We don’t need to tell you that the rental market in Portland is sizzling right now. As summer fades, demand for housing is still as hot as those Portland summer days we have left behind. If you plan on moving to Portland, or upgrading your current rental situation, it’s best to start preparing to apply for a new rental now by doing the following:
Have your personal documents ready before you go to appointments, including your ID, driver’s license and social security card.
Make copies of your paycheck stubs and/or tax documents so we can know your sources of income, easily and quickly.
Prepare your work and personal references to be used during the background screening process. These references can also include past landlords.
Know exactly where you want to live in Portland as best you can. Familiarize yourself with neighborhoods so that the moment a new rental appears in your area, you can pounce on making an appointment for viewing!
And then….the Search.
This is the most competitive part, when you are vying with everyone else who is looking for a rental in this tight market. How best to search and win the rental race?
Search early and often! When it comes to rental hunting, old-fashioned hustle still pays off. Monitor Craigslist, local rental sites and classifieds, and call to make a viewing appointment as soon as one pops up that you might be interested in. Most landlords operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Looking directly at property management websites can often get you the first look at properties that have just been activated, before they hit the larger listing sites. For example, we list our new properties on our own website first, by keeping an eye on http://www.mainlander.com/portland-homes-for-rent, you will see our newest opportunities before they even get listed elsewhere.
Be ready to make quick decisions about a property. You don’t want to rush into signing a lease without enough information to make a good decision, so do as much research as possible ahead of time. If you’re hoping to negotiate on the rent, ask if it’s flexible when you set up the showing, or come to the showing with a number in mind that you’re willing to pay. Scope out the neighborhood before you view the apartment, condo, or home. Drive by at rush hour, or other times of day to learn about traffic flow and neighborhood activity.
Know your rental history. The last thing you need is to be on the verge of getting an apartment and have your application denied at the last minute after your landlord finds something he doesn’t like when conducting a rental history check. Save yourself the trouble by addressing any issues that might come up before you apply.
These tips won’t guarantee you’ll get the place of your dreams, but they definitely will help put the odds in your favor. Happy hunting!