In our recent blog "Know Your Rights & Responsibilities When Renting Property In Houston" (link), we discussed the economic requirements for renting property in Houston. Regardless of what the requirements are on paper, the most important thing for you to be concerned with as a renter, and later on as a buyer, is whether the property is affordable to you. Property management companies like 360 Realty Management specify that you need a monthly income at least three times the amount of rent to qualify for a property, but you need to look at the total picture to make sure you can comfortably afford a potential new location. Aside from looking at your own finances, you should consider the terms of your proposed lease and research the area.
What Other Costs Does A Property Entail?
Computing affordability is about much more than the amount of the rent. You also have to consider other costs such as:
- Upfront costs, including security deposit and pet deposit.
- HOA fees, if applicable.
- Utilities, including connection fees, deposits, and monthly costs.
- Lawn care costs, which often fall on you in single-family homes.
- Repair costs, even if the landlord is responsible for some costs.
By looking at the rental agreement or rental documents on file on the 360 Realty Management website, you can get a clearer idea of the true costs of living in the property. The lease agreement will specify how you can minimize your costs. For example, if you pay online, you may pay less than if you pay in person. By paying on time, you will prevent late charges and other penalties. When you need repairs, you can prevent paying out-of-pocket by agreeing to the schedule of service, requesting service in regular working hours, and keeping appointments.
How Much Does It Cost To Live In A Specific Neighborhood?
Aside from the cost of living in a specific property, you have to think of the cost of living in a particular neighborhood. Even if you do not feel the peer pressure of "keeping up with the Joneses," extra expenses involved in enjoying your new home might stress your budget.
You will want to ask yourself some other questions such as:
- How long is the commute to work? Will you have added costs for public transit, tolls, or parking if you live in a particular location?
- Are amenities such as shopping and restaurants more costly in the area?
- Will you have additional costs for school tuition and childcare due to the quality of the public school system and convenience to you?
- Are there free and low-cost attractions for you and your family or will you incur additional costs to enjoy parks, swimming pools, and other things your family might enjoy?
360 Realty Management Offers Tools To Evaluate Costs
In determining the cost of living in a neighborhood, the Internet offers you many research tools. For example, you can research the basics about areas in greater Houston by starting to click on parts of town such Downtown Houston, Sugar Land, or Cypress as listed in the Locations We Serve on every page. By supplementing the basic information you will find there with data you find on Wikipedia and real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, you can determine the cost of living in specific neighborhoods. You can also evaluate area schools to find out how they perform.
Equipped with the broader picture about the cost of living, you can make a better decision about the best property to rent in Houston. For information about specific 360 Realty Management properties, contact us today at 281.859.5959.