How To Find A Rental: A Guide for First-Time Renters

So, you’re ready to leave the nest. Aww! How sweet, you are really becoming your own person. Well done for thinking about making a big step forward in your life, here are some tips that you might want to think about.

Finding a house or apartment can be difficult. If you have a friend or person in mind that you want to move out with, it is a good idea to come to an agreement on a few things:

  • Where would you like to live?
  • What is one feature you need?
  • How much would you like to pay?
  • When do you want to move out by?
  • Where do you find a place to rent?

These questions will help both parties, even if you are moving out by yourself, to find potential places. So, we will go a bit more into each of these questions and more below.

Area Matters More

Why do I say this? Well if you are in a house you love, but the area you hate, that can be a problem. Let’s say you’re a beach bum and go to the beach a few times a week. But you go for your dream home that is an hour from the closest beach. If you make a compromise and find a place that you would still be happy to live in but is only a 20 min walk from a beach. You’ll enjoy your time there much more.

So, a good idea is to have a few suburbs in mind, don’t get too fixated on one area, because you might miss some golden opportunities a few suburbs away. For me, I just wanted some nice parks and hills, and where we have landed is just right.

What Is A Feature You Need?

Like to cook? A big kitchen is a must then. Have a large energetic dog? A big backyard might do it some good. Like to throw gatherings? A larger living space might be better for you (maybe not at the moment with this Corvid-19 going round). The point is, that whatever you enjoy doing in your spare time you will have to account for a space that will allow you to do that.

So, when looking for a place, if it doesn’t have your “need” stop looking and move on to the next one. Because if you go with a place that doesn’t have that one feature you will not enjoy living in it as much as you would a place that does have that big kitchen or that large living space.

Give Yourself A Min and A Max

Agree on a minimum amount that you would be happy to pay, and a maximum you would be willing to pay. Usually, somewhere around 30% of your income is standard, obviously, you can choose to reduce that down to 20% of your income or increase it to 35%, but no more, as you might not be able to afford food! The point is to be flexible.

You can use some simple maths to help you figure it out. Let’s say that you earn $800 a week, 30% of that can be found using this method:

800 divided by 10, which will give you 80. Then 80 multiplied by 3 = $240 a week

(For all you maths geeks: (weekly income/10) * 3 = weekly rent

If you earn $1000 a week, your weekly rent should be around $300.

Alright, I hear you, enough with the numbers. Of course, this will help give you an idea about what you can comfortably afford. If you are studying and not working you will have to do some massaging of the numbers. But there is Government assistance available here in Australia. You should be able to find other similar government-assisted programs in your country of living.

I won’t lie, I am in a good spot and are very lucky with where I am. I can hear people complaining right now. “But Carlos, I don’t have money to move out to a place I want to live.” I get it, I have been there. I have been the student with no money, that’s why I stayed at home for so bloody long. This post is not about money, its about finding a place you can enjoy for an extended period of time. With friends or by yourself. I might cover in a later post about how to save and organise your money.

Moving on!

Set A Date

This will help determine if you can take your time or not in finding a place. It also keeps you accountable. It gives you a date to have all your shit together. All your kitchen utensils, all your laundry gear, shelves, bookcase, your wardrobe, and that guitar you never play. All the things you probably won’t think about. It’s okay I’ll be making a list of the things you need for each area of your apartment or house at some point. For those who have moved out, what are some things every house needs?

Finding Your Rental

Okay, so you have your list of suburbs that you like the look of, you have your one essential feature, you have your budget and you have your date. Now, how to find a damn place.

So, there are several sites that display rental properties. Our housemate found ours on, but you can find yours through your local real estate site, like,,,, etc.

So, what helps here is to create a list, have a favourites function, where you can create a shortlist of properties. A list of properties that you, either by yourself or with your housemates, will go to inspect. Contact each of the agents, either by phone or by an online application to set up an inspection time and date.

The rest is somewhat straight forward. If you like the place and it fits your given criteria, put in an application. Then all you can do is hope that you get the one you want.

