You’ve done it! You’ve found the perfect. Now comes the fun part: planning a move and organizing your budget. Although renting can be a great moving-saving choice, you’ll likely end up paying more than just rent. Here are a few common expenses to consider when renting a house.
Before you sign a contract, ask your landlord about the security deposit. When renting a house, most landlords require you to pay one or two months rent as a security deposit. This money is due when you sign the lease. When you move out, some or all of the money will likely be returned to you, depending on how well you care for the house. The security deposit covers the landlord by paying for any damage you might incur on the property. It also shows the landlord that you’re a responsible tenant.
This expense isn’t unique to renting a house, but it’s still something to plan for regardless. It costs money to move. Think of how much money you want to spend when you start making moving plans. On one end of the spectrum is hiring a professional moving company to pack, transport, and unload everything for you. It’s the easiest method but also the most expensive, especially if you’re moving a long way. On the other end of the spectrum, you can do it yourself or enlist a few friends to help. Even if you try the DIY version, you’ll likely still have to pay for moving boxes, packing materials, and the cost of renting a moving truck or getting pizza for the friends who are doing the work.
Which utilities you pay depends on your arrangement with the landlord. Some landlords don’t pay for any utilities, and some pay for a few like water and trash service. Consider yourself lucky if you find a landlord who pays for all utilities. You’ll likely have to pay for gas, electricity, and internet, plus whatever other utilities aren’t covered by your landlord. Before you move into the rental house, switch the utilities to your name and make sure they start working the day you move in. To help budget your monthly utility costs, try a utility calculator.for an online usage calculator.
You may have found a rental house with amenities, but those will likely cost you. Things like yard maintenance, parking, a pool, or fitness facilities are typically covered by an HOA fee. These fees are either paid monthly or quarterly. Some landlords may cover the HOA fee, but some leave it up to the tenants. Often, you are required to pay the fee even if you don’t use any of the amenities or facilities, so make sure to add it to your monthly budget.
Not every landlord or unit allows pets. Many that do allow small pets require that tenants pay an initial pet deposit or an additional monthly fee. Before signing the lease, make sure you’re clear about how much your pet will cost you. You can add it to your rent amount or make a separate place for it in the budget.
Just like you have car and health insurance, renters insurance is a powerful tool to protect you from disasters. Many landlords require their tenants to prove they have renters insurance before they sign a lease. In general, renters insurance isn’t very expensive, but the cost is based on the value of your belongings and the type of house you’re renting. The monthly fee covers your belongings if there is ever a fire, flood, or natural disaster. Shop around for renters insurance to get the best deal. Quite a few insurance companies will also offer discounts if you bundle renters insurance with other existing insurance policies.
Renting a house is a great way to potentially save money and avoid being responsible for major home improvements. However, it doesn’t come without additional costs. Plan ahead with these common rental expenses to make sure they’re covered in your budget.