Why is it so hard to find a rental in Grass Valley? How do I beat the competition?

By popular demand, this post will attempt to tackle the question: Why is it so hard to find a rental property in Grass Valley CA? And, how do I beat the competition?  

There are many elements that create demand in a rental market.  The biggest: the supply of rental properties in a particular rental rate range.  While there is an abundance of rental inventory currently on the market in Grass Valley, CA, the “sweet spot” of homes priced in the most demanding rental rate range naturally tend to attract more competition and thus, drive supply down.  

I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of comments by prospective tenants such as, “Strict rental conditions make it difficult to qualify for home rentals these days. I need a miracle.”  Another recent comment, “God forbid you have a pet or a large family! Or credit below a 700!”  My response to these comments was, “I’m always willing to give tenants the benefit of the doubt. Although I check references, if any are ever questionable I always turn to the tenant for explanation. I just approved a tenant that has been turned down many times before and I strongly believe she will be an excellent tenant!”  A good Grass Valley property manager will always go the extra mile!

Here are some tips from Barrett Property Management Nevada City for people currently searching for a Grass Valley rental property in the “sweet spot” price range that have yet to be successful:

  1. Stay on top of the game.  This is probably the most critical step in finding a rental property that suits your needs.  Check Nevada County rental listing websites three to four times per day, morning, noon, and night, for newly added rental listings.  Tell your friends and family as well.  Word of mouth can be the easiest way to find a rental.  
  2. Reevaluate your criteria list.  In a rental market where demand is high and supply is low, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.  I agree, each family should have their own list of “must haves”, but there should also be some compromises as well.  Narrow your criteria list down to the basics: maximum rent, minimum beds/baths, location, and condition.  You’ll find that if you open your door to more opportunities, you’ll begin to see a wider selection of inventory to choose from.  Look at your budget and make a game plan accordingly.  The majority of Grass Valley property management companies will require the income to be 2.5 to 3 times the monthly rental rate.  If you make $2,500 gross per month and are hoping to get into a $1,100/month rental, you need to make a plan.   Secure a reliable and acceptable co-signer.  Find a roommate.  Make sure your rental history is A+.  If you are currently renting a home for $1,100/month for the past X amount of years, and have never been late, that is a good sign to a Grass Valley property manager and/or landlord.  
    • Consider going below your “norm” or outside of your comfort zone.  I have seen a handful of reasonably priced and quite nice granny units and small homes for rent in Grass Valley and Nevada City.  I know some prospective tenants won’t even consider a granny or a home under a certain square footage.  In reality, they’re really missing out.  These steels can allow you to have a nice home and a lower monthly rental payment.  I see this as a win-win!    
  3. Keep a copy of your credit report from other Nevada County property management companies who have previously denied your application.  Barrett Property Management Nevada City works with and knows all the other Grass Valley and Nevada City property managers and companies (as well as surrounding areas).  We all work together.  If you have a credit report from another local company that is not older than 3 months, we’ll gladly take it and cut our application fee in half.  If you have derogatory marks on your credit be prepared to explain what financial hardship caused them to happen.  Start now in taking steps to repair your credit.  Although having good credit is more of a life long journey, if you’re actively trying to improve your credit and your can show this to a Grass Valley property manager and/or Grass Valley investment property owner, you’ll be a more attractive tenant.  
  4. Lastly, BE HONEST.  There’s nothing worse than finding out a prospective applicant lied to you.  Even if your history isn’t perfect, a Grass Valley property manager and/or landlord would much rather know the truth than a lie.  Honesty is the best policy, always.    

How to beat the Grass Valley competition for a rental property