A New Home Search
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A New Home Search

After several years of diligently saving money, I’m nearly ready to purchase my first home. Because I’ve been thinking about buying a home for so long, I know exactly what I want my house to look like. I desire a place that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I also need a quiet space to set up my home office in. I want a massive, walk-in closet in my master bedroom. My master bathroom needs to have double vanities, a tiled, walk-in shower, and a Jacuzzi tub. On this blog, I hope you will discover how to set priorities during your new home search. Enjoy!


A New Home Search

Three Tips for Finding an Apartment When You're Self-Employed

Elli Jokela

When you're self-employed, basic tasks like filling in applications for apartments for rent become more complicated. Blanks like "employer" and "monthly income" may leave you scratching your head and wondering what to write. When a potential landlord asks where you work, you might stumble over your words, unsure of how to respond. But self-employed people do find apartments every day. You just have to go about your search in the right way. Here are some tips to help.

Consider private landlords rather than larger rental companies.

Large rental companies often have set-in-stone policies regarding who they'll rent to. For instance, they might only rent to people with over $2,000 in monthly income—no exceptions. To gain flexibility in these rules, you might have to talk to someone higher up in the company, not just to the leasing agent who has been instructed not to rent to anyone who does not meet certain specifications. When you rent from a private landlord, on the other hand, that person has the ability to waive or change their requirements at a second's notice, whenever they feel inspired to do so. You know exactly who to address your concerns to (the landlord) and can speak with them personally about your unique employment situation.

Speak with the landlord directly.

Whether you are dealing with a private landlord or a bigger company, don't just turn in an application with blank spaces or "I'm self-employed" scrawled between the lines. Talk to the landlord directly, and tell them specifically that you are self-employed and therefore are not sure how they would prefer you fill in blanks like "employer" and "employer's address." Speaking to them in person gives them a chance to ask questions about your earning situation, which will make them feel more comfortable renting to you. If your application is just one in a pile of others, most of which are filled out in a more straightforward manner, they might rent to someone else just because it's simpler. But if you're the one they've met and spoke with in person, you will have a leg up on the competition.

Be ready and willing to provide any paperwork requested.

Most landlords and rental agencies require W-2s as proof of income from traditionally employed individuals. A landlord is likely going to want to see similar proof of your income. However, since they may not be experienced in dealing with self-employed people, they might not know what to ask for. Be ready with the past year's income tax returns, bank statements, and even your accounting balance sheets to show as proof of income. If you prove you can pay the rent, they'll usually be perfectly comfortable renting to you.