Where to Start Searching for Housing

In-Person

There are many places to look when you are shopping for your new home. Here are a few tips to help you get started!

Many properties put up "For Rent" signs to advertise homes available to rent. You can look for signs when you walk, drive, or take the bus through neighborhoods and call the number on the sign to contact the property owner.

for-rent

Online

You can use many different website to search for a home online. You can narrow your search by location, price, and number of bedrooms to help you find the home that's right for you. Watch our for scams online! If a listing looks too good to be true, it probably is! Contact your Housing Navigator if you have questions about a listing.

Helpful Tips for Searching Online

Viewing units on a map will make it easier to see where the homes are located when you search.

Number of bedrooms: This should match the bedroom size on your voucher. You may also rent a larger home if the rent price is affordable with your voucher.

Price: Make sure to use your voucher amount as the maximum rent price. If you are in Seattle, you can add the Family Access Supplement to your voucher amount when searching in CMTO opportunity areas.

Type of home: Select specific types of homes to filter your search so that you only see apartments or only see houses. Keep in mind that only searching for one type of home will limit your search and may make it difficult to find a home to rent before your voucher expires. Try to keep an open mind.

Other filters: Many websites will let you filter by number of bathrooms, square footage, parking availability, washer/dryer in unit, and pet-friendly properties. Remember that you may not be able to find everything you want in your next home. Think about what you are able to compromise on and be flexible when you are searching.

Full address: Use the CMTO website to check if the home is in a CMTO opportunity area.

Rent price and utilities: Make sure the home is affordable with your voucher by finding out what utilities you pay.

Available date: Check to see when the home is available.

Contact information: Get the landlord or property manager’s phone number or email to set up a tour. If the information is not listed, you may need to click “Request a Tour” or “Request More Information.”

Lease length: Make sure the lease is a 12 month lease rather than a shorter-term lease.

Application fees and deposit costs: Check to see how much the application fee and security deposit cost. Find out what other fees are listed as part of the move-in costs.

Screening Criteria: Some listings will tell you exactly what the property is looking for in an applicant. Check to make sure you meet the screening criteria to give your application a better chance of being approved.

Other details: Does the home allow pets? Does it have a washer and dryer or parking? What schools are nearby?