Sometimes it is harder to rent a home in Northern Virginia than it is to buy one. Why?
First there is a very small supply of move-in ready townhouses and single family homes for rent. (Apartments and condos are more readily available)
Second, when you buy a home the seller only sees a loan approval letter from your mortgage company or bank. They do not see your credit score or how much money you make, nor do they see any referrals or lack thereof from previous real estate transactions you have been involved in.
So if a home seller gets 4 offers on his property, and all the terms are equal and everyone has a qualification from a lender for $400k....all competitors are on an even playing field.
When you rent a property, your financial life is laid bare before the landlord or property management company.
What this means is that even if you have great credit and income and can clearly afford the property...you can still lose because some other applicant HAS A BETTER INCOME AND CREDIT SCORE. The playing field IS NOT EQUAL from a financial perspective.
We listed a rental property not long ago and received more than 50 calls in 3 days...it was crazy. We quickly got 4 applications and our landlord client chose the most financially solid one.
On the flip side, we have had several clients that we are helping find a rental home....they have excellent income and credit...I MEAN EXCELLENT by any standard! But we have lost because competing applicants HAVE EVEN BETTER financials. It is truly amazing and hard for folks to understand.
Many of our rental clients are moving here from elsewhere in the country where rentals are plentiful and if you are breathing you can rent a property. Not so in Northern Virginia.
So if you are in the market for a rental townhouse or single family home in Northern VA, make sure that you start to look earlier than you had planned. Be prepared to make a decision and act quickly. If you have pets, your list of available properties just shrunk by half....yes it's true.
We showed many properties the first day that they came on the market, and they were gone that night or the next day.
Make sure that you have an application filled out in advance and in the hands of your real estate agent so she can shoot it over to the agent for the landlord ASAP. Don't act fast enough and you will lose.
Many properties require the security deposit in the form of certified funds as well as the application fee required to run your credit.
These fees run $35 to $45 per applicant on average.
So, be prepared for this and be mentally patient and diligent in your efforts.
It's a jungle out there.
Sam: By the way, do you try to make video and photo shows of different neighborhoods in Northern Virginia?
If so, let me see an example.You got Reston photos?
Steve: Here you go Sam, this one is about Reston Town Center