Moving to a new town can be equal parts excitement and anxiety. One of the first hurdles to clear when moving is finding a place to live. That means confronting the classic rent or buy dilemma.
There are advantages to both renting and buying. Let’s be honest, though. Unless you are prepared to dive right in and fully commit to a specific town and neighborhood for at least a few years – and have saved enough money for a down payment – it’s more than likely that renting makes more sense for you.
When renting in Northwest Iowa makes sense
If you are moving from out of the region or from out of the state of Iowa entirely, renting a place before buying in Northwest Iowa should certainly be considered.
When moving to an unfamiliar place, renting can make your move a lot more simple. There’s less pressure, first of all. You aren’t looking for a medium or long-term home when renting. Finding an apartment means you’ll have time to do that once you arrive.
Plus, with an apartment or other rental type, you have an opportunity to get a feel for your new community, its neighborhoods and the amenities. This allows for a more informed buying decision down the road.
Renting also makes sense if you want to focus on saving money, too. Most financial advisers recommend spending no more than 30% of your monthly income on rent. Your savings will accumulate faster the less you spend per month in rent.
As soon as you have set your budget, you’re ready to begin your rental search.
Rural rental searches can get tricky
When moving to a largely rural area like the Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa, finding an apartment, townhouse or home for rent can get a little tricky. For one, the housing inventory is smaller and there is generally less variety in the options that are for rent.
However, with some understanding of how to find what’s out there – and a little creativity – you can find a great place to rent in Northwest Iowa.
See what you can find online
So you know you’re moving, but don’t know what types of rental housing are available. First step – head to the internet and do a quick, simple search for “for rent [name community you’re moving to]” or “[community name] apartments.” See what comes up.
Check media classifieds
Search for classifieds sections on local media websites, such as newspapers and radio stations. Many newspapers, for example, have versions of the classifieds that run in their print issues also up online. Some radio stations also have for rent and other classifieds on their websites.
In Northwest Iowa, be sure to check the following:
- Dickinson County News
- Estherville Daily News
- Spencer Daily Reporter
- Storm Lake Pilot Tribune
- Storm Lake Times
Call some of the numbers listed in the classifieds even if you don’t find a place to rent that fits your needs. That way you can ask someone for pointers on where you can find what you want in a rental. Some landlords in smaller communities don’t advertise. They rely on local word of mouth instead.
Get contact information for landlords
Speaking of landlords, you will want to get in touch with as many as you can to find a great apartment or other rental type in Northwest Iowa. If one landlord doesn’t have what you’re looking for, they may point you to someone who does.
Contact local chambers of commerce and ask for area landlord contact information. Many chambers will be eager to help someone new have a positive experience moving to their community.
Ask a real estate agent for help
You should also consider contacting real estate offices. Ask an agent if they can help you keep an eye on properties for rent.
In some cases, real estate agents may do this favor for you in hopes that you might contact them when you are ready to buy a home.
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Learn more about how you can move to our region and Get A Lakes Life of your own.