I think that your question has been thoroughly answered by Dane and Valerie, so now if you haven't I am guessing that you are looking for an agent you feel comfortable with to represent you. I live in Salem NH and therefore am knowledgeable in this area as well as in Windham. Feel free to contact me if you still have not chosen and agent to work with to go over what your current real estate needs are.
Lisa Major, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
Your best bet is to find a Realtor in the area you've identified (where you want to live). This is much easier than finding a home and it's free so spend your first day or two on this effort. Then be clear with YOUR agent what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.
Finding you a home or a condo to buy or rent will be only the first step of the process, and one that amounts to identifying all the units that are available, and from all sources. So it's smart to use a LOCAL agent who will have LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. (Local agents may know of a house that is for sale, but could be rented...)
Once you have narrowed down what's available to you, you will be able to determine what's appealing. In this phase of the search your agent will insure you get in to see the property when it's convenient for you and your family, the agent can get keys to the homes to make your search more efficient, and can hold your deposit (rather than giving it to a potential future landlord, so you know it's secure) while you negotiate the lease.
And I do mean negotiate. You should have all the terms and conditions spelled out--who pays the various costs related to the home, electricity, gas, oil, water, phone, TV etc. Who pays to cut the grass? Who plows the snow, and shovels the walks? And then other items that should be clear between landlord and tenant like what if you now have or wish to get a dog? What if you or your significant other smokes? How big of a security deposit will they want? Can the security deposit be the last month's rent? Do you have to shampoo the rug at the end of the lease?
Your agent will be a big player in negotiating for you.
I personally specialize in towns closer to the Seacoast, and would not have the local knowledge I believe you need for Salem and Windham, but others who answer the Trulia Voices questions will. Good luck.
I guess I should have answered more completely in my first post... Working with an agent usually will not cost the renter anything, as a small commission is generally paid by the property owner (1 month rent, shared between the listing agency and the agency who brings forth a qualified person who decides to write a lease). I happen to live and work in the area that JT/Jeff is considering, so I know the area very well, and can easily show any property that he is qualified to look at.
What I like about Trulia is the fact that we Agents can make ourselves known to the folks who may utilize our services, and the consumer can chose who he or she wants to work with. This is as it should be :)
I would be happy to help you find a home to rent. I live and work in this area of southern NH. You are welcome to contact me at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you, and helping you find a place to call home.
Valerie Cloutier, RealtorÂ®
MA & NH Real Estate Services
Accredited Buyer Representative
e-PRO Certified 2008
Innovative Realty, Londonderry NH
800-746-8448 x424 Toll Free