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Learning More About Real Estate

After finally saving up enough money to use as a down payment, I decided that it was time to hit the market. I met with a lender, got pre-approved for a loan, and then started visiting different properties. However, I quickly realized that I didn't know as much about real estate as I would have hoped. I wanted to find a great neighborhood and know what to ask the professionals, but I could tell that I needed a little help. To point me in the right direction, I started working with a great real estate agent who was familiar with the area. This blog is all about educating the general public on real estate matters.


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Learning More About Real Estate

Four Rental Myths To Put To Rest

by Nathan Olson

As you search for your next rental, you may come across information that is only partially true or even completely incorrect. Arming yourself with accurate information and being able to recognize false claims helps you make an informed decision about renting your next apartment unit.

1. Your rental payment history doesn't affect your credit history.

It's easy to see why this myth is so prevalent; in the past, your rental payment history had no effect on your credit score, unless your rent was severely overdue or your landlord sought a judgment against you. In 2010, Experian started including rental payment history in an individual's credit report.

For your positive payment history to help your credit, your landlord needs to report your payments to a major credit bureau. If your landlord does not report your payments, you can still use your positive payment history to your advantage by signing up for Experian RentBureau.

Experian RentBureau permits the electronic recording of your rent, even when your property manager does not report it.

2. You have to lock yourself into a long lease to rent a unit.

Though property managers may prefer a long-term lease, short-term leases are becoming more prevalent. Short-term leases are commonly found in areas with high rental demand and rising rental rates. Rental terms vary, but month-to-month leases and leases with terms less than three months are available.

Some landlords do not offer short-term leases because the expenses associated with frequently changing tenants are cost prohibitive. Consider offering to pay a higher monthly rent to offset the landlord's costs.

3. You don't need renter's insurance because the property manager has insurance.

The property manager does have insurance, but it only covers damage to the apartment building itself. Your property manager's insurance does not cover the residents' belongings. If a severe storm were to damage your apartment and everything inside of it, you need renter's insurance to protect your belongings.

Renter's insurance shields your possessions from loss due to theft, vandalism, or a natural disaster. It also provides liability protection in case someone suffers an injury in your home that you are held liable for.

4. Renting a condominium is the same as renting an apartment.

Though the two are similar, there are several important differences. A condominium is composed of numerous units, which each unit generally owned by a different owner. The condo association owns the exterior and grounds of the condominium. An apartment building is a structure where one individual or company owns the entire building and all of the units inside of it.

You can rent a condo unit just like you can rent an apartment. When you rent a condo, you might rent from the owner of the condo itself, or the owner can outsource rental responsibilities to a property manager.

One drawback to a condo is that condos have an association fee. This fee goes towards maintaining the grounds and paying for the condo amenities. This can increase the cost of renting a condo; however, for individuals who value amenities, the extra cost may be worth it.

Keep your rental knowledge up to date by realizing that commonly believed myths regarding renting are not accurate. With fresh information and a new perspective, you can find apartments in your area that you might want to call home.