renting guide for beginners

How would you describe a place called “home”? 

As a renter, you would probably want comfort and security. Renting is one thing, but as reality kicks in, you’ll need to weigh your needs over your wants.  

Money becomes another matter when you are entering the phase of “adulting”. Being independent means that you are now entirely responsible for yourself. Along the way, you’ll need to learn how to maximize every peso from your pocket. 

Picking a rental space doesn’t just stop at looking at a particular property’s appearance. You’ll also need to consider the following factors: convenience, affordability, and the amenities available. 

With this, we’ll guide you through the most crucial steps and financial aspects in renting. Eventually, you might even find a true home amidst the busy city. Let’s begin with the first one:

Knowing Your Renting Responsibilities 

To ensure staying in good terms with the landlord of your chosen property, your responsibilities would look like this:

  1. Pay your monthly rent on time, according to the signed agreement. 
  1. Maintain the cleanliness and functionality of your space.
  1. Minimize backlogs so that you’ll still have enough time to accomplish your personal responsibilities. These include the household chores your parents or guardian used to do for you.

They say time is gold, and managing it wisely will surely save you in the long run. Productivity apps, browser extensions, and developing good habits can be your best of friends. They give you the freedom to customize and be creative when it comes to scheduling and organizing.

Learning Financial Literacy 

Real estate and financial literacy are things not normally taught in school. It may be overwhelming at first. Just imagine yourself as a swimmer. The only way for you to overcome the fear of the water is to learn how to swim.  

Becoming financially literate requires a clear understanding of budgeting, taxes, and investments — helping you maximize your money and minimize risks: 

  1. Budgeting 

Learn how to organize your money and precisely know how much you can spend. Calculate your expenses and indicate how much you should save. 

  1. Taxes 

Once you enter the corporate world, you are subject to income tax depending on how much you earn. Aside from this, there are also other types of taxes such as rental, inheritance, and investment taxes. 

  1. Borrowing 

It’s normal to need to borrow at some point if your savings don’t make the cut or you’d prefer to set it aside. You can familiarize yourself with loans and their interest rates. 

  1. Investments 

Investing is one of the pathways towards financial freedom. It grants you the opportunity to grow your money by storing it into a certain plan, service, or product. Examples of these are insurance, cash equivalents, and ownership investments such as real estate and stocks. 

  1. Personal Financial Management 

The market is constantly changing as prices dip and rise drastically. Being able to manage your finances means that despite these shifts, you can still maintain your savings and investments.

Finances in Renting 

While renting can help you save, this depends on how you critically separate your expenses, taxes, and utilities. This includes ensuring that the property you’ll choose is livable. 

There are more expenses other than rent alone. These are electricity bills, water bills, groceries, WiFi, and other emergency expenses that will come up later on. 

Amenity costs will be a huge portion as well. This may also depend on the rental space and your landlord. Visit the property and check if there are any damages that you may need to take into consideration.

Finding a home may be urgent, especially if you need to move in ASAP. However, it’s not enough to think short-term. You also need to be future-minded and consider the possible changes in the coming months or even years.

Are you able to sustain the monthly rent, given your available resources? Are you spending within the budget? List down and calculate your long-term budget.

The best deal with renting a room which grants you the opportunity of a more reasonable space is to maximize comfortability and affordability.

Getting Acquainted with Amenities  

Amenities make or break the renting experience. They dictate how you can adapt to a new lifestyle.

In the Philippines, most tenants look for the following: 

  • an air conditioner
  • in-room laundromats or washing machines 
  • a mini kitchenette
  • a desk or study table
  • a space-saving cabinet
  • furniture depending on one’s taste and room space

Aside from amenities, make sure to check the environment when visiting the property. This is to see if it would be a healthy and welcoming place to stay for the next months or years. 

If you own pets, inquire about your landlord’s pet policy. You can also survey if the room is pet-friendly to begin with. Also check if the walls and floor are prone to scratches that would cost you additional expenses. 

Know what the available amenities are to indicate what you will still need to purchase on your end.

Introducing the Legalities 

While property hunting, you may start gathering your basic documents, such as birth certificate and national identification card. Tip: keep them in a safe comportment folder to avoid getting it wet or lost. 

Indicate how long you’ll be renting a space. Will it be within months or years? This will signify what agreement that will be prepared as the main document. There are two kinds of agreements: 

  • lease agreement is a long-term legal document that contains what the landlord and tenant has agreed upon. It consists of the rules, benefits, obligations, monthly rental fee, and other agreements between the two parties. This can still be altered before signing, if ever the tenant has any concerns regarding the arrangement. 
  • rental agreement is also a legal document and can be altered, but is more focused on a shorter duration. It must be updated every month to extend the validation of the tenant’s rent. 

Carefully read through the contract before proceeding. For minors, you will need the approval of your parents or guardian first. Don’t forget to ask for an official receipt upon paying your fee. This will serve as a proof of the transaction when needed. 

Remember that you can file lawsuits for landlords who cross over boundaries. The same applies to you if you break what is indicated in your agreement. Signing a lease agreement verifies accountability as a tenant in caring for the property and amenities provided.

Final Points 

Understanding real estate and finances for a first-timer renter are indeed overwhelming. Learning the terminologies and systems while familiarizing yourself with “adulting” takes time. Eventually, you will finally get the grasp and will be able to stand on your own feet in independence! Thoroughly understanding this renting guide would grant you financial security in the long run.

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Sources:

Kenan, Jamia. “The Top Amenities Renters Are Searching For.” Apartments.com, 11 May 2021

Financial Literacy.” Financial Literacy, 22 Feb. 2021

Folger, Jean. “How to Read a Lease.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 17 Sept. 2021

 “7 Best Investments for Beginners in the Philippines.” Moneymax, 8 Oct. 2021

White, Marian. “Apartment Hunting? 10 Important Things to Consider When Renting.” Moving.com, Moving.com, 30 May 2017

The Philippines – Rd.go.th.” AseanTax – Philippines

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