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Looking for a house to rent can be a headache. The process can drain your time, energy, enthusiasm and wallet. However, a few smart moves can make your search much more pleasant and less demanding. Here are three ways you can save yourself effort and disappointment during your search for your next rental home.

Create a Budget With Room for Hidden Costs

Because the rental prices of properties are so varied and the additional costs associated with the process aren’t always obvious at a glance, a budget will help you stay on track. According to Oz Moving, when you sign a lease for a place to live, there are other expenses besides the rent. You’ll have to take into consideration the application fee, security deposit, pet deposit, moving expenses, and more. These incidental expenses will vary from one house to the next. However, these expenditures are unavoidable facts of life. Having a structured budget can help you stay focused on the big picture so that these little costs don’t catch you by surprise or drain your money.

Compare Prices of Similar Properties

According to FirstKey Homes, comparing prices of different houses helps you avoid rental scams. Unfortunately, there are people out there trying to get over on unsuspecting renters, so you must do what you can to protect yourself. Houses in the same neighborhood should be priced around the same amount if they’re similar in size and features. You may even be able to ask some of the residents what they’re paying as well as other pertinent questions. Sure, that’s personal information, but you’d be surprised at the amount of helpful information you can get from potential neighbors.

Consider Different Locations

You’ve heard it before: The most important factor in real estate is the location. Certain houses are going to be more expensive simply because of where they’re situated. This also means that associated costs may be more expensive. If you find that renting a house in a particular neighborhood will simply cost too much, try a neighborhood a few blocks or miles away. You’d be surprised at how fast prices can drop with distance.

It’s true that a search for a house to rent can be exhausting. However, if you follow the tips outlined above, you can significantly reduce the amount of effort, time and money you’ll put into it. Remember to set a budget for yourself, compare similar houses and consider different locations. You’ll be able to settle in sooner and feel more comfortable.

Read more great money-saving tips in this article: What You Can Do to Save Money on Everyday Household Items