What I have found since I started looking a few weeks ago is that the low priced ones are usually scams hoping to draw you in. They then want you to send them a depsoit electronically. Beware of the ones that sound to good to be true.
After having worked with my colleague who just happens to be looking for a rental too, I am firmly convinced that both Elena and Charles are spot on this time. For whatever reason, the scammers absolutely "adore" the number $1200 for a monthly rental fee, so when you see it along with other tell tale signs of fraud (you know..."hey we live out of town, can you mail a security deposit check to us and we'll send you a key"), then side step the listing in favor of something a bit more "real."
Also if the listing appears here on Trulia, flag is to that the moderators see it and it can be removed.
Thanks again for your questions. It's a good one, and emphasizes how very important it is for consumers to protect themselves against rental scams.
The best you could hope for is that the home is incorrectly described but would meet your needs and is offered somewhat below a comparable home. The apparent great deal isn't as great because it isn't the home you think from the advertisement.
Of course it could be a waste of time to visit the house but if you are having difficulty finding an acceptable house and are open to dealing with something less than ideal, it could be worth investigating.
If the advertiser asks for money up front for anything other than a credit report, be very cautious.
Juliana Lee, MBA, LLB
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 20 years experience
In San Jose, if you see an advertisement for an 1800 square foot single family home for $1,200 per month,that is far below the market value for the rent. The advertisement that you are looking at is almost certainly a scam that is designed to steal your deposit money and your prepaid rent money, and/or it is designed to steal your personal information that can be used to steal your identity.
Essentially the rentals that are advertised far below market value are scams and are not really properties for rent.
Unfortunately in San Jose there are so many people who need a place to rent and there are so few properties available for rent that the scam artists have come out of the woodwork.
A few of the scam artists have been caught and prosecuted, but most of the scam artists just disappear with your money and are never caught.
Your best protection is to make certain that the person that you are dealing with is licensed by The State of California Department of Real Estate. Ask the person that you are dealing with for their DRE number. If that person cannot provide you with a valid California DRE number, that is a huge Red Flag, and you would be wise not to deal with that person.
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Email Address: email@example.com
that is like 4,000 independent business; who don't communicate with each other:
Each place has its own costs and expenses, and each has owners expecting different ROI.
Some might have been purchased in the '50's and some, last month.
Some are big and grandiose, and some are small and simple.
Some are refurbished nicely, and some are run-down and smell.
Oh, and don't forget that some people exaggerate!