What You Need for Your Application

Here a list of things you will need for a standard application form:

  1. Your personal details:
    1. Name, email, number, driver’s license, passport, current address
  2. Rental history:
    1. Why you are leaving your current address?
    2. Any previous rental address, landlord or agents name, and weekly rent paid
  3. Employment history:
    1. Current occupation, employers name, contact name and details
    2. Previous, their contact details.
  4. Most forms will have a student only section:
    1. Place of study, course length, course contact, Parents name and contact details.
  5. References:
    1. In case of emergency
    2. Personal references, usually 2.
  6. Other information
    1. Make/Type of car
    2. Any pets

Bonus Tips

Here are some tips for finding and securing a rental property:

  1. Don’t believe the pictures, it’s amazing what a good photo can do. But a photo is just that! Go see it in person, you might have a different idea about what you could do with the space once you are there. This can go both ways too, sometimes photos may not do a place justice.
  2. If you have made your list of places you’d be happy with and put in a few applications. Go with the first one you get.
  3. Try to get some midweek viewing in, you never know how it might turn out. Also, there will be far less competition. And don’t be surprised if you go to a Saturday inspection with 20 other people attending. Let’s say that you go to the inspection on a Wednesday, apply the same day, then get approved Friday. You have just snuck in before anyone else has been able to look at it.
  4. Be proactive, contact agents. Give them a call, I know it can be nerve-wracking, but it’ll put you ahead of the pack by creating that human connection. Not just some words on a screen. It is also a good idea to ask them if you could see the property mid-week, or if they could advise of any other properties in the area.
  5. Have all your application information ready. Why? Not only will you not be trying to dig up the information and wasting precious time. You can bring along some application forms to inspections and fill them out there and then, hand them to the agent, and boom, front of the line right there. (A full application that has been thoroughly filled out, that the agent can’t fault will often do better than one that has been half-arsed.)
  6. Be polite. I know this kinda goes without saying, but its just the right thing to do. Real estate agents are people too you know.

Hope this helps you find and secure a rental property, just know that there is always help around the corner. If you have already moved out let me know if you have any other tips for first-time renters.

Enjoy the journey.


Life update: We have left the nest!

Hello, I know I haven’t posted anything for a very long time. But a lot has changed, I have recently moved out of my parent’s house, with my partner! Yes, we are finally out of my parent’s house, FREEDOM!

There were some challenges, but also a lot of help and support. I would like to thank my parents first and foremost for raising me and letting my stay for as long as I did. Thanks once again Dad for the help moving our shit over to the new place. And a big thanks to our roomie for finding the place.

Okay so, I am new to the world of self-reliance, I mean I have been shopping by myself and for myself before, I know how to cook and clean. But really living and doing things for myself. No parents to tell me or my partner what to do, its all on us to make decisions. Something that only comes with living out of home.

The other thing that comes with that though is paying for rent and bills. Shock! Surprise! Living in the real world costs money, I knew this and it is just the price of freedom. So, warning, if you can’t afford to move out please don’t. Or, plan to move out with a group of people.

With moving out I would like to take the opportunity to start a series of posts to help those that are looking to leave the nest/moving out. I know a lot of my peers are already out and have been for a while. This is more directed to those that are just getting out of high school and are getting ready to make the leap.

I would like to share tips from what some essentials are for me, how to cook some easy recipes, how to save, how to find bargains on Facebook or in an op shop. What to look for in a roommate, and how to plan for rent and not get caught out with your pants down and scratching for money. Where to get medical advice and how you save some money and stay healthy.

Let me know if you would like me to cover anything and what you guys think.


P.s. Don’t worry Mum, I’ll be right.

P.p.s. How mad is that view?

Annoyed? You could be the problem.

Two days into our Japanese trip and I am already kicking myself for doing the thing that I said that I would try and not do. Getting angry at my better half for petty little things. I know that usually, I would have let the annoyances build up and dictate my mood. Unfortunately, I slipped into those old habits only briefly today. Of course, the things that I find annoying are not the problem, I am. So, I am taking a good hard look at the reflection staring back at me and seeing that I still have a long way to go. This is a letter to all those in the same boat as me. If you find yourself frustrated by things that people do around you, it isn’t them, it’s you. This may be news to some, but yes you are the problem.

