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Charlotte Home Rentals: A Guide for First-Time Renters

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Charlotte Home Rentals: A Guide for First-Time Renters

The population of Charlotte, NC, is growing, and it's now over 900,000. More and more people are discovering the joys of this amazing city — but if you're looking for Charlotte homes for rent, it can be difficult, especially if it's your first time.

To overcome the challenges of finding a great place to rent, you have to be ready to look carefully, act fast, and ask a lot of questions.

Here's a guide to finding the perfect place for you.

What You Need to Decide Beforehand

Before you actually go looking for homes for rent, you need to decide a few things beforehand. These will help you narrow down your search quickly.

Your Budget

One of the very first things you should decide is your budget. If you don't decide that, you'll end up looking at homes that are far over it (or far under it, when you might want more) and wasting a lot of time.

Create a reasonable range for your budget that you can afford and stick to it.

What Do You Need vs. Want in a Home?

You need to have a list of the things you definitely want to see in any home for rent and the things that you want, but could live without.

If you do this, you'll immediately be able to see which houses to view and disregard the ones that don't have your absolute must-haves. You'll also be able to narrow down the search further by seeing if those homes also have the things you want, but wouldn't necessarily make or break a decision.

When deciding what you need in a home, consider your situation and anyone you might be living with. For example, if you have a dog, outdoor space might be a necessity.

Think About the Neighborhoods

Thinking about the neighborhoods in Charlotte you might want to live in is also critical to narrowing down your search. 

Take North Davidson, which is the art district. It has lots of murals, galleries, and studios, so it's perfect for creative people.

Then there's Dilworth, which has more green space but still keeps the buzz of the city in sight.

Do your research on the neighborhoods if you're a first-timer to Charlotte and, if possible, walk around them. The only way you can get a truly good feel for a place is to explore it yourself.

Things to Consider When Viewing Apartments

When you've got your budget sorted and know what you want in a home, it's time to view some apartments. Here's what to consider while you do look at Charlotte rental homes in person.

Check Everything Is Working

You should perform your own inspection by going around the apartment and ensuring everything is in working order — mainly the plumbing and electricity, which are crucial. Bring along a phone charger to plug in so you can check the outlets will work and make sure to run the taps to ensure the water is on.

Check Your Furniture Will Fit

If you're bringing your own furniture, you need to make sure you have the right space for it.

You can do this by measuring your items beforehand and then bringing along a tape measure to get a good idea of the space. Eyeballing it often isn't enough, as you may forget or things may be too close to make a call. Bringing a tape measure and a note of your furniture is the only real way to do it.

Check Out the Parking Situation

Your Charlotte rental home may have a dedicated parking space or the parking situation may be a little more difficult, requiring you to find street parking. If you have a car, then you need to check out the situation and make sure there's reasonable space for you to always park by your home.

Fortunately, it's never usually too difficult to find parking in Charlotte, but it never hurts to be sure. Over 275 million Americans own a car, yet not all of them remember to find a place for it before they move in!

Check Your Cell Reception

Another thing people often forget to do is check the cell reception in the apartment. This may not be important if you have WiFi, but if your WiFI is ever down or you have to wait a few days for it to be installed, you'll want to make sure you don't have to walk outside every time you need to make a phone call.

What to Do if You Think You've Found the Place

Have you found the perfect place? Great! There are just a few other things you need to do before you sign the lease and move in.

Read Reviews

84% of people trust online reviews as much as their friends and family, and there's a good reason for it. Online reviews are left (for the most part) by neutral third parties who can give you an honest account of dealing with a business. That's why it's critical to look up reviews for the company renting the home to you, if possible.

You can usually find these on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. This may not be the case with a private landlord so, if renting from one, you need to be wary. You can always ask for references from past tenants — after all, the landlord will definitely ask for references from you too and trust works both ways.

Consider Roommates

Now that you know the place you want to rent, and the price, you need to consider if you want roommates or not. You can find roommates online if you're new to Charlotte, though it's always best to practice proper safety precautions when moving in with anyone new.

Meet in a public place and take the time to get to know them.

Ask About Utilities and Other Bills

Although you know the rent price, you need to find out what's included in this and check what the other bills will cost you. You may be able to afford the base rent, but what happens when the other bills get added on to it?

Ask About Pets

If you have pets, you need to double-check they're allowed in the apartment before you sign anything. Find out what the pet deposit is and make sure your dog isn't on the restricted breeds list or too large for the apartment, as you may run into problems later if they are!

Read the Lease

Make sure you read the entire lease carefully. Many people skim and sign, facing problems later because they didn't truly know what they had agreed to.

What to Do When Moving in

Congratulations! You've signed a lease and are ready to move in. There are just a couple of other things you should do after moving.

Get Renters Insurance

Too many people skip out on renters insurance, which protects all of your belongings if there is ever damage to something like a fire. This can be invaluable and is relatively inexpensive. 

Take Pictures

When you move out of the apartment, you should get your security deposit back unless there's damage to the apartment that needs to be fixed. Sadly, some people will put the burden on the renter for upgrades to the apartment after they move out and keep their security deposit for a profit, claiming there was damage.

You can avoid being scammed by taking pictures of the apartment when you move in. When you move out at the end of your lease, you should then take pictures from the same angles again, confirming everything is the way it was when you moved in.

Ask What to Do if There's a Problem

If there's ever a problem with the apartment (say the water stops working or power goes out), make sure you know who to contact in an emergency. Most companies will have a phone number to reach out to, while private landlords may tell you just to shoot them a message.

This Is How to Successfully Find Great Charlotte Homes for Rent

Finding Charlotte homes for rent can be daunting, especially if you're a first-time renter who's just entering this world. Try not to rush the process, make sure you set a good budget, and ask all of the questions you need to do during the renting process.

The most important thing is ensuring you read the lease and understand what you're getting into when moving to Charlotte, NC.

Looking for a home to rent? Check out our listings, apply, and schedule a showing today!

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