Originally Posted by gilmorehorsemanship
Also, check with real estate dealers in the area.
Absolutely do this. We were having a VERY hard time finding a place. It took us about a year to finally find a place. We kept an eye on anything advertised in the paper for that time and went to look at every single place, even ones we had a pretty good idea wouldn't work. There was a lot of competition for every place we looked at, and many became so outrageously priced (through competitive offers by people desperate to get the place) we could have never afforded them. We also considered buying a place so we were using a realtor. We had told her that we would also consider a place to lease within our requirements, and she happened to know of our current place. It wasn't ready when we started looking, but became so later last year. She told us she would let us know as soon as it was ready to go, and she did. The place wasn't even advertised yet, and we got a FANTASTIC deal on it. It is nicer than any other place we looked at, and is less than half the price. It is less in rent than our house in town was. We just found out recently that one of the employee's of our landlord wanted to rent it, but we were already looking at it when he found out it was for lease again. So, the moral of my novel is: Use a realtor. They typically (around this area anyway) help people find houses for rent for free, with just the hope that you will remember that when you go to buy a house.