find a rental

Writing about the real estate industry often coincides with searching for that perfect photo. For me, that can mean sifting through dozens of cheesy stock photos in order to find a gem. When I came across an article from Apartment Therapy on the home buying process according to stock photos, I couldn’t resist a good chuckle. It was so relatable.

For investors and renters alike, articles about the rental process can be full of the same ridiculous stock photography. Since new renters can always use a good walk-through on the process of finding a rental, and since stock photos clearly need a little help understanding the process, I’ve decided to put together a few tips and tricks on how to find a rental, according to stock photos.

Assess Your Budget:

Based on your monthly budget, assess your ideal rentals’ size, location, and pet-friendliness. Budgeting is the most important part of beginning your rental search; according to stock photos, this generally involves calculating all of your coins with a calculator and a spreadsheet. Feeling the physical weight of every penny, combined with the look of shock from your piggy bank, will offer you a sense of perspective and allow you to decide if you truly need that luxury rental amenity in the spendy downtown apartment complex.

Start the Search:

After you have found your price range and decided what features are most important, you need to start the searching process. You could look online, but it may be crucial to examine your local paper with a magnifying glass to ensure that any onlookers know how serious you are about finding your dream rental. Speaking of your dream rental, visualizing it can be helpful, but if you truly want to stand out as an applicant, find a 3D model of the rental you seek. If you use a broker or realtor or are searching for an apartment sight-unseen, then all you have to do is produce your model when you are asked what features you are looking for in a rental. If you find a good prospect, be sure to circle it with a purple highlighter, yellow is too garish after all.

The Application Process:

Finding that perfect rental is only half of the battle, you need to actually submit an application. Standing out from other applicants can be hard, so ensure you are well-dressed and have a fancy pen at the ready. You will impress your future landlord or property manager with your commitment to preparation. According to stock photos, the application process is very involved, and even includes blueprints of the rental to ensure you truly know what kind of property for which you are applying.

Moving In and Setting Up:

Move-in day can be stressful. You need to set up utilities and services in your name and change your mailing address. While there are a lot of tips and tricks you can follow to make move-in day easier, don’t forget to push your partner or roommate in a box across the room. It’s not truly home until you have done this with exuberance.


Getting Back Your Security Deposit:

Getting your security deposit back is something of which you need to be aware of throughout your rental term. After all, it is your responsibility, you need to focus on keeping things clean and maintained so that you aren’t charged when you move out. Don’t worry, however, deep cleaning is easy according to stock photos. Just gather all of your favorite cleaning supplies together and hug them close. Giving your cleaning tools the love and affection they crave is vital for the supplies’ effectiveness.


Thankfully, finding a rental isn’t quite as involved as stock photos might lead you to believe.  And while there are always tasks for which renters are responsible during tenancy, the main one, is enjoying your new home. Naturally, this process is easy if your roommate or partner just said something hilarious.



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