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Rent or Buy: 5 things to keep in mind as you search for your new home

Oil and gas jobs often require relocation. Whether moving to a new state or finding a home closer to a job site, each individual and family has highly specified needs to take into consideration while shopping for a place to live. Before you begin your search, here are some important things to keep in mind to find your perfect place.


5. Quality and variety of appliances

Imagine having to wrestle with temperamental plumbing for a hot shower or suffering through a week-long drive through binge in lieu of a defunct fridge. If you’ve ever experienced a sketchy first apartment or taken a gamble while renting, those situations probably don’t require much imagination.

Faulty, old or broken-down appliances can quickly and easily throw a wrench in your daily routine; for those with demanding or irregular work schedules, scheduling and waiting for repairs can create stressful disorder.

You may also find it helpful to evaluate your schedule and habits and make sure the appliances fit your needs. For example, if you like to cook but have a busy schedule, you might prioritize a kitchen with a dishwasher. If you’re a more hands-off pizza rolls and instant noodles kind of chef, it would probably be hard to go without a microwave. Keep in mind: newer appliances call for fewer repairs.


4.What level of privacy do you prefer?

Some people look forward to winding down in silence when they come home while others can’t fall asleep without their television blaring. In some apartments, you’ll quickly find out which category your neighbors fall under—along with their choice of movies, propensity for cooking pungent food and schedule of their vacuuming regimen.

If you yourself find yourself on the noisier end of the neighborly spectrum, it might be comforting to know that your neighbors lead equally noisy lives. If you find that you enjoy silence and solitude, however, any shared wall can seem paper-thin.

If privacy is a major concern, buying or renting a home may be your best option. Renting a manufactured home gives you the privacy you need if you practice an instrument or worry about your baby’s late-night crying waking up the neighbors.


 3.What sort of parking will you need?

Parking can be hassle, especially when it comes to renting a home or apartment.  In some cases, the complex or community provides a garage and parking space outside, but there are also the few places that don’t provide any sort of parking for its residents.

Not only is finding parking a challenge, but having enough parking can be a serious issue. Make sure to ask how many parking spaces are provided with your rental and if a garage comes with it, or if you have the option to rent one.  Even with assigned spaces, navigating through underground parking can be a nerve-wracking task in an SUV.

Another tip that may help is to pay attention to what the busiest times are in your community.  When do people seem to leave?  Is there parking available when you need it?  Are the streets wide enough to park on? Depending on your vehicle, is there enough space for you to park?  These little details will help you to make choosing the right neighborhood, apartment, or home the right choice. Figuring it out ahead of time will save you frustration down the road.


2. Space and yard size

Having a big enough yard, or a yard at all, when renting is a struggle all on its own.  Many apartment complexes have “common” spaces– grassy areas that sit between apartment buildings that are shared by everyone in the community.

Other types of rentals, such as town homes, single-family homes, or manufactured homes, typically offer private yards with plenty of space for outdoor living. If you have pets or children, cabin fever-inspired dreams of gardening or outdoor entertainment, yard space is an important aspect to consider. You’d hate to figure out too late that a barbecue grill isn’t allowed on a balcony when you could’ve rented a home that offers a whole deck.

When looking at a community, consider whether or not there are personal yards.  You may also want to ask about fencing and what is allowed in a yard—playsets, fencing, in-ground animal fences, gardens, etc.

You will also want to ask about what the community management will take care of.  Do you have to worry about snow removal?  Does management mow the grass?  These are all things that should be taken into consideration when contemplating yard space.


1. Community

The people you surround yourself with can set the tone for your experience at home. It’s important to find a community in which you could see yourself thriving.  Some people enjoy the security and friendship that come with a tight-knit neighborhood; there will always be someone to watch out for you and your property, and friends will always be close by. Some people, however, might prefer to keep a civil but distant relationship with their neighbors.

The key to living in and selecting a community that’s best suited for you is often not choosing one or the other, but striking a balance between friendliness and privacy.  It’s not always easy to determine from an outsider’s point of view, but the property’s manager will usually have useful insight into the community’s vibe.

Finding the you best match

Home is a very personal facet of your life; it’s important to find one that that suits your unique needs, interests and lifestyle. Once you’ve created a list of your priorities, don’t forget to consider manufactured homes. A house-apartment hybrid option, manufactured homes offer the freedom and space of a single-family house, but without the mortgage obligations.

If you think about an apartment or a townhouse, you have common wall neighbors on each side of you; you could have someone living above you, you could have someone living below you,” said Sam Landy, president of UMH Properties. “In a manufactured home, you don’t have that; you have your own house with your own yard. You can garden, you can barbeque and you don’t have to worry about whether or not the neighbor has three five-gallon cans of gasoline in their garage.”

UMH Properties offers a network of manufactured home communities throughout New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

For about the same price as an apartment, UMH offers brand-new homes that are built in a factory and shipped to communities. The homes’ factory sourcing allows manufacturers access to bulk deals on appliances, which ensure brand-new appliances. But, most importantly, UMH Properties provide residents with a safe and friendly community.

“It is quiet, peaceful and I’m not afraid to live alone here,” said UMH resident Nancy Bell. “The residents look out for each other.”

This story was sponsored in part by UMH Properties. For more information, visit www.umh.com

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