Renting for the fir...
 
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Renting for the first time

 
crazyflamingo
(@crazyflamingo)
Advanced Member

I've been checking Craigslist and the classifieds to get an idea of what type of rentals are available. I know not to rent any place without seeing it in person first. I also plan to check Connections when I arrive on STJ to see who is advertising rentals there as well.

Is it better to use a Realtor to help with the process of finding the right place? Are there any fees that I would have to pay that are associated with using a Realtor to find a rental? I know it is typical to pay first, last, & security deposit up front when signing a lease but wasn't sure if there were any other hidden fees I am unaware of.

I have never rented before. I have only ever owned the places that I have lived in so I have no rental history. What type of references are usually required for renting a place on the island? Financial reference? Character reference? Who would make a good reference? Friends? Family? Obvious who ever I use as a reference I will ask them before putting them down as a reference. How many references are usually required?

Also, can anyone recommend an insurance company to get rental insurance through?

Thank you for any info you can provide! I really appreciate it!

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Topic starter Posted : April 11, 2013 2:22 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

My opinion only - unless you are looking for luxury accomodations, I don't think a realtor is necessary. Your best bet is word of mouth. Go to bars and restaurants, strike up a conversation with the bartender/server. They'll know what's available in the neighborhood. Connections is also a good idea.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 3:11 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

I doubt you will need a Realtor. Most landlords have an acute sense of weeding out tenants. Jobs and have the 1st. last and security is for sure a keeper. I think you are on the right track. Ask your landlord about their insurance company. Best to use theirs I would think.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 3:12 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

You may find it helpful to have a realtor.... we did at first but really spent the majority of our home searching on our own. Stay in a hotel for the first week and drive around looking for rent signs. Easiest way IMO and how we found ours. Good news for you is that I see lots of for rents lately.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 3:14 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
Advanced Member

As landlords (though not on STJ), a rental through a realtor is going to cost you more than if you rent through us directly, as we have to pay the fee for the realtors, who charge a finder's fee for getting a tenant. Customarily FF is one month's rent.
We much prefer to meet and deal with potential tenants on our own, biggest tenant issues we have had over the years tended to be from rentals totally handled by realtors, likely tenants we might not have rented to, or who might not have wanted us as landlords! Alot better when everyone knows and is comfortable with the details .

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Posted : April 11, 2013 3:56 pm
crazyflamingo
(@crazyflamingo)
Advanced Member

Thank you everyone for the great advice so far! I appreciate the honesty. I am hoping to be able to find a place on my own without using a Realtor. What about references though since I have no rental history to provide?

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Topic starter Posted : April 11, 2013 5:55 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I used a realtor to get my last tenants and while I did pay a commission it was worth it to have the house rented and not sitting empty for a long period of time. I got lucky with nice people, who wish to renew when the lease is up. I am a realtor and work with people who are looking for properties to buy, sell or rent.

As far as rental prices go, they are set by the landlords. Landlords/owners do pay the commssion to the realtors and should considering the realtor is bringing them a year's worth of rent by the time all is signed off on but they do not charge the tenants that amount or I have never heard of anyone doing that so I don't understand the comment by rmb2830 about it costing more if you use a realtor than if you rent directly from them. New to me.

Commissions are tax deductable by the way. The commissions get split between the listing and selling realtors and their agencies normally so it can get spread pretty thin.

With a realtor, you are also gaining knowledge of the island and not trying to find someplace on your own, which given the lack of prominantly displayed addresses can make things interesting in finding your way around.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 6:16 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I don't understand the comment by rmb2830 about it costing more if you use a realtor than if you rent directly from them. New to me.

"Hi, I'm Larry Landlord. I don't use Rodney Realtor, so I can charge less and still make the same money. Rent directly from me and save!"

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Posted : April 11, 2013 7:23 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

yea idk, we found our place and got charged the same as the realtors company would have charged.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 9:34 pm
Iris Tramm
(@Iris_Tramm)
Trusted Member

Also, can anyone recommend an insurance company to get rental insurance through?

I don't think you can get rental insurance in the VI.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 11:12 pm
conchadoo
(@conchadoo)
Advanced Member

You can get a tenant policy with USAA if you are qualified to become a member( Up to $20,000). You can't get a Home Owners Policy with USAA. some kind of a deal was made with the local insurance companies.

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Posted : April 11, 2013 11:36 pm
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