Six Steps to Leasing for Students
If you're like most students looking for a place to live, you're starting from ground zero, so head down to Step #1 below to define your requirements. If you think you've already found your dream property on Craigslist, we'll help you check it out (Step #3 below), compare it to similar properties, and make sure what may sound too good to be true really is the deal of a lifetime. Did you and your friends already hand pick the apartment complex you want to live in next year? Great, we'll help you get the best deal and be your advocate through every step of the process. Skip to Step #4 and call us right away to get the process started.
Step 1. Defining Your Requirements
The first step in the leasing or pre-leasing process is to determine YOUR list of requirements. What is your budget? After all, you need to be able to afford the new pad. What area of town suits you best, West Campus, Hyde Park or somewhere off the beaten path? Do you want to live near the cheerleaders or next to the law students? Do you want to walk to class, take the bus, or brave parking? What type of property appeals to you most, a house, duplex, condo or apartment (big or small complex)? Will you have roommates? Do you actually want roommates? (Oops - we don't really need to know that.) How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? Do you have any other requirements, pets or pools, garage or gym, closet-space or clothes washer and dryer? Once you've prioritized your most important criteria (you might want to fill out our Leasing Wish List for Students), you're ready to start the search for your ideal property.
Step 2. Searching for Properties
It's time to begin your search. And since there is this cool thing called the Internet, you don't need to drive all over just to get an idea of what your options are. CarvajalGroup.com is a great place to start. Click on search properties, select the "Leases" box on the left-hand side and the property types you want to consider on the right-hand side, and you're off to the races. You'll see all of the properties that meet your requirements with detailed information, pictures, virtual tours and more. Then save your favorites to your shopping cart. If you're not big on searching online or you just don't have the time, we're okay with that too. But you'll need to contact us - we don't have our psychic links perfected yet. Call us at 512.419.7770 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know all of your requirements and we're happy to find potential properties for you.
Step 3. Finding Your Ideal Property
Now that you've narrowed down your list to a handful of good matches (after throwing out that property that looks like it was last updated in 1920 and all the others you just didn't like the look of for one reason or another), it's time schedule showings with your agent. Great properties lease fast! We schedule showings within 24-48 hours of your call. And you can look at as many properties as you want, even with the higher price of gas these days. Pictures are one thing, but you'll want to see your prioritized properties in person, take notes and compare. Which property best suits your needs? Did the nice looking Persian rug in the picture actually just cover a giant hole in the floor or does the place have just the character you were looking for? Remember, this is likely where you'll live for the next year or more. Don't settle, take the time to find the property that's right for you.
Step 4. Submit Your Lease Offer or Apartment Application
All of our work has paid off, you've found THE ONE and now you want to make sure you get it. Once you've found your ideal property, call us and we'll print out a lease offer for houses/duplexes/ condos or rental application for apartments. Credit and background checks will likely be completed during this part of the process, so let your agent know up front if there are any issues that may arise. We've got the connections and hookups to help you get through ALMOST anything. If you're leasing an apartment, you'll typically need picture identification, your social security number and a co-signer unless you can show proof of a steady income (like your past three monthly paystubs). You'll also need information about yourself and your rental history for the application, and you may be required to pay a non-refundable rental application fee (typically less than $50) at this time.
Step 5. Sign Your Lease, That's right.
It's time to sign on the dotted line! Leases are binding contracts, so we'll want to make sure to go over the fine print. What day of the month is your rent due and is there a grace period? Who should you contact for repairs? Will your lease automatically renew without written notice? You'll need to pay any necessary deposits and often the first month's rent. When everything is signed and the deal is done, file a copy of your lease somewhere safe to refer to later.
Step 6. Walk-Through and Move-In
Want that deposit back? Before you move in, you walk through the property and note any issues. We'll make sure you submit the appropriate form so your landlord will make any immediate repairs necessary and so that you won't be held responsible for any major flaws upon move out. Finally, it's time to unpack your boxes and enjoy your new digs!