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How to Rent a Home when you have pets (and kids)

Finding the Right First-Time Rental for Your Family

If this is your first time doing a property search for a house or apartment to rent for your family, you have a lot of practical matters to consider. Of course, major concerns include finding a rental that maximizes safety and space for your family while minimizing monthly rent. Keep in mind that any necessary down payments, such as damage deposits or first- and last-month's rent, will affect your initial outlay.

However, when comparing monthly rental and deposit fees you also need to consider hidden bargains -- such as free parking and pet-friendly policies -- and your new home’s accessibility to basic needs, including schools and grocery stores.

Here are some basics to research when comparing family rentals:


  • Safety. Before signing a lease requiring you to make monthly payments for a specific amount of time, do your best to determine whether the rental and its neighborhood are safe places to live. For example, an apartment complex located on a busy street or with an unfenced pool may be dangerous for very young children. Also, check out local crime statistics through Neighborhood profiles on rental-search websites.
  • Space. Ask yourself whether there are enough bedrooms and more than one bathroom to accommodate everyone’s need for space and comfort. Remember that your children will need indoor and outdoor space for play.
  • Distance to Work and School. Select a location that is reasonably close to your place of employment so you can maximize family time. Nearby access to good schools also makes life easier.
  • Amenities. Find out if your potential rental contains laundry facilities and is near useful services, such as a supermarket, public library, playground or hospital.
  • Hidden Bargains. Whether you think of them as hidden costs or hidden bargains, additional items may be included in rent. Read lease paperwork closely and ask questions to learn about inclusions such as parking, power and hook-ups for cable TV and internet.

Locate an apartment for rent today or if you are ready to shop for a home to buy, search available homes for sale by searching through our detailed home listings.

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