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Finding a place to call home

 Quick Summary

Whether you are seeking to rent or buy a place to call home it will involve a lot of planning and exploring options. Finding a place to call home can take a short or a very long time; it’s pot luck really. There are many ways to find a property. The most common are through real estate agents, websites, Facebook, newspapers, friends, local businesses, family, acquaintances, and neighbours. Finding something through the “who you know” principle in Tasmania really works. It’s one of the advantages of living in a small place. Let as many people as possible know that you are looking for a home. Write a wanted ad and advertise it in as many places as you can.

You can choose to:

  

Understanding the language for types of housing

Homes have a number of different names and it helps to know what these mean when you are exploring housing options.

Commonly you will see small homes described as:

– an apartment or flat: self-contained housing that is usually part of or on the same grounds as a house, it may or may not be part of a block of self-contained flats or apartments;

– a studio: a bachelor pad, granny or bedsit flat or apartment consists of an open plan or combined bedroom/ living area, kitchenette and bath/shower toilet that is often within a house;

– a duplex: two homes attached by a common wall with private and separate entrances/exits. They often they have two stories/floors;

– a simplex: a freestanding single story house. It is often part of a cluster of homes (or complex) on the same piece of land.   Each simplex may share common garden and parking and utility areas. The complex is often fenced or walled with a shared driveway entrance and exit;

– a townhouse: part of a group of attached homes or duplexes;

– house:  a freestanding (separate) building of varying sizes, on one piece of land.

Other types of homes include cottage, bungalow, cabin, and caravan or motor home.

 

A pathway guide to finding a place to call home

  1. Talk to your network of support. A house, room or even a caravan in a driveway may be available for you to rent now from someone you know.
  2. If you are homeless or are on a low-income phone or visit a Housing Connect office.
  3. Consider any specialist housing options that are available to meet your particular circumstances or needs. Visit the Exploring Housing Options section of Finding Your Way.
  4. If you are renting through the open market search the real estate/rental section of Newspapers in your region. Look at real estate websites and guides and community notice boards and talk with real estate agents and shopkeepers. Share accommodation can also be found this way.
  5. Contact Local Government (council) areas to ask if they provide rental accommodation. Tell them that you are interested in living in their municipality (area) and ask them to send you their newsletter and any relevant information about housing.
  6. View rental homes on-line if you can. This will save time. Look at google maps. WEBSITE RESOURCE: https://www.google.com/maps   enter the house number and street address and check out the street view and location.
  7. When you find somewhere to view, go to the open home or phone the real estate agent or property owner to arrange a date and time to look at the home.
  8. Don’t give up on looking for a place. Sometimes it takes a lot of time out of your day and can take a while but the more time you spend looking the more chances you will have of finding a place.

Holding fees

Once you have found a place, a holding fee may be paid by a prospective agent or owner to hold the premises for more than 7 days. A holding fee will hold the premise (keep it from being rented to another party) during the time agreed.  A landlord/agent is not obliged to accept a holding fee. The prospective tenant is not obliged to rent the premise when the holding fee expires, although this is the expectation. The rental does not officially commence until a lease is entered into. Sometimes a holding fee can be confused with a bond (security deposit) or rent in advance so ensure it is clear what is being paid for.

GET STARTED

There are so many places online to find property listings. Finding Your Way does not recommend one provider over another. But the common places to start on-line are real estate company websites and house hunting sites such as Domain or Realestate.com.au

Rental properties and share houses are usually advertised; in newspapers, often on Saturdays, local newsletters, community noticeboards, bookstores, universities or TAFE.

To find Real Estate Agents near you, check out the Yellow Pages.

Think outside the square if your housing search is blocked because home rental prices are not affordable. It may be more affordable for you to rent in a share house or a caravan, motorhome, or cabin. Some Caravan Parks offer sites or cabins for long-term rentals.

For those looking to share you may find a place on the FlatesMates Website or Gumtree.

Have a look at this excellent Finding Your Way – Getting Ready to Move booklet.

 

ACTION STEPS

Here you can find a simple list of the best actions to take if you are interested in this topic:

1 . Let everyone know that you are looking for a home and ask if they know of any available property.

2 . If you are homeless or are on a low- income, phone or visit a Housing Connect office on 1 8 0 0 8 0 0 5 8 8.

3 . Consider any specialist housing options that are available to meet your circumstances or needs.

Visit the Exploring Housing Options section of Finding Your Way.

4 . If you want to rent through the open market search the real estate/rental section of Newspapers in your region.

5 . Look at Real Estate websites, and guides, and community notice boards, and talk with real estate agents.

6 . Contact Local Government (council) areas to ask if they supply private rental accommodation.

7 . View rental homes on-line if you can.

8 . While you are searching for a rental, make sure to carry your application paper work with you.

9 . Don’t give up on looking for a place. Sometimes it can take a while.