negotiating some extras before the contract is signed rather than after, good idea.

Vickie~ all houses here come unfurnished with flooring or tatami. Your point about the parking space is one I am still pondering because although I dont drive or own a car, I will have friends over and they would need a space. Its tricky though because apptms with park space usually involve an extra 5.000 a month ($50 or so) which seems a lot when I dont need it myself.

Daniel~ I agree convenience of location for our needs is top and that details can be worked around.

Chrissy~ Asthma, Justin has severe asthma and needs to use his nebuliser daily so moulds and traffic fumes etc are something I need to be watching out for.

Right now the situation is there is one house (only) suitable and not yet taken. I am hoping it will wait another few days as on Thursday (7th) the new magazine comes out with lots of new places. The house I am thinking about is in agreat location for us. And has an absolutely breathtaking view as its on a hill and a corner meaning no neighbours on the hill side- nice feature. There is even a sit out porch for dog and night views... However there are 4 problems I cant quite reckon with (or I'd have taken it already).

#1. is the landlord lives opposite. Now this could be good you never know - I noticed he is a handiman and is doing all sorts of work on his own house and the rental has had lots of renovation etc. He is about in his 60s with wife.

#2. This is my top price range. Absolute limit.

#3. Its one floor. So we all 3 have bedrooms kinda close. This is the worst 'deterrant' to me. I would have preferred to have the kids upstairs so I can catch a break from hiphop music. Plus the boys are not so happy about having rooms right beside each other with a paperthin wall between.

#4. No place for my motorcycle except on the road- risky. There are 4 high steps up to the house so I cant lift the bike to shelter!!

What do you think? Any comments?

Hey Sweety, :hug

I don't think the landlord living opposite is a problem. Some people rent rooms - so their landlord is right in the same house. Being across the way would only be a problem if you can't pay the rent. :rolleyes:

Have you talked to him? Does he seem like a nice man? Perhaps if you mention the parking problem, he might have a solution...? Maybe even discuss the price with him, and see if he'll come down a bit.

You said you'll have a breathtaking view. Sometimes your surroundings can make you forget about noise. With my sister, I live right next to a major highway. But she has such a lovely backyard, that you literally forget about the traffic, and it's peaceful. I would never have believed it, if I didn't experience it!!

Maybe investing in a pair of earphones might help, too. Just ask them to use them when you need peace and quiet. I know you get migraines, so they'd help a lot at those times.

If you end up getting this house, the boys will have to understand that you took the best place that you could find. They will have their own rooms, and that's better than having to share a room!! :o Once the lease is up, maybe you'll be able to find a better place.

I know it's hard to wait, because you wonder if this place will be gone by then... but go with your instincts, Hun. If you feel it's best to wait, then maybe there will be something better there. If not, then perhaps this place is where you're meant to be...?

:goodluck:heart

Debs

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Thanks Debs :heart I know it sounds like I'm being awful picky but the thing is I havent rented for over 10 years. H bought this house and it has 6 bedrooms and roaming room for a school of penguins. Been spoilt in that way. I am going into a much smaller space next whatever I get and I just want to make sure I choose as wisely as possible. I wouldn't want to stay in the house even if H were to move..too many bad memeories so in that respect anywhere is better.

I am going to wait till Thursday and look at the house mag. If theres nothing this month I'll take the house on the hill if they'll have me. Its all done through an agent so Im not supposed to talk to the landlord yet. I am so desperate to move out, I can't wait too much longer.

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........6 bedrooms and roaming room for a school of penguins.

:teehee

You're not being picky. No more than you should be! You want the best place you can afford - and that's how it should be. :)

I don't want the house I was in either. Missy asked me to keep it, so she'd have a place to go to in Orlando - but I couldn't live there... not after everything. :no:

I'm a firm believer in "If it was meant to be, it'll happen." - so I'm sure things will work out for you. You're a wonderful person, and you have good on your side.

