One of the biggest issues we are encountering here is pet owners needing to rent. If you are renting and have pets, you may be told "no" upfront, but you could agree to a shorter term lease as a "trial run" to show that you are responsible. Rents are commanding a premium as there are people who simply cannot buy now, so be prepared to provide first and last month's rent plus a "pet deposit" if necessary. If you are new to the area and uncertain about whether you want the rental long term, ask if a six-month vs a one year lease is an option. It will be a chance for you to "test" the neighborhood. Finally, be very wary of "rent to own" offers - they can come at a premium price. For the extra amount charged, you might be better off renting on a regular lease and putting that money aside to save for a starter home.