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We have helped hundreds of tenants find homes since 2005 and we can help you.
We have put together the following 5-Step process to help you get the best home possible with the least amount of stress and hassle!
Feel free to call any time for immediate help
UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS:
APARTMENT or PRIVATELY OWNED (HOUSE, TOWNHOUSE, CONDO)
Apartments will have a consistent condition, potentially lower deposits, though the rental amounts can be relatively higher, and simpler tenant evaluation methods. Apartments tend to be more accepting of applicants with lower credit scores. They have quick turnaround on requested property repair with onsite maintenance staff. Apartments will have greater population density with greater potential for noise.
Privately Owned Condos, Townhouses, and Houses tend to offer a less dense living arrangement and more family oriented lifestyle. The Move-in funds can include the first month’s rent, security deposit that can be equal or twice the amount of rent, pet deposit ($250 -$1000), and a deposit for the association key ($100 – $150) to open the pool, clubhouse, or gym. The condition, the investment objective, and response to repairs can vary greatly among the different owners. Families who spend a lot of time at home tend to gravitate to privately owned homes and the lifestyle they offer.
OUR CLIENTS HATE APARTMENTS!
(The steps that follow are specific to renting a privately owned home.)
STEP 2 - prepare Your ApplicatioN (Start early)
PRESENT YOURSELF, FULLY. AIM FOR THE LANDLORD 2.5:
The application process tends to be the most surprising element of the rental process. While other tenants are submitting 1 or 2 page applications only to learn about the process "as they go", you should include a lot more so the landlord can evaluate you and give you feedback quicker. You'll be much more competitive.
- Application to Rent
- Fill out every space completely and neatly.
- Every occupant over 18 must fill out a separate form.
- Credit Report with FICO Score
- I recommend going to www.freecreditreport.com, or a site just like it. Here you will want to pay to get all your FICO scores so that you can review it BEFORE anyone else does. If you allow the landlord to run and review your credit report before you are aware of its strengths and weaknesses, you will be at a disadvantage.
- Recent Pay Stubs – Last 2 months.
- Bank Statement – Last 2 months.
- Letter of recommendation confirming the following:
- On time rent payments.
- The property was left in good condition.
- The landlord would rent to you again.
- Family Picture
- Landlord’s can’t ask for this, but you can give, and they love to see families.
- Valentine – Don’t be afraid to express your love – for the home!
- I find it very helpful to take pictures of your current living environment to let the landlord know how well you can keep up a house.
- Have a PET? Include a picture of him/her, along with the breed name and weight – preferably taking a nap in its own bed.
Some of these items can take time to get, so get started early!
DETERMINE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.
Start by filling out this questionnaire:
- When do you need to move into something? (Do you have a flexible time period?)
- Location - the city, neighborhood, school boundary where you want to live?
- Home specifications:
- Interior space
- Condo/Townhouse/Single family Residence?
- Garage? # of cars?
- Levels? 1,2,3…
- Anything else that is important to you.
- How many?
- What is your rental budget?
- Any thing else? The more specific, the better…
There are three effective methods to find rentals:
- Search on Craigslist
- Search on MLS Fed Websites.
- Receive automatic emails of new listings direct from the mls. With your specific criteria, we will set up a custom listing email alert so that you can stay on top of homes as
Craigslist posts a lot of ads from owners, agents, and scammers from all over the country. It can be hard to know the quality level of a listing. Anyone can post anything, and leave for as long as they want. You may find duplicate postings, or posting for homes that have already rented, as well as homes that don't exist.
MLS Fed Websites are numerous. Depending on your preferred user interface, you may choose one over another. Realtor, Trulia, OC Register, Zillow, etc. There are strict procedures for listings on these sites. You won’t find repeat or old postings – usually. The listings are updated as the real estate agent updates the MLS. Sometimes a “leased” update isn’t done until after they accepted money, or the tenant moves in. This also means that some listings that show "active" have already committed to a tenant. Many renters are frustrated with these sites as they don't have fields for searching for pet friendly homes.
Automatic Email Alerts WE CAN HELP WITH THIS! These MLS Email Alerts work great after you’ve determined your ideal home. Listings are emailed within minutes, if not seconds of a listing coming on the market or being revised - price change or other term. Email alerts are highly recommended to stay on top of the market and ahead of other tenants. We can set them up for specific neighborhoods, school areas, zipcodes, and for owners who like pets!