Maybe you can ask the agent if that landlord is set on his price, or if he'll negotiate. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can do it say no. :rolleyes:

Stay strong. :flex::heart

:bighug

Debs

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#1. is the landlord lives opposite. Now this could be good you never know - I noticed he is a handiman and is doing all sorts of work on his own house and the rental has had lots of renovation etc. He is about in his 60s with wife.

#2. This is my top price range. Absolute limit.

#3. Its one floor. So we all 3 have bedrooms kinda close. This is the worst 'deterrant' to me. I would have preferred to have the kids upstairs so I can catch a break from hiphop music. Plus the boys are not so happy about having rooms right beside each other with a paperthin wall between.

#4. No place for my motorcycle except on the road- risky. There are 4 high steps up to the house so I cant lift the bike to shelter!!

What do you think? Any comments?

#1: I don't see how that is a deterrant. If he is a handiman, I would think that is a big plus.

#2: Totally understandable

#3: I love Hip Hop! :D Who do they listen to?

#4: That would be a big problem for me too, parking a bike on the street. You can't ride up and down the steps? It is a dirtbike isn't it? :lol1

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Sounds like everyone needs a pair of headphones. :rolleyes:

Are rising energy costs a consideration for heating/hot water/cooling, and who pays for utilities, you or the landlord? Having a motorcycle, you may not be too concerned about commuting costs/fuel prices, but I'll throw that out anyway. And, along the lines of cost, but also considering the boys will grow to want more freedom, how close would you be to public transportation?

I suppose you've already thought of these, and no new ideas come to mind right now. But I hope you don't mind me sharing something which perhaps will be a happy surprise for you, too. There have been several occations where I truly loved where I was living, and sadly had to move. I discovered that I was more flexible than I realized, and that the new place had charms that I was not expecting. Most recently, I was used to lots of land and quiet in a country setting, and now I live in a quaint little city home. So if a dyed-in-the-wool homebody like me can be transplanted, I believe that you and your boys will flourish.

Good luck on Thursday!

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My parent's are renting a house and our landlord lives just down the road. Our properties touch (he has a total of 25 acres or so, we have 2 of them) and he has cows and pigs that are in close proximity. My dad and him get along and my likes to help take care of the animals. He's currently putting in a hottub and my dad is helping and he built my mom a sunroom since the porch needed an update and it was an idea that she liked. He built it because if/when my parent's do leave, it's an improvement to his property so why not? He is an older gentleman and he likes the company of my father. We aren't supposed to have pets, but he made an exception for the cats (and even the dogs, but they kept getting loose so we gave them away...doofus and digger, stupid dogs).

The whole point of that is having a landlord close by that is a handyman is really not a bad thing. If something goes wrong at our place he is just down the road so there's no long waits or worries about whether he can get there in bad weather. It's a short walk. Be nice to him, have conversations, even if they're short and I'm sure he'll take a liking to you and your boys and you shouldn't have a problem.

I'm in an have had great neighbors until this last month who smoke questionable things and it's seeping into my apartment through the plumbing areas. I'm out of here in 4 days and I'm taking it as a sign. I told her about it and she's taking care of it, but even places where you've been for 2 years can start to change so, even if you love this place, make sure you keep your eyes out for something to open up and that might be better suited. Browse, get ideas. My parent's found this place by chance, and it's heaven. We don't have any neighbors we can actually see.

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I just wanted to peek in and say good luck getting a place. Finding rentals is so tricky sometimes. About the landlord living opposite, we actually rented from a guy who lived next door and he was the best neighbor ever -- great handyman, and also admitted his skill-limitations...and he dog-sat for us. So that might not be a total bad thing...just depends on personality.

I'd say go with your gut. My one big thing is storage and fenced yard for my pup.

Good luck! You'll find the right place and it'll be just what you need. ;)

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Thankyou SO much guys for the great feedback. I have taken note of all your points.

