I think looking for rentals is super fun. There's no pressure to know how many bedrooms you'll need in 10 years, or if you can live with those small closets for the long haul. Renting is a low-commitment way to try out different layouts and set ups and appliances to get a really good idea of what you do and don't like in your home.
And since this is our second time rental shopping in under a year, and fourth time overall, we're also getting kind of good at it!
Here's our list of needs/wants/dealbreakers for this time around:
- A dishwasher
- 3 bedrooms
- Lots of storage!
- Good lighting in kitchen for food picture purposes
- In a safe/walkable neighborhood
- In-unit washer/dryer, preferably on the main floor
- AIR CONDITIONING (has your phone ever gotten too hot and completely stopped working? that's pretty much exactly what happens to me when I overheat.)
- Room to have people over
- Nice outdoor area (patio/backyard)
- A fireplace
- More than 1 bathroom (we've had 1 for all of our marriage. It is sometimes a problem.)
- Kitchen open to main living area
- Carpeting. We have (very old) original hardwoods in our current apartment and I KNOW THIS IS UNPOPULAR but I'm over them. Give me the soft carpet, please. At least in my bedroom.
- A basement
- Smoothtop range (coils are annoying to clean and gas scares me.)
- NOT honey oak cabinets (I have to edit out their orangey hue from pictures.)
- A cockroach infestation (this happened.)
- No bathtub
- Former smokers
- Property owner not showing up for our scheduled viewing (this also happened.)
If renting has taught me anything, it's that you can make anywhere work for you and feel like home, but I think it's always good to have a basic framework of things you do and don't want when assessing if you want to live somewhere! Our list has changed and lengthened with each rental, so we're thinking our fourth one will be our best one yet!