Looking to Rent a New Home? This May Be the Most Important Question to Answer First

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  • You may want to rent a new home if your rent is going up or your landlord is difficult to deal with.
  • Before you sign a new lease, you'll need to make sure you can swing the cost of a move.
  • Don't forget that you'll also likely need to pay a deposit for a new rental.

One benefit of renting a home rather than owning one is getting more flexibility when it comes to things like moving. When you rent a home, you're free to leave once your lease expires. 

When you own a home, you're not contractually obligated to live there. But you are required to keep paying your mortgage loan until that debt is whittled down to $0. And while you could always sell a home you no longer want to live in, the process of doing so can be lengthy and complex.

You may be inclined to find a new rental for a number of reasons. Maybe your rent has just gone up and you're not interested in paying more. Or maybe your landlord tends to be slow to respond to maintenance and other issues, and you're looking to rent from someone who's more on top of things. It may even be that you're fine with the amount of rent you're paying and have a perfectly nice landlord, but you're simply ready for a change.

There's nothing wrong with picking up and moving. But you'll first need to make sure you can afford the cost of a move.

Is moving within your budget?

The average cost of a local move is $1,250, according to Moving.com, while the average cost of a long-distance move is $4,890, assuming a distance of 1,000 miles. These estimates also make the assumption that you're moving about 7,500 pounds worth of stuff.

Now, the amount you'll spend to move will hinge on a number of different factors, including how much furniture and belongings you have and where you're moving to. Moving rates can sometimes also be higher in cities, the logic being that it takes longer for a moving truck to navigate city streets than suburban roads that don't tend to be as filled with traffic. So you'll need to get estimates to see what costs you're looking at.

From there, you'll need to see if paying for a move is feasible. If you're quoted $900 for a move and you have 12 times that amount sitting in your savings account, then you may have the option to simply dip in and make your move happen. But if money is tight, a move may not be doable.  

Also remember that when you move into a new place, you might have to give your landlord a security deposit as well as your first and last month's rent. You might be able to come up with that security deposit by getting your old one back from the landlord whose home you're moving out of. But it could be a struggle to come up with the remaining funds. 

Think carefully before signing a new lease

You may be motivated to ditch your current place and rent a new home in a different area or that comes with better amenities. But before you do, make sure it's financially feasible. You really don't want to go into debt over a move unless you absolutely have no choice but to get out of your current rental.

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