Britta gave you some good information. But your question is a bit confusing. We are not sure whether you have a house you want to rent, or whether you are looking to lease one. Let's start with some definitions:
> "Down payment" is the buyer's cash required when purchasing a house with a loan. FHA is 3.5% of the sales price. (minimum)
> "Security deposit" is the amount you pay to "hold" a house, and put on deposit while renting it. Most landlords in this area charge an amount equal to one month's rent. ~It is NOT "first and last month's rent"!! There is a huge difference! If you pay the last month's rent in advance, then you won't have to pay for the last month of your lease. But that is not true with a security deposit; you still have to pay the last month's rent when it is due. Security deposits are refunded sometime after you move out, and within 30 days of giving a forwarding address.
> "Application, or administrative fees". These are the fees charged up front for processing your application and credit report. Each office, or landlord, is different. Married couples usually pay twice what a single person would pay. We will find out what the fee is when you select a house to apply for. (Be prepard for about $100 for two people.)
> "Pet deposit". Well, if you have any dogs or cats, this is what you will have to pay the landlord to let you bring them on the property. I've seen anything from $150 to $500 per animal. Some of it is non-refundable, but it all depends on the landlord. Don't "expect" to get any back; as most animals will do some damage. From a landlord's point of view: the deposit is NEVER enough to compensate for damages to his property.
> "Credit". Not sure what you mean by "work with credit". Most landlords are looking at your credit application to see what your rental history has been, not the actual FICO score. They will also look at criminal history and landlord references. If your credit report is bad, you may have to rent an apartment for a year to prove you are a good risk as a tenant. (Most apartments are not so picky who they rent to.) (Another good reason not to live in an apartment complex!)
If you have credit issues, I can show you how to take care of them, and raise your scores. I am a Certified Instructor in Credit Repair.
As far as rents go in this area, they are higher than the monthly payment to buy a house. And they are going up as we speak! Here's an example for a standard 3-2-2: I recently sold a rental house in Watauga. It sold for $90,000, and the mortgage payment was $800 a month. But we rented the house for $1,000 a month, and will raise it to $1050 next time the lease is renewed.
Considering that your tax credit for owning a house would bring the net cost down to about $650, there is a large ($400) difference between renting and owning a house. Let me know which way you want to go.
Hope this helps to answer your questions. I'm available if you have others. Just write to me directly.
Happy New Year!
ULTRA Real Estate Services