Renting a House – Where do I Start?

By Peter Sarmas on 12 Jul 2013
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Renting a House - Where Do I Start











It can be a big decision to move out of home for the first time. There are so many things to take into consideration – where will you start looking? Who are you going to move in with? What is expected of you financially?

Our regular Rental Blogs will explain the ins and outs of the rental process, from applying for a property to finding a housemate.

First steps: How do I find a rental property?

How you find a rental property will depend on your situation. Are you looking for your own place or a sharehouse?

To start with, think about the general area you want to live in. It will become clear that certain areas are pricier than others. The CBD and the suburbs immediately surrounding it will cost you more and possibly give you less value for money – considering you can find somewhere much more affordable 20 minutes out of the city. We all have different priorities, of course – you might prefer to live close to inner-city universities, public transport, nightclubs and restaurants. Our Suburb Profile, Community and Lifestyle sections can help you with this decision – they talk about each area in depth, and allow you to map out cafes, restaurants, schools and other amenities. Try not to be too specific when chosing an area, as you may miss out on a gem just outside your desired suburb. A good way to avoid this when browsing online portals is to check the “include surrounding suburbs” option. This will help broaden your search.

The main sites for rental listings in Australia are and You need to have a vague idea about what you’re able to spend on rent, but it’s advisable to browse through the listings on both sites a few times before you make any solid decisions – you need to get an idea of what is available in your price range in the area you want to live in. You may have to compromise in terms of the location, size or condition of the property to meet your budget.

If you’re looking for a room in a share house, , or might be the way to go. These sites are less formal – anyone can put up ads and respond to them, without the extra hassle of an agent. It may seem a little strange moving in with people you only know because they put up a free ad online, but it can be a great way to meet new friends. Just be careful. The internet isn’t inherently untrustworthy, it just provides more opportunity for shady dealings. Applying for share houses is like applying for job – don’t get your hopes up on one particular place, apply anywhere that could suit you. You can always turn it down later. Stay tuned to our Rental Blogs for more information about sharing rental properties and what you should look out for in a housemate.

Your social media network can be a useful source for properties and flat mates. Make sure to check Facebook and Twitter during your search. Friends of friends who are looking for a new housemate will often create events to advertise a vacant room in their sharehouse. Moving into a vacant room where you know one of the housemates can help you to avoid the awkwardness of moving in with complete strangers, and it also means your friend can vouch for you.

About the Author

Peter Sarmas is a Certified Property Investment Advisor (PIAA) and Vendor/Buyer Advocate. Before becoming the founder of Street News, Peter completed a Degree in Applied Science (Chemistry) and a Graduate Diploma in Property Valuations (Hons). Peter believes property investing is a major and potentially risky undertaking. In his view, everyone should have an independent person acting on their behalf when seeking property investment advice.

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