Typically, you'll find a handful of homes that match up, and usually as a new listing comes on the market, once of the ones you found comes off. Your menu of options will always be limited.
Apply to ALL that you’d be happy living in and pick your favorite from the ones that have accepted you.
STEP 5 - ACCEPTANCE & Move-IN Funds
Plan to pay for the first month's rent and possibly a bit more if the move in date is not at the beginning the month. Security deposits are typically a little more than the first month rent. Rent and deposit amounts can sometimes be negotiated based on the strength of your application and the market.
For a sample of the lease agreement and other forms, please email me and I will send you copy of the standard lease, disclosures and move in inspection.
As soon as you receive feedback that the landlord wants you to be their tenant, get ready to sign the lease paperwork and deliver the move in funds usually by cashier's check.
Step 6 MOVE IN
After you receive the fully executed lease agreement – signed by you and the landlord – contact the utility companies to switch the service in to your name. Just prior or upon moving in to your new home, fill out the Move-In / Move-Out Inspection form so that you can protect your deposit upon vacancy. Photos and video are also recommended to properly account for the condition of the home so that it can be used as a reference point when you move out.
Call or email and we'll help you out - for free!
Call or email and we'll help you out - for free!
Look below for recent feedback!
My recent experience finding a place to live could have not been made possible without the help and assistance of Mr. Greg Wakeham. Before the holidays in 2020, I decided to purchase a home in Orange County, California and was waiting to close. I resides in San Diego, California at the time and I figured everything was moving forward in the right direction. I took an out of state trip for the holidays when I was notified the purchase of the home fell through due to demand for higher down payment and interest rate. At that time, I had already packed out my household goods and moved out of my house in San Diego. I bécame frantic and needed to find a place to live by the 1rst of January 2021. I came across a listing on Zillow with Mr. Greg Wakeham’s name as the listing agent. I reached out to Mr. Wakeham and he was very responsive. Unfortunately, the listed residence had already accepted an application. However, Mr. Wakeham took the time to understand my needs and look for a fitting home. Mr. Wakeham visited several locations in a matter of two to three days and took video of each place for me. Subsequently, a nice place fitting my needs became available. Mr. Wakeham wasted no time reaching out to the listing agent and did a phenomenal job getting the listing agent and landlord to lease the residence to me. I am sure there were several other interested people, but Mr. Wakeham submitted supporting documents and providing the landlord everything they needed. Mr. Wakeham is very responsive and professionals at what he does. I am very pleased with his work and help. He looked out for y best interest even pointed out several items that needed repairs or attention. I highly recommend him and will refer anyone looking for a residence to Mr. Wakeham. - David N.
Greg Wakeham provided outstanding service from the very beginning – and it did not end with the complete sale or rental! I was lucky enough to work with Greg both for my rental and my home purchase. He saved me lots of time by visiting the various locations himself and sending me video footage with his commentary. Greg paid attention to my preferences and requirements, and he was able to help me narrow down the selections with those in mind. I learned to trust his feedback – he wasn’t afraid to give some pushback to my thoughts, and he seemed to always be right! Even after the completed rental and home purchase, he continued to check in and offer recommendations for handymen, movers, contractors – even how to deal with my landlord, etc. I would not only utilize Greg for any future needs I personally have, but I would wholeheartedly endorse him for any of my friends and colleagues! - Maren
Selling a home can be a stressful process, but trying to sell during a pandemic adds a whole other layer of anxiety. However, Greg Wakeham was a great agent for us to work with. He kept the process moving forward and the stress levels to a minimum with his calm demeanor. He worked to ensure that we were comfortable with all the steps in the process, and adjusting things as needed based on the current circumstances. Greg was clear from the beginning about his working values and he stuck true to those. Greg helped us find our new home and went above and beyond the duty of an agent to have it move in ready by our date. We highly encourage anyone looking to buy or sell who wants an agent that will be upfront and honest about the process, while taking great care of you, to work with Greg Wakeham. - Brittany & Alan
“Greg was instrumental in my search. He was very involved in all stages of the search while allowing me to have full discretion on all decisions. He spent time understanding my situation and proposed a number of options, including visiting and recording videos of the properties for me to view from home. Once I found a place that I liked, he handled the application process end-to-end, highlighting my application to the landlord. Greg was extremely responsive, and I felt that he had my best interest in mind at all times. I will definitely reach out to Greg again next time I need to move" Thanks, Alberto