2. Should I Rent or Lease?

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Getting into a new place to live is a very exciting time. This is especially true if the person looking for a new home or apartment is a first-time renter. Having a place to call your own gives you a great feeling of independence. The question that arises when looking for an apartment or home to live in is, "Is it better to rent or lease." Both options have advantages and disadvantages. The best way to go about making this decision is to base it on your own personal situation.

Renting is a simple process that usually does not require the person to stay in that space for a specific length of time. In California, and in most states, this is called a month-to-month rental agreement. A landlord will generally require the new renter to pay two months of rent in advance. The property owner is also likely to ask for a security or cleaning deposit, or both. The advantage of a month-to-month rental is that the renter can get out of the agreement by simply giving the owner a one-month notice to vacate. The same applies to the owner. If the owner asks the renter to leave, all he or she has to do is to ask the renter to vacate in 30 days.

A lease works a bit differently. It's usually signed for one year, so both the renter and the landlord agree to a pre-determined length of time the renter will occupy the unit. The renter signs a contract agreeing not to move out of the home for the one-year period. After that, it works much like renting. There are consequences on the part of both parties if the lease is terminated early though, so it is better to wait your lease out than to terminate it early.

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