“But they just cut me off it’s my god-given right to be angry at this dickhead in front of me.” I hear you cry. What if they were rushing to take a loved one to the hospital, or maybe they just didn’t see you. Ultimately you can not change what has happened, you can not influence the person’s decision. Often the only thing you can control is the time it takes you to choose your response and your ensuing actions. I could have stayed mad and frustrated and let my emotions take hold, which I will confess for about an hour they did. (which would have ruined the rest of the day and possibly the trip. However, once I recognised that I was being unfair and looked at the emotions dictating my actions and deconstructed the petty reasons I was feeling them. I could then ultimately feel them, understand them and apologise to my partner for being shitty.

After an hour of stewing and a quick nap before take-off, I remembered a line from a book I read, “emotions like everything, will too pass” (or something along those lines). As with most of my writings and posts, it’s as much about me delivering to the reader as it is about reminding myself of the things I have learnt and must keep doing to be a better human. So, if you feel frustrated with someone in your life, maybe take a look at yourself and try to determine why you feel that way about them, and really try to get to the source, it is more than likely you instead of them.

Thank you for reading,


Success Patterns Can Be Found in All Things

If some of you have been following me recently you will know that I have started up archery after getting a compound bow for my birthday. And with starting something new I will usually draw on other experiences and what I can relate it too. This characteristic is something all of us do, whether we consciously do it or not. When we find patterns we create our own models from these patterns, that could be found through exploration or from learning it from an outside source. Why do we look for patterns to add to our model? Well simply for survival, maybe we can cover that in another post. But, in this case, I’m about to talk about. It’s for the sake of becoming better at something new.

So, shooting a projectile with a string attached to a stick is something very new to me. I never made my own bow as a kid, nor have I shot a rifle or firearm before. Growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne the closest thing to a rifle I had was nerf guns. Not exactly high tech. So, I really don’t know what I’m doing, I have a small understanding of it. Pull the arrow back and let it go, but as green as you can get. So, I go in for my first lesson (down at Aim Archery Moorabbin), get taught the basics, finger placement, how to aim, the arc trajectory of a recurve bow (also known as tradition bow), anchor points, range safety, etc. If you do make the way down to the range George is a great teacher, spends his time with you and really gets you to improve over the session.

However, you won’t improve if you don’t listen and be the student. Here is one pattern that I have noticed in my performance when starting new things. If I am listening and really paying attention to what is being taught, then I will improve at a higher rate. For instance, when I was learning Spanish at university I never really paid attention, I would either be chatting with friends or on my phone. This is no way to learn something, if you want to perform and advance you have to be willing to learn. So, be open to criticism, correct your form, and try again. Someone else can’t learn it for you. When you are a good student, often the teacher will be more attentive to you, I saw this with a kid at high school, He would show interest and ask a lot of questions, he would often get a lot more attention from the teacher. Not because the teacher hated every other student, it’s just that they found the easiest mind to teach.

Anchor points are a big part of archery, especially if you want to get consistent results. Anchor points, are reference points that you use when at full draw for proper sight alignment. The most common points archer’s use and string touching the tip of the nose, the webbing between the thumb and pointer finger and a kisser button (a small loop on the string that meets the corner of the lip.) They allow you to pull the bow back, find your points, sight the target and release. Nevertheless, they will not work if you aren’t consistent with the placement of them. Which, is another pattern I have noticed for the relative success of the task or subject you are learning. Consistency will produce results, either good or bad. If you are consistently setting on your anchor points, your arrow will fly true, then it is only a matter of adjusting your sight. If your anchor points are changing constantly then you will get consistently poor results. Of course, the other part of consistency is to practice.

