If you are looking for a rental, there are a few things to consider.
1. You need to know when to look. - The best time to begin looking for rentals and more importantly, at a specific rental property that you like, is about 45 days in advance. The rental market typically moves faster than that of real estate that is for sale. It is very common that a property can go on the market and be rented before 30 days. We recommend getting to know the market area in which you are going to be looking, then become more serious in your search about 45 days out.
2. Know where to look. Many times real estate agents do not specialize in showing rental properties because there is no source of income for them in doing so. So, where can you look for rental properties on the Emerald Coast? We recommend visiting www.pensacolamls.com or www.emeraldcoasthomesonline.com.
3. Be prepared. When you are visiting a rental property that you are very interested in renting, be prepared to sign a leasing agreement on the spot, have a list of all tenants that will be living there, references and have the deposit ready. Because the rental market moves so fast, you need to be ready to secure the option that you are wanting.
4. Pets. This is something to consider when deciding to sign a long term lease. It is common that a pet fee may have to be made or there may be restrictions on how many pets you can have at the property, as well as what kind. This is not always the home owner's judgement but the insurance company's. There are certain restrictions and breeds of pets that they will not cover. This is something to make sure of when looking at a particular property.
5. Negotiation on a lease. Negotiating on a lease is not a common practice because rentals are typically priced to a standard that the area accepts. If a rental property has been on the market for some amount of time, then there may be a chance that the price can be adjusted.
5. Read the lease thoroughly. This is something that we always recommend on any contract or agreement that you sign. Know what you are being obligated to before you are obligated. :)