8 things you should do to prepare for your house

8 things you should do to prepare for your house hunt

The vacancy rate is at its lowest level since 2004, and in certain regions it is almost zero. Rents that continue to rise exponentially. New houses that are being built slowly. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) confirms: There is indeed a housing crisis in Quebec. And despite government programs to increase supply or subsidize rents, the problem persists. With this in mind, it is even more important for tenants in Quebec to prepare well before they start looking for an apartment in order to put all the odds on their side.

House hunting: 8 things you can do to prepare well

As with everything, preparation is essential to find an apartment that meets most of our criteria and needs, especially in the current situation. Are you looking for a new home? Here are 8 things you should do before renting an apartment to find your ideal accommodation.

  • Make your budget
  • In the current crisis, it is important to act quickly and effectively. Therefore, the first step is to create your budget. Where to start? As recommended by the Government of Canada, your rent and housing costs should not exceed 35% of your gross household income. To help you determine the costs associated with rent, here is a list of some expenses you should consider in addition to the rent amount:

    • public and telecommunications services (internet, cable, telephone, etc.)
    • Costs related to moving (rental of a truck, purchase of new equipment, etc.)
    • Household contents insurance for renters
    • other ongoing costs (parking, electricity, heating, snow removal, cleaning and maintenance, etc.)

    To further refine your search, you need to take the time to determine your selection criteria. How many parts do you need? Would you like to live on the ground floor with access to the courtyard or on the top floor without anyone stepping on your head? Do you need a parking space? What features are you looking for (terrace, brightness, storage space, etc.)? Prioritize your criteria because you will certainly have to make compromises. This will help you make a logical and informed decision!

    • Identify potential neighborhoods

    Based on your budget and criteria, you can identify the neighborhoods that have accommodations that meet your needs. Also consider the services offered, such as public transportation and proximity to shopping and entertainment options.

    • Monitor advertising sites and enable notifications

    Now that you have a better idea of ​​what you're looking for and which counties have potential properties, you can start your search. Classified websites like LesPAC, Kijiji and Louer.ca are good places to start. Don't forget to turn on notifications: you need to act quickly when a new property listing goes live. First come first serve!

    Given the high demand in the rental market, you should definitely use various sources of information when doing your research. In addition to personal listing websites, look at property management group websites and newspaper websites. You can also visit the neighborhoods you're interested in, look for “For Rent” billboards… and knock on the door!

    • Use your contact network

    More and more renters are using word of mouth and social media to find an apartment. Let your contacts know that you are looking for accommodation and encourage them to spread the word to those around them. You'll be surprised how far a Facebook post can go!

    • Prepare your application

    Given the low supply of housing, competition between tenants is fierce. Therefore, preparing your application well will give you a head start when applying for an apartment that interests you. Gather all the necessary documents to prove that you are a model tenant and to facilitate the signing of the rental agreement. Here's what you might need:

    • Your personal information with an identification document
    • References from your previous or current owner
    • Your consent to carry out a credit check or proof of your good payment habits

    Please note that before signing the rental agreement, the owner may conduct a pre-rental inspection, specifically by reviewing your credit file. To do this, you need your full name, your date of birth, your current address and your consent. Good payment habits to maintain good credit are therefore essential to increasing your chances of getting an apartment.

    • Prepare your visits and ask your questions

    Before viewing the homes you are interested in, make a list of questions to ask the owner. Is heating included? And what about services nearby? These are all questions that will help you determine if this is the perfect apartment for you. During visits, make sure you have a pencil and a notebook with you to write down any information that will help you make your decision and help you navigate multiple visits.

    • Act quickly but carefully

    Unfortunately, the housing crisis leaves tenants vulnerable to fraud and mistreatment by some landlords. Even if it is urgent for you to sign the rental agreement to formalize your rent, make sure that you comply with the rules of technology. Beware of fake ads on websites and illegal requests from malicious owners. A rental price that is too low should also be a warning signal. Find out about the rights and responsibilities of tenants to protect yourself!

    Household contents insurance, essential protection for every tenant

    Once you have found your apartment, you have to take one more important step before you can live there with peace of mind: take out tenants' home insurance. Why should you insure your apartment? This is the only way you can protect your movable property in the event of an insured event that causes damage to your home, such as a fire. In addition, renter's liability insurance can protect you if you are held civilly liable for damage you unintentionally caused to third parties, such as damage you might cause to your home or that of your neighbor. Your landlord's insurance won't protect you in these circumstances, so it's important to insure your apartment!

    Promutuel Insurance is here for Quebec renters like you!

    Promutuel Insurance has comprehensively protected Quebec renters like you for over 170 years. The local mutual offers customized home insurance for renters, all for a few dollars a month. At your side, she watches over your property and your civil liability so that you can enjoy your home with peace of mind.

    With this in mind: have fun shopping!