HOUSING AND LODGING OVERVIEW
Housing availability, location and cost are always key factors to consider when relocating to a new region of the country or even if a family is just moving across town. The Albuquerque Metro area has affordable homes, as well as other long term and temporary lodging, available at very reasonable prices.
When compared to other metropolitan areas in the United States that have roughly the same population, Albuquerque Metro and the surrounding communities have lower mortgage rates and the rent costs are considerably reduced.
Those wanting a new home specifically built to suit their needs will find many professional contractors and construction companies in the area to do the job. Individuals or families that are in town on lengthy business trips can find extended stay suites and corporate housing readily available. For a more temporary stay, there are many fine hotels that have friendly and knowledgeable staff willing to meet the needs of their guests.
As more and more people call this area home, or just stop by to visit, the housing and lodging market is expanding to meet the demands of the growing population.
APARTMENTS, CONDOS & TOWNHOMES
Albuquerque is a city that is continually growing and expanding. With this growth comes a wider range of choices in living arrangements, compared to even a few years ago. New construction is taking place across the Metro, and more and more older homes and apartments are getting remodeled and updated with the latest styles and amenities.
Albuquerque offers many housing styles to choose from including apartments, condos and townhomes. While most people are clear on what an apartment is, the definition of condo and townhome need to be discussed briefly.
A condo, in its simplest definition, is an apartment that is individually owned while a townhome is a house that is attached to one or more similar units. Usually those living in either of these residences belong to a homeowners association to which dues are paid. These associations set rules and regulations which homeowners must follow and they also usually take care of exterior and common area maintenance.
Some people may argue that condos or townhomes lack certain privacies or amenities such as large yards, but they can not dispute the fact that even though homeowners associations charge dues, they help create an easier lifestyle by taking away the hassle of outside chores.
Like with any living situation, there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument and the ultimate choice of whether a condo or townhome is right for your family is left up to you.
Choosing a home is never easy. Thankfully, Albuquerque offers so many choices that searching can actually be fun and exciting.
Consider what your budget will allow you to afford. An easy formula to use is no more than 30 percent of your take-home monthly income should go towards rent. If your budget doesn’t leave any other option open, or if you prefer, look for a roommate. Most classified sections will have an area for people looking for roommates. Be very specific on what type of roommate you are looking for though.
Make a list of your previous five addresses and landlord phone numbers, your employer and length of employment, your current salary and other income, as well as personal references and keep them on hand. If you have a current copy of your credit report you may wish to include it with the rental application. The idea is to stand out among other applicants as much as possible.
The enlistment of a rental agent can help you narrow your search if you are pressed for time or are otherwise overwhelmed. These agents generally charge a fee so if you can avoid using them it is advisable to do so.
Finding a New Place
When searching for a new home or apartment to rent there are several resources available to assist you. While the internet is a good source of information, do not overlook other means such as local newspaper classified ads and property management offices. Don’t forget to contact real estate companies as local agents have a good idea about housing availability.
Some landlords do not advertise and instead rely on the old fashioned “For Rent” sign in the window or front yard. With that in mind drive around the neighborhoods you feel are suitable for you and your family and look for these signs. Although this may be a little costly in terms of fuel and time, it allows you to get a good feel of the neighborhood before moving in.
When you have found a property you are interested in there are a few important things to be mindful of before deciding on whether or not to rent.
When looking at a potential residence always carefully inspect the property. If there is any damage evident not only ask for it to be fixed, but also ensure you will not be blamed for it. It is also a good idea to see what the landlords responsibilities are going to be. Be sure to get it in writing what issues he will take care of and what he will not.
If you are looking at renting an apartment, inspect common walls (walls shared with adjoining apartments). The more walls in common, the greater the chance of noise from next door. Also, consider a common entrance in terms of how much privacy you may want.
Be sure to understand what amenities such as enclosed parking or a garage, a yard, storage, laundry facilities, pool, tennis, gym or concierge services are available to you.
Look at the Lease
Before you sign the lease take into consideration everything in the paperwork. Make sure you understand it and do not be afraid to ask questions. If something is not covered in the lease that you would like, ask if it can be included.
If you find an apartment you love but it is out of your budget, ask if there are duties you can take on to lower your rent. Some examples are cutting the lawn, sweeping common areas or taking deliveries. If you find an apartment but it lacks services such as utilities, laundry facilities, cable TV and Internet access, ask the landlord to provide some at no charge. It might seem like a stretch but many newer apartment complexes will. Offering to sign a longer-term lease or give a higher security deposit in exchange for more services is also another option.
It is very important to examine your lease in detail. How much notice is required prior to moving, how large of a deposit do you have to make, how much cleaning is required upon leaving to get your deposit back, and other provisions. The time period of the lease is another major factor. Is the lease month to month, or a 6- or 12-month period?
Find out what kinds of personal touches you can make, such as painting walls, or structural changes, such as adding shelving or putting in nails so you can hang pictures.
If you really like the home ask for a lease with an option to buy if you’d be interested in purchasing the property in the future.