Growing up, Easter morning activities were some of my favorite holiday memories. My parents would get up very early and leave a trail of M&Ms leading from our room to an Easter basket and then we searched the house to find the eggs. We used REAL hardboiled eggs for our Easter egg hunt and would eat them for breakfast. The downside to using real eggs was finding one of those eggs a couple months later; you can imagine the smell! If you are hunting for a rental home this Easter, how do you find one that will not stink after the first few months of living there?
The first step is figuring out what you want. Having a list will help you narrow down a pool of available rentals and prevent you from wasting time looking at houses that do not fit your criteria. Your list should look something like this:
Next, start your search. Pick up a few local newspapers and call the agencies in town (if you don't have access to the newspapers, an internet search of "real estate" and your new zip code will work too). Share the requirements you desire in a rental and they can tell you immediately if they have anything meeting your criteria, and if they do not, they now have your contact information in case anything new comes on the market.
Use websites like Militarybyowner.com and AHRN.com. I found more reliable rental listings (for example, when the description read "quaint home with unique landscaping", it didn't actually mean one bedroom with a yard that has been overrun by weeds and lawn ornaments) on these sites versus Craigslist.com.
Reach out to fellow military families. Many of the bases and posts have Facebook pages (as well as pages for their spouse groups), ask if anyone has or knows of any great places to rent. This way, you can get personal recommendations from someone who is renting and is about to move, or owns a place of their own they would like to rent. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a reliable rental. For example, we rented a house with a not so nice landlord; I WOULD not recommend anyone renting it. I would have loved to have this insight before we signed our lease. Reaching out to someone may also reveal homes that were not publically listed for rent. Some homeowners do not want to rent to just anyone, and will wait for that friend of a friend; which could be you!
By following the steps listed above you should be able to find a wonderful home to rent without the assistance of the Easter bunny! Please share in the comments your rental search experiences!
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