Finding a Rental in a New City

After owning a home for nearly 10 years, it was super weird and super hard for me to transition to being a renter. I spent a ton of time looking into different places, locations, and types of rentals.

A few key things I realized about renting in a city, specifically Denver, Colorado:

  1. It is very expensive. Full stop. We pay $1400 for a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom duplex 15 minutes from downtown Denver. It has a giant yard, garage, and fireplace. Our mortgage in Grand Junction was $870. Ouch. Some things we lost in this rental: A/C, 2nd bath, 3rd bedroom.
  2. Private rentals seem to be better. They are more willing to work with you, are friendlier, and much more accessible for maintenance. They want to protect their investment. I eventually found ours on
  3. Be fully aware of what area you are in- it is a little sketchy to rent sight unseen. Make sure you can go and tour the place or send a trusted friend or family member. We almost ended up in a tiny tiny rental that wasn't well maintained because it looked great in the pictures but not in person. 
  4. Take someone with you! My mother-in-law, Kathy, went along with me to help me be critical. She has lived in Denver for 30+ years and knows the areas really well. 
  5. Be prepared to offer an 18 or 24 month lease. You will lock in your rate, especially with the constantly changing housing market in a hot area like this.
  6. Be willing to expand your search area. Everyone here commutes and there is a great public transit system.
  7. Be patient! It took us from the end of April until the first of June to find this place. 

Here is our rental the first time we took a tour (we're the right half of the duplex): 

Overall it is a good space with new carpet and nice doors (I care about these things) and it was full brick and I'm not going to lie, I LOVE parking in a garage. The main pros of this home that helped us to select it:
  • It had a gigantic back yard for our baby dogs. They LOVE it out there! I just read an article online from Time about how millenials are picking housing for their dogs and not for their families. I mean, guilty. It's a fun read, find it here on!
  • 6 foot privacy fence around 3/4 of the back yard. After only having a short chainlink, this was amazing to me.
  • Decently budget friendly.
  • Garage!
  • Covered patio!
  • Did you even see that big yard?
  • Fireplace
  • Separate dining room space
  • Can have both dogs without major deposit cost.
  • Well maintained, clean, non smoking.
  • Family nearby.
  • Quick and easy highway access for commuting.

Our landlord is awesome. The color on the walls was very peanut buttery, and though that is one of my favorite snacks... it was a bit intense in a semi-gloss throughout the whole house. The landlord let us paint and personalize the space. It made a huge difference! I'll show you all that awesomeness next. We fixed it up to be really quite cute. 

Do you have any rental tips? What did you learn moving to a new place? 

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