Last week I told you about some of the things to be careful of when renting a home. Now I’ll tell you how to FIND a home for rent. When you want to find a home for SALE, it’s pretty easy. Nearly all homes for sale these days wind up on the MLS system that agents check or Realtor.com somehow. If you can get signed up on a website, or have an agent log a search for you into the system, you’ll find out about almost all the homes for sale. It’s almost universal. Not so with homes for rent, unfortunately. It’s more of a hodgepodge of several places to check, with no one place having even a majority of the homes for rent.
The first would be to have an agent run a search on the MLS. But per my warning above, you are still going to be missing a LOT of the available rentals. The next place to check would be CraigsList.com, BUT you need to be very careful and watch out for scams where the “landlord” doesn’t really own the home at all. For more info check out my article from last week, or contact me for a copy of that article. A couple of other websites you can check are rent.com, trulia.com and hotpads.com. You will also need to check the classified section of the local newspapers and their websites, which would be thepress.net and hotcoco.com. Next would be calling all the local property managers and asking what properties they currently have available. And then on top of all that, you need to just drive around and look for “for rent” signs (and look at bulletin boards, too).
I know, I know.... This is a horribly inefficient way to do it. But following all my advice above is the only way to find the majority of homes for rent, and even then, you’ll still be missing some! Someday some website will have the vast majority of the rentals, but it hasn’t happened yet.
If you have questions on this or any other real estate topic, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). To search the MLS for free and view virtual tours of homes for sale, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty