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5 Ways to Cut the Conflict When Searching for a Rental

Everyone has different housing preferences, and satisfying all of those needs can be next to impossible.

Looking for a rental with a spouse, partner, or friend can be an interesting personality exercise. So before you even start hunting, take Trulia’s Buyers-Diggs home personality test to gauge the compatibility of you and your new living partner.

This stuff matters: the more you know about yourself, your partner, and your rental needs, the more likely you are to find the perfect place, all while keeping the peace.

To help you cut down on conflict throughout the search process, we’ve addressed five of the most common conflicts so your rental search goes smoothly.

1. Tortoise vs. hare

You’ve seen rental after rental, but you just can’t make up your mind. But your partner wants to jump on the first one they see. This is the classic tortoise-and-the-hare scenario.

Unfortunately, if you’re the tortoise, you’ll miss that hot rental priced to lease when it disappears off the market in a matter of hours. And if you’re the hare, you’ll beat the competition but may move too fast and land a listing you’re not in love with. Either way, neither of you is going to be satisfied once you cross the finish line.

Pro tip: Know exactly what you want and keep your search within those parameters. You absolutely must have two bathrooms? Then don’t tempt yourself with the gorgeous one-bathroom rental that you could maybe make do with. Limit your search so you can jump at the right opportunity with no regrets.

2. Urban vs. suburban

Do you consider yourself an urban or suburban renter? Maybe you prefer an active, local nightlife scene, or maybe you’re ready to start a family soon. As a couple, you’ll want to consider commuting, neighborhoods, and square footage.

Try to find a compromise — maybe there’s a rental in the city close to the action that also has a decent backyard.But be prepared to sacrifice something in the end. Here’s the good news about renting: it’s a great way to try out a neighborhood.

Pro tip: Make sure your lease allows you to sublet or transfer the lease if you change your mind.

3. Penny pincher vs. budget buster

If you don’t have a firm price point, your search will be all over the map. You’ll need to determine how much rent you can afford before you begin your search.

Once you’ve decided on the price, the penny pincher can enjoy the search, confident it’s within budget, and the budget buster can pick and choose from within the price range you both agreed upon.

Pro tip: When determining how much you can afford, factor in amenities, your commute, and monthly expenses.

4. Long haul vs. right now

Are you going to fall in love and cherish this rental for as long as you both shall live? Or is it just temporary until you find something better? Couples need to decide how long this rental will last. Factor in employment, family status, schools in the area, and other possible life changes.

Pro tip: Depending on your threshold, look for a six-month or 18-month lease. Often, landlords prefer to end leases during the spring and summer.

5. Homebody vs. weekend warrior

Are you a homebody who likes to spend your weekends curled up with a good book and a cup of tea, or maybe tinkering in the garage? Or are you a weekend warrior who prefers to travel and generally be out and about on your days off?

Pro tip: Focus on finding a rental that can satisfy both of your weekend desires. If you’re never home, get something smaller and save that extra cash. But if this rental will be your home base, make sure it meets all of your needs or you’ll soon have that itch to move on.

Now that you’ve established your personalities, it’s time to find the perfect rental.

What matters most to you when house hunting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.