The estimated home value in Spokane, WA is around $250,000. This steadily rising number includes the price for condos, too!

If you’re not ready to buy your own place, why not consider renting a condo? You can live in a gorgeous, well-maintained space without the big cost or longterm commitment.

If you’re ready to begin your search for the perfect Spokane condo, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on for our top 7 tips for condo-hunting in Spokane!

1. Know Your Budget

The rental market is filled with listings for all budgets. It’s best to take into account your personal budget before you set off in search of the perfect condo. Why?

Imagine laying eyes on the condo of your dreams only to discover it’s out of your price range. This may taint your view of other (perfectly lovely) condos you view that are in your price range.

If you’re not sure how to decide on a budget, we suggest the “income divided by three” rule. Your household income should come out to at least three times your monthly rent payment.

2. Use a Trusted Rental Site

Because condos are usually owned by individuals, it can be harder to track down good offers. Not all condo owners work with property management companies or rental sites that verify all information before listing. You don’t want to run into a deal that is, in fact, too good to be true.

We recommend sticking to a rental site that does a lot of the background work for you. At R.H. Cooke, our real estate agents ensure that every listing is transparent from feature descriptions to pricing.

3. Separate Your Wants From Your Needs

It’s important to know what you want in a condo. It’s more important to know what you need.

For example, if you have a pet, you need to eliminate listings that don’t allow pet ownership before you start visiting condos. You may even want to look at pet fees to make sure that they’re within your budget.

Remember that your needs should come before your desire for an in-unit washer and dryer or a recently remodeled kitchen. With help, you may even be able to find a condo that checks every box on your “needs” list and your “wants” list!

4. Read Before Signing

When you’re renting a condo, you need to make sure you read the lease and, if you can, the owner’s association rules and regulations. Under most circumstances, it will be up to the owner to take on any liabilities imposed by the owner’s association. However, they may include stipulations in the lease that put that responsibility back on the renter.

For example, you should find out if there are move-in or move-out fees and if you are responsible for paying them in full. You should also find out basic rules including noise regulations to ensure that the condo will suit your style of living.

5. Clarify Any Questions

Unsure about some of the lease’s stipulations? Ask the owner or real estate professional you are working with to clarify.

It is up to the owner to make all rules that apply to the renter clear. It is up to the renter to abide by those rules or face penalties. It’s best to make sure you and the owner are on the same page before you sign anything that is legally binding.

Ask questions about outdoor maintenance and whether or not you’re responsible. You may want to ask about utilities as well in order to find out what companies you should create accounts with. Finally, feel free to ask the owner about the community culture to gain more insight into your future home.

6. Know Your Rights

When you’re renting in a new state or city, it’s important that you know your rights and your legal obligations. This will improve your odds of holding the owner accountable if necessary. It will also decrease your odds of unintentionally breaking the law.

Your renter’s rights vary depending on the nature of your lease.

For example, month-to-month tenants abide by specific rules in regards to moving out. If you sign a full-year lease, you are expected to stay the full year and will face a fine if you break your lease early. If you sign a month-to-month lease, you are obligated to give the owner notice at least 20 days prior to moving out.

Alternatively, if the owner wants to terminate a month-to-month tenant’s lease, they must also give a 20-day notice. Having this kind of knowledge under your belt could protect you in the long run!

7. Consider Your Commute

Spokane is a rapidly growing city. With its low cost of living and stable job market, the population swells each year. For that reason, traffic is, well, increasing.

When you’re renting a condo, consider your commute time. Remember that if you commute during peak traffic hours, the distance between a condo and your place of work may not reflect the time you’ll spend in the car. You may even want to test run that drive during peak traffic hours just to make sure that it’s something you want to do every day!

Renting a Condo Made Easy

If you’re renting a condo, make sure you’re going about it the right way. Start with a budget and a little research. Consider working with a real estate team that will make the transition smoother!

Ready to find the Spokane condo of your dreams? We’re ready to help you! Contact us and we’ll get started on the condo hunt today!