I am a planner – almost to a fault. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to be aware of what I am getting into before I get into it – every last detail and aspect. That being said, I didn’t know how crazy I could drive myself when relocating to Orlando from New Jersey! I had rented plenty of times before, but understanding the rental process when moving to a new area was completely different. But I did it, and so can you!
When I first started looking into homes, apartments, and condos to rent, I was immediately overwhelmed. Orlando is such a big area, and there were so many listings to sort through. Then I got onto a review tangent, where I started reading every last review for every association or apartment complex. Reviews were important – but so easy to get lost in.
I immediately realized that I needed help and guidance. So after two weeks of driving myself crazy, It was apparent that I needed an Active Real Estate Agent in the Orlando area to help me. This is my first piece of advice.
Find a Realtor!
Even though I am a Realtor myself, my Uncle (Pete) has lived in the Orlando Area for 23 years. Not only am I incredibly lucky to have him in my circle, but being a Realtor himself….boy am I grateful! He immediately dove in – as any Realtor will.
Once I had the help of Pete – the hunt was made much easier. He was able to pull listings for rentals – most of which were private entities – not conglomerate apartments.
Speaking of – Conglomerate apartments are big down here in Orlando. Large companies buy up or develop apartment communities. I have noticed that they make it difficult to figure out pricing by face value. Most of these places have completely-online rental processes. By the time you get through the various pages, add up the rent, valet trash, cable, pet fees, etc., you cannot seriously take the rent’s face value on the home page. This experience helped us develop what we were really looking to rent (Smaller entities and private rentals). Not to be mistaken that these large conglomerates are bad – just not for myself and my partner.
My Uncle was also able to help identify what we were looking for by asking us great questions. Any great Realtor will do this – it is what I do with prospective tenants to narrow down a sometimes long list of options.
Speaking of pet rent – another difficulty when it comes to renting. Believe it or not, it can be difficult to find pet-friendly rentals. It can oftentimes cut the search results by 75%. Luckily we only had our one beloved feline (Pepper). If we had more than that or a couple of dogs, it would have been infinitely more difficult.
The process, itself…
After looking through listings with my Uncle, we found a rental that we were interested in. The biggest issue we had was that we were in NJ and had no time to get down to Orlando to look at the unit. Luckily enough, the Listing Agent for that particular rental was able to set up a virtual showing for us to view the Condo. (Something that we can do as well).
Once we were satisfied with the virtual tour, we went on to the actual application process. This was done completely through email and convenient payment options for the application fees.
A few short days later, we were approved, and the lease was prepared. We set up our physical move (head over here for good information about literally moving). The lease signing itself was scheduled for our move-in day (First months Rent and Security Deposit was given during this time as-well via Certified Checks). This process went smoothly and was near effortless.
If I was left to my own devices – this process would have continued to be overwhelming.
Since then, and tips!
Being a Realtor myself – I have definitely found much more information that may benefit you if you’re reading this article for advice. With my Uncle’s, my own, and others’ experience, we came across a few different things relating to short-term renting, alternative renting options, and other areas to look at when searching.
Short-term rentals can be hard to come by due to zoning in various neighborhoods. There are only a few areas where it is permitted for leases to be under 12 months. So when seeking a short-term lease, an alternative and popular option in AirBnB. With AirBnB, you can also discount for yourself general utilities that you may otherwise have had to pay. Yes, you may still pay more for this option – but it could even out depending on your weekly rate.
They are also furnished and generally maintained by the owner. (besides keeping the interior and home clean and in the condition you rented it).
Alternative places to look
RentalBeast tends to be a great place to find other rental options besides some of the other frequented apartment/rental websites. With a Real Estate Agent, we can search through the Multiple Listing Service – but on RentalBeast, you might be able to find additional options. This is accessible by agents or prospective tenants.
If you have any additional tips from your own experience – we’d love to hear what your rental process was like.
If you’re interested in learning more about moving to the Orlando and Central Florida area, please reach out! One of our Realtors can help answer any questions you have about the process.
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