Got a new job across the state or country? Congratulations are in order. We hope you’re celebrating, but chances are, you’re probably also wondering, “How will this even work?”

Maybe you have a family and are worried about uprooting your kids from school. Maybe your significant other has a good job, which they’ll have to leave behind. Either way, these puzzle pieces will work themselves out if this new position is a good fit for you and puts your family in a better place.  

The important thing now is to talk to your family and make arrangements. One of those arrangements is finding a place to live.

In this blog, we’ll share all you need to know about how to rent a house when relocating to take some extra stress off your shoulders. Considering you’re moving somewhere you haven’t spent a lot of–or any–time in, having a few pointers can make a world of difference.  

A Suburban mid-century house with garage

What should you look for when renting a new house?

Renting a house in a new city can be intimidating, but you’re already off to a great start. That’s because you don’t have to worry about moving to another city without a job or whether you should find a job or apartment first.

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You already have one.

That puts you ahead of the game and will make the home search process significantly easier. 

If you’re curious about how to rent a house when relocating, you have two things to think about: (1) the best neighborhood to move to in your price range and (2) what to do with your current house. 

When it comes to a new potential rental, make sure it hits all your needs. Then, focus on the wants. Some things to look for are:

  • Price range (It’s best to keep your rent at no more than 30% of your total income.)
  • Distance to your work
  • Proximity to schools
  • Quality of those schools
  • Crime rate in the neighborhood
  • Amenities

If you’re moving with a family, there are many more things to consider than if you’re moving alone or with your significant other. You have to think about the schools, safety ratings, and more to make sure your kids will feel comfortable at school and get a quality education. 

Also, if your kids are involved in any extracurricular activities or sports, double-check that they have those same activities available in your new city to ensure your kids are happy with the new move and still able to enjoy their favorite activities despite their whole world shifting with an intrastate or cross-country move.

Tips on how to find a new place to rent

Here are some ideas for finding a place to live in your new city: 

#1: Go on Craigslist

An oldie but a goodie, Craigslist lets you browse online rental listings across the country. You can specify a minimum or maximum price, type of housing, and whether animals are allowed. Another nice thing about Craigslist is that you’re not limited to houses. This platform also has listings for apartments, rooms, shared housing, sublets, and temporary housing. 

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#2: Look at social media, blogs, and forums

One of the best ways to find a place to rent is to learn from other people who live in the city. Browse social media, real estate blogs, and forums to find out where the nice places are and where your family might like to live. That can help narrow down your search and alert you to the best independent renters, apartment complexes, rental agents, extended-stay hotels, and property managers. 

#3: Check out online listings

Some popular sites to find rentals include,,,,, and A quick search can show you what price to expect in your target neighborhood. Once you find a few places you like, schedule an in-person or virtual showing to check out the rental. If it hits all your criteria, you can fill out an application to rent a property. 

#4: Contact a realtor

Realtors help people buy and sell homes. If someone relocates from another city or state, they may need temporary housing until a home is available. Most realtors have recommendations for short-term rentals or other housing options, so it’s worth the phone call. 

A couple shaking hands with a realtor
A realtor may have tips on where to land in a new a city

What should you do with the house you’re moving from?

You can leave your house as is if you’re only going to be gone a few months. However, you’ll still have to pay the mortgage while you’re away. So, you might want to rent out your home. Here’s how to do that: 

How to rent out a house

If you aren’t ready to sell your current house and plan to return to your old city at some point, renting out the house is a great option. Not only can it give you a recurring rental income, which can help supplement your spouse’s income while you are away, but it can keep you from having to pay rent for two properties at the same time. Depending on where you’re moving to, that can get pricey. 

Here are the steps to rent out your house:

  • Research the rates for other rentals in your city and neighborhood.
  • Research the landlord-tenant laws in your area. 
  • Consult your accountant about how to handle property taxes. 
  • Ask a lawyer for help drafting a rental agreement.
  • Hire a property manager if you don’t have time to manage the rental yourself. (This is especially helpful if you live out of state temporarily.)
  • Hire a maintenance person to handle problems at the property. 
  • Hire a landscaper (if needed). 
  • Write a listing.
  • Schedule showings.
  • Screen applicants. You can do a credit check and request references, employment status, proof of income, and more to ensure that they can pay rent. (You might also request a security deposit, a pet deposit (if applicable), and the first and last month’s rent.)
  • Take pictures of the property before the renters move in. 
  • Have your renters sign a lease.
  • Open a separate bank account to hold onto the renter’s security deposit.

How do you get an apartment in a new city?

If the houses in your new city are out of your price range right now, an apartment is a great alternative. The process of finding an apartment is similar to finding a house. You can check out listings online or call different real estate companies to see if there are any vacant apartments in your desired neighborhood. 

Also, if you have time to drive around before your move and look at apartment complexes, call the complexes directly to ask about their availability. There are typically at least a few openings at large complexes (particularly in the spring and summer). Whether you get an apartment or house to rent, make sure to bring your driver’s license, proof of income, references, and bank statements. (That will make the process of how to rent a house with a new job much easier, keeping you from having to track all of that information down later.)

A stylish apartment living room
An Airbnb may be an option for a short-term rental

Can you move into an Airbnb? 

Absolutely! Airbnbs are another wonderful option if you don’t have much time before your expected moving day or are having a hard time finding a place to rent. You don’t have to worry about a lease, and you can move in promptly, which can make it easier to find a house or apartment to rent in your new city. 

Another great benefit of Airbnbs is that they come furnished with all of your bare essentials and often more, including a kitchen, couch, bed, and sometimes washer and dryer. You won’t need to purchase any furniture or appliances since the Airbnb will have it all. Just make sure that you talk to the host first and verify that the Airbnb is okay for a long-term stay so that you don’t run into any problems. 

Need help moving?

Now that you know how to rent a house when relocating for work, it’s time to go through your moving checklist and get this show on the road. Make sure you’re getting the most value out of your move by comparing company moving quotes before booking. If you need movers for an intrastate or cross-country move, Bellhop can help. Our long-distance movers can load your items onto a moving truck, deliver your items from point A to point B, and unload your items at your new home. 

Ready to get started? Book a move online today.

Nick Valentino