No matter your income, you have the right to be selective when searching for homes for rent.
Many home renters find decent and safe low income housing with Section 8 housing choice vouchers administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There are even affordable apartments that are funded by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
There are many factors to consider when finding a home that fits your needs. You may need a single-family home to accommodate your children in a safe neighborhood where they can play outside, or you may prefer an apartment, so you can be close to neighbors.
Furthermore, a single-story home might be more suitable if you have a medical condition that makes it difficult to climb stairs. Make a list of the features you need and include the factors you could live without toward the end.
While you may have to compromise certain features to be able to afford a home close to work, having amenities that contribute to your quality of living may be important to you. While there are a variety of HUD homes on the market, follow the list below to determine what home is the best fit for you.
Location and Neighborhood
Finding a safe neighborhood in a prime location is typically at the top of the list for home renters and buyers. Whether you are moving to a state or city, the street your house is located on matters. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right location and neighborhood.
If you have children, do you want them to attend a school in a highly rated public school district? Do you want to live within walking distance to this school?
Similarly, would you like to live near your job to avoid heavy traffic? You may want to live by a park or community pool that your family can enjoy, or perhaps you have a profound appreciation for art and would like to live in an urban art district.
Choosing a home with the right surroundings will ultimately determine what kind of lifestyle you will live. You can find low income housing in the following neighborhoods:
- Suburban or country: HUD homes in the suburban or rural areas are generally less expensive and provide more space and privacy. This option is ideal for renters, possibly elderly people who do not work and need do not need quick access to the city. These areas tend to be less crowded and safer for homeowners with children who attend nearby schools.
- In the city: Low income house rentals located in the city tend to be closer to employers. People who would rather avoid long commutes to work and prefer walking to theaters, restaurants and schools are best suited for this option. However, it is important to note that homes in the city tend to be more expensive and prone to noise.
Best Websites for Home Shopping
Not all websites will provide the right filters to finding the right home. However, there are websites that provide the best overall features for home buyers and renters. Listed below are listing websites that fit this standard.
Type of Home
Section 8 housing allows beneficiaries to pick any type of housing an owner agrees to rent, as long as it meets certain guidelines. Renters can choose single-family homes, townhomes, high-rise apartments and more, depending on their preferences.
If a renter would like to have a large backyard with room to grow a garden, he or she may not want to live in an apartment or townhouse where outdoor space is limited. Moreover, single-family HUD homes are better suited for families of three or more as opposed to single individuals or families with no children.
While more expensive, these homes typically provide more space and are found in kid-friendly suburban areas.
On the other hand, townhouses are less unique and contain common walls, floors and ceilings. They are also smaller and less private, as they are closer to other homes and have shared yards or balconies. However, they are less expensive and require fewer exterior maintenance.
Section 8 apartment listings are the cheapest option for low-income renters. There is no land to maintain, as apartments are attached to other properties for rent and sale. While apartments tend to be nosier, they offer a sense of community to residents.
In fact, many elderly individuals live in HUD senior apartments and enjoy all the shared amenities they have to offer.
Taking a Look Inside
When looking through Section 8 house listings, you will want to determine if the size of a home will be enough for your household. More specifically, you will need a home with the appropriate number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
This is especially important if you have children or plan to have children. Furthermore, you will want to assess the size of the bedrooms. You may be able to house two siblings in a large bedroom rather than a small bedroom.
This way, you can save more renting a two-bedroom apartment rather than a three bedroom.
Additionally, low-income house rentals tend to be cheaper with one bathroom. Determine how many bathrooms you need and whether you would like a bathroom primarily for your guests. You may even want to consider a bathroom with multiple sinks if you have children who need to get ready for school at the same time.
Other features to consider inside of a home are special amenities and updated appliances, like a fireplace or stovetop. Do you have enough storage space for your children’s toys and out-of-season clothes?
The Home’s Condition
When visiting Section 8 house listings, it is essential for the condition of the home to meet housing inspection standards. Some of these requirements involve:
- Interior air quality.
- Smoke detectors.
- Lead-based paint.
- Sanitary facilities.
- Space and security.
Furthermore, you will want to assess the condition of electrical, plumbing, cooling and heating systems.
These units can be expensive to fix, and those that are inefficient can result in high utility bills. You will want to thoroughly check to see if there are any leaks, signs water damage or moldy areas under the sinks. Exposure to mold can be very dangerous to your health and can cause respiratory issues, such as asthma.
Low-income house rentals should be maintained and provide a safe and sanitary living environment for all household members.