There are many things you need to know before looking for your own rental home! Here are just a few tips to help you along the process!
Start looking early! I found that even though I started months early looking for an apartment near my university was not enough time! While I was still able to get a great place, I also paid way more than I was hoping to spend. Look at the housing market in your area, if you are moving to a new place talk to a realtor from the town and ask about possible move-in times you might have and how hard it would be to get a rental then. They are usually very helpful, and you might consider their services if you do not have the time to find a place yourself. I found out that my market area is usually best to start in the early spring to find a rental that is cheap and near my university.
Now be real about your budget. It such but pick a price range you would be happy with, and then figure out the max you can do. That is just for the rental, including the utilities you may be expected to pay for such as water, garbage, and electricity. After that make a basic outline of what this place has to have, only the basics. Do you really need a washer/dryer unit? Or a deck? You are not going to get everything you want, but make sure you get everything you need.
Now check every listing site you know of, ask friends, Facebook, etc for places you should call and make a list. Here is the hardest part, call everyone on that list. See if they have an opening and what the price is expected to be for the unit, and anything else that is on your basic needs list. If it passes, ask to see if you could come down as see the rental, a model, or a similar unit. Once you are down there start asking about those wants that you left off of your basics list. See how much you really do like the place!
If you think you could live here, not want to but could get an application to rent. Then move on to the next one on your list until you have finished! Then all you have to do it figure out what rentals you want to apply for. You might want to apply to all of them if you are worried about finding housing. The application can take awhile, and some areas have a processing fee making it a bit more expensive for you too.
Be smart about renting, read the lease, look up reviews about the apartment complex or the rental company, and ask about your neighbors. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Think about your well being as well as finding a place to live. There is a lot to do and how hard it can be but I also know it is possible. Good luck!