Looking for housing in a different city but don’t want to commit to living in a mixed-use building or high-rise apartment complex? If so, you may be in the market for a guest house! Use these tips to help you find a guest house for rent and what to consider before signing a rental agreement for this type of living arrangement.
What to Consider When Looking for a Guest House to Rent
A guest house is exactly what it sounds like — a smaller house often built behind the main home that usually includes everything from a bedroom and bathroom to a small kitchen and, hopefully, a good Wi-Fi signal. They’ve become more popular the past few years as homeowners look to rent them out for a little extra cash, but as a renter, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line.
Decide What Kind of Guest House You’re Looking For
Before you start browsing listings, figure out what you want to narrow down your search. What are the “must-haves” on your list? A backyard pool house? Something more detached? There are several different types of guest houses, including:
- Detached New Construction
- Garage Apartments
- Garage Conversions
- Modular Guest Houses
Each has its value, and the decision will come down to what it is that you truly want in a new residence and how much you’re willing to pay — which brings us to the next point.
Determine Your Budget
You can find the perfect guest house, but if it’s way out of your budget, there isn’t much of a point to inquire with the owner! Set your budget upfront so you can filter your listings results with a max monthly rent amount.
What’s a good baseline to go with? While it will depend on your unique financial situation, some experts recommend only spending 33 percent of gross income, or annual salary divided by 40, on a monthly lease. You also have to consider whether or not that includes things like utilities and maintenance, which can increase your monthly expenses.
Nail Down the Fine Details
Speaking of utilities and expenses, let’s say you have determined your must-haves and your ideal budget and have found a guest house that you’re keen on renting. (Yay!) Now is the time to ask the owner about:
- Utilities: Will the homeowner be responsible for the electric, heating, cooling, water, garbage, and Internet? Or are you required to cover your own costs?
- Deposits: What does your rental agreement include in terms of deposits? Is there a required security deposit or damage protection? Will you get your deposit back when you move out?
- Lease term: This all depends on what you’re looking for — whether you want something short- or long-term — and what is available from the homeowner. Often, renting a guest house directly from the owner affords tenants more flexibility to extend or shorten their lease as needed.
Figure Out the Repairs and Maintenance Process
Who is in charge of basic maintenance like lawn care or shoveling snow? And when something breaks, how do you determine who fixes it and what the timeline is? These are important questions that need to be addressed upfront, but keep in mind that a guest house is usually just owned by a single private owner. This means they can set their own repair and maintenance rules, and they may expect you to help keep up with the property.
Decide How You’ll Outfit the Home for a Longer Stay
You’ve found the perfect guest house and decided to get rid of your old furniture so you can start fresh in the new digs. However, you don’t want to commit to all-new furniture for what may end up being a temporary living situation. The solution? Furniture rental.
Contact CORT for help furnishing any space — for six months or till further notice! Just tell us where you’ll live, how long you’ll be there, and when you need the furniture by, and we’ll get you set up with a customized Move-In Ready Package!
Looking For a Guest House to Rent?
If you’re someone who craves the type of flexibility that comes with renting a guest house, consider outfitting your temporary “casita” with furniture rentals from CORT. You’ll get the furniture, electronics, and extras you need to live life on your terms without the burden of furniture ownership. And once you have the furnishings that you need, it’s easy to turn that guest house into a great guest home!