I was worried most about no parking space for the bike and then the trouble with the boys sharing a divided room like that since they are not getting along so well these days.

SSSSSOOOOOOOO. GUESS WHAT??

Today was a lucky day for me ( :BTT despite having a migraine and having thrown up on and off all day ) because I found a house :pianobanana Picked up the magazine yesterday morning and got shown around and paid the deposit by the afternoon today. It has a very small yard we can keep the dog, it has 2 floors and 4 bedrooms so I can sleep in the down bedroom and kids get a spare room between them/to share upstairs maybe. I cant believe it is so spacious and yet 20.000 a month cheaper than the one I was planning on :D The drawbacks (as told by the agent) are the house is on a slope/very narrow road -only one car can pass along the road at a time- and it is old. So the floor gives in places (I hope its safe enough in an earthquake :scared ) and the pipes are rusty etc BUT there is masses of room for my fish and their clobber, plenty of storage space and best of all a fabulous view over the city with a long balcony to view it.

I really couldnt have got luckier. I think. The house is about a 15-20 minute walk from ex-hubby which is nice really as I dont want to lose touch completely. So all in all, I am a happy camper. We move in on the 20th so if Im absent in the next few weeks y'all will know why. There is so much to arrange/pack and get organised.

On a very sad note, unless we can keep the cat a secret (and Xavier is begging me) we may have to find a new home for the cat. There seems to be no give on this point with the owner (no inside animals) :( Tatami rooms...Shes 13 years old and no bother really. Its a tough one- thinking on it.

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:bighug:Congrats::happydance:panana:nana:rockon:bounce :alc :clapping::Jig::redbanana::pianobanana:hi5

Such wonderful news, Hun!!!! :exactly:heart:9 I'm so happy for all of you! The cat is a tough one. I know how hard it is when you can't take a pet. Your ex couldn't keep the cat? That would give the boys another reason to visit, and like being there. Or wouldn't he care for it? Maybe a friend of theirs could take her in. You've had her for so long, she's one of the family.

I hope you're feeling better soon. Get lots of sleep. You'll still have "migraine hangover" when the pain is gone. :blink:

It sounds like you found a gem. Well, with it's few drawbacks, we'll call it a diamond in the rough. :D

Congratulations again, Sweety! :hug

Debs

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That's so wonderful regarding the house, although it is too bad that you are in a dilemma regarding the cat. I think Debbie's idea of leaving at your ex's place is a good one if he is willing to care for it. If it were me I would worry about taking it to the new house -- what if the landlord drops by unexpectedly or while you are not there to fix something or whatever? You will have a lot of balls in the air to juggle as you make this transition and you don't an extra source of worry. I hope your migraine gets better soon. We will be thinking about you!

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I am soooo happy that you found a place Imogen! I've been following this thread, but had no input as far as finding a good rental house. But I was hoping you would find a place that suits your needs and it sounds like this it it! Congrats!! Sounds like you are gonna be really busy!! You must excited! This is going to be a good step for you I think..

As others have said, it's a shame about your cat. I really hope your ex agrees to watch him.. Remember the other thread where you were saying he wanted to borrow the washing machine?? Umm.. BLACKMAIL!!! Keep the cat and he can borrow your washer once a week. Otherwise, start getting used to the laundromat!!!!! LMAO (I know it's not really that simple but hey. I try)

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Just quickly on the cat..there is no way ex will take the cat :D That would solve everything but one of the big disagreements we have always had is about pets!! He can't stand them. He complains about the cats meow, about the dogs bark, about the fishes filter noise and the water they use and well ad infinitum..he just cant wait to get all the pets out.

There has to be another way.

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Uh oh.. here comes the laundromat : )

That's a shame.. Do you have any friends that would keep the cat for a little while, while you got things sorted out? (Either convince the landlord or work on a way to smuggle her in?)

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Good thinking! That may be an option. Later on (as proven good tenants?)it might be easier to take her back. I can try..

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