Guide for Home Rentals and Condo Rentals

Home and condo rental tips improve your rental search experience and results. Read a helpful guide on home and condo rentals in your area today.

Affordable housing is a priority whether you are single, married or have a family. Home and condominium (condo) rentals are available at affordable prices. To secure an affordable rental you must first know where to look and how to increase your chances of standing out to the property owner or landlord. Continue reading this helpful guide for home rentals and condo rentals in your area today.

What Does the U.S. Rental Market Look Like Today?

Homes and condos are available for rent across the nation. The housing market had been in flux, and even a crisis, since early 2020. Thankfully, the market in 2021 is at least growing. The phrase “at least” is used because the market, while experiencing growth, is still not completely meeting rental demands. What does this mean and how does it impact your rental search? 

Home and condo rentals are an integral part of the U.S. housing market and overall economy. Bipartisan infrastructure bills are in the works to essentially “heat up” the U.S. rental-based economic sectors. While waiting on answers, however, U.S. consumers still need affordable housing as much as landlords need reliable renters. The problem is, rent prices in some areas are increasing faster than wages. This creates additional competition between tenant candidates vying for the best, most affordable rentals on the market. Having all your information, documentation and references in perfect order has never been more important than it is today pursuant to increasing your chances of landing the perfect rental unit for you/your family. It is also vital to be flexible about location and have your deposit and first-month’s rent money saved in advance. 

How to Find the Right Home or Condo Rental for You

The first thing to do is to start with yourself. Your household finances and budget must take top-priority when assessing the type of rental home or condo best suited for you. Renting beyond your financial limits, especially with the rental market as-is today, could pose a huge risk. This means compromises might have to be made in other areas, such as exact neighborhoods, room counts or types of amenities. Once you have your budget completely, accurately, and confidently assessed, it is time to begin searching within your preferred neighborhood(s). 

Look for homes or condos in these neighborhoods, which are renting for prices within your budget - not above. Also search for homes or condos in your preferred neighborhoods, which are renting at prices below your maximum budget limits. Compare the features between the differently priced options regarding room counts, locations, amenities, and anything else important to you. You might just find an option you like for hundreds of dollars less per month if you are willing (and able) to be flexible with your choices.

Get Organized and Use Online Resources to Help Your Search

Popular and effective online search and organizational tools are also available to assist you in locating the perfect rental home or condo. For example, offers downloadable checklist templates you can use to keep your rental process organized, compare pros and cons of different rental options and more. Companies such as Craigslist, and Zillow are reliable, trusted resources used to find home and condo rentals. RentHop, Trulia, RentMLS and RENTCafe´ are also excellent resources to assist you in your search.

Ask Questions - Things You Need to Know

Be certain to tour and inspect every home or condo you consider. Ask questions about utilities, water pressure and prior repairs and renovations done to the building. Ask about amenities and hidden charges in the lease. Never sign a lease you are not comfortable signing. Hire an attorney to review your lease if you feel it is necessary. Conversely, however, if you know for certain you have found the best option for you, take quick and decided action to secure it.

Additional Steps

Use word-of-mouth resources such as friends, family, and coworkers to get information on different neighborhoods and rental prices. If necessary, hire a realtor to help you find the best home within your budget. Begin your search at least sixty days in advance of your necessary move-in or move-out date to ensure you have enough time to make the best decisions without duress. Use both old-school mediums (local newspapers, grocery store bulletin boards) and modern options (social media, chats, forums, etc.) to maximize your search potential and results. Finally, do not be afraid to negotiate prices and terms with landlords. If you have a deposit and two-month’s rent ready to spend, you might have more bargaining power than numerous other tenant candidates.

Home and Condo vs. Apartment Rentals - Amenities and Benefits

Condos tend to be rented in multi-unit buildings, like apartments. Condos are often affiliated with a homeowner’s association (HOA). HOAs impose certain rules and restrictions on tenants. They also charge fees above and beyond your monthly rental price. HOAs also help ensure the quality, safety and enjoyability of the building and property, however. Condos require little maintenance tasks from tenants, making living in a condo more convenient. While many amenities are often shared, they also tend to be of a high quality. Condos tend to be of higher quality than many apartments as well. This is not always the case, however, especially when it comes to high-rise and luxury apartments.

Renting a home gives you more privacy, even if in a duplex-type building structure. Home rentals also tend to allow for more freedom and flexibility when it comes to decorating, painting and more. Homes generally have more storage than condos or apartments as well, making them well-suited for families or people with large pets. Of course, in exchange for these benefits you are likely to pay more monthly rent for a home. Additionally, most landlords renting out homes require tenants to perform almost all their own maintenance (within reason). Some rental homes are also available as rent-to-own properties, and most have yards or other outdoor features many condos and apartments do not. 

Prices, Additional Amenities and Living Experience

National average rental prices in 2021 are approximately $1,663 for one-bedroom units and $1,949 for two-bedroom units. Rent prices are commonly higher for homes than they are for condos, but again this is not always the case. Higher-quality condos with exceptional amenities might cost significantly more than even larger homes in less affluent neighborhoods. Rental prices also vary per state.

Rental amenities such as included appliances, included utilities and allowance for pets are common. Condo rentals might include tennis courts, swimming pools, elevators, cable, and security. Home often includes front and back yards, and additional amenities such as:

  • Ceiling fans.

  • Central AC and heating.

  • Proximity to parks and playgrounds.

  • Neighborhood watch groups.

  • Proximity to schools, police, and fire stations.

The living experience in a condo rental is community-oriented in different ways than the living experience in a rental home. Whereas tenants living in rental homes might develop relationships in block-based, neighborhood-based, or town-wide communities, condo communities tend to be more building-inclusive. Condos still offer privacy and a high quality of living, but often have less storage and shared living spaces. Home rentals offer even more privacy and the freedom to live more aligned with your preferred lifestyle, albeit sometimes in exchange for higher rental prices.