Often when shooting, I can sometimes throw myself off, either I get a bit too big headed after nailing the bull’s eye and punch (to stuff up) my next shot or I focus on the mistake of the previous shot and punch it again. My most recent lesson has produced a bit of wisdom from George, after two bad shots in a row, I was a bit annoyed with myself and expressed it with George, he told me, “You can only focus on the arrow you have nocked (arrow currently ready to shoot).” And this is something that carries into other disciplines, BJJ, you can only focus on the current technique or position and the escapes, sweeps, and submissions possible. Like in blacksmithing, for better results, focus on each hit, one at a time, each heat.

Just some thoughts and patterns I have noticed and experienced in multiple disciplines, that can be applied to all aspects of life, career, study, gym, martial arts, relationships, whatever else you can think of. If you want to learn quickly and get better results sooner, then try to find similarities between how you have succeeded in past pursuits and apply what you have learned there to your new career, hobby or passion. And a quote from the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

If you know the Way broadly, you will see it in everything.”

Cya on the mats!


Change and Growth

I have written about change before. Relating change and how often we fear it and how to combat the fear by coming up with our worst-case scenario and then deconstructing it. Fear-setting as described by Tim Ferris. I pretty much wanted to share with people something I had found to be useful. However, this post will be more personal as I will recount how I have been able to utilize change and take on the challenge of loving change.

Like I have said before change is inevitable, life is always constantly changing. You may hear news of a family member having their first child, you may hear an old acquaintance just passed away, you may have been fired from your job, your sister or brother may have just started playing gigs with their band. All of these things are changes, some the people have little to zero say in them, other times they have all the power in their hands to make the decision to change. However, in both cases, It is still up to the individual on how they perceive their current reality. Take for instance the person who just lost their job, they have multiple options on how they react and the ultimate decision they take. They could turn to the bottle and begin the downward spiral into depression, or they could use the lack of a job as a sign to look into other careers. Ultimately it is up to them what path they take. This in itself is the scariest part of change, knowing that no one else can make the choice for you, which is why often to avoid the decision people tend to walk the wrong path. Not because they chose it, but because they didn’t choose to take a different one.

In change, this is where we can find growth. Growth does not come from sitting idle, it comes from overcoming obstacles. Through my teen years, I did not understand this fully, I didn’t understand that being idle and sitting on the bus of life, so to speak, will not allow me to grow or where I want to be in life. The bus will take me to a destination that I may not necessarily like, to the wrong side of town that I will be more likely to drown in than to flourish. My dad often used this bus analogy to explain life, if you don’t like the bus your on, get off and get on the one you want, you may even have to go back to a previous destination to get to the one you do want to go to. Once I realized that a science degree was not for me, I got off that bus and worked for a bit, then I went back to school and have now arrived at a destination that I like a fair bit better.

I strongly believe that the times that we grow the most are in times of challenge and change. One, you can use those hurdles as an example that you can overcome the trials now before you, and two, that you can use them as stepping stones to take on more of life. Of course, you are not the only one overcoming things, and people before you have already overcome your current challenge. A big part of my growth has been seeking out people who have already walked the path I want to walk down and talking to, listening or reading about them, and see how I could incorporate the knowledge gained to my own experiences. If you find the task of choosing the first/next person you read about, my advice is: pick the two you want to read about the most, flip a coin, if you don’t like the outcome initially pick the other.

What do I do when my life changes and I don’t like the new situation I’m in? From my experience, it depends on the situation. When I was having tests done to see if they could find more tumors, the only thing I could control was my attitude toward everything. I would make my best effort to always smile while in hospital, always try to either make someone laugh or laugh at my circumstances. The key was making the situation a positive one. After all, I wouldn’t have a say in the results, the only thing I could have a say in was to go through with the precautionary surgery. In terms of not enjoying my new job initially, I once again took control of how I perceived the situation, I looked at the good things and found a way to make it enjoyable. So, overall, I would say, that no matter the situation you find yourself in. Find something in it to make it enjoyable or rewarding, focus on the small positives that you may find and amplify them. You can control the perspective you use to look at the world. My recommendation, choose the positive one.

Thanks for reading.

Cya on the mats.


Why the change?

I have recently changed the name of the site to since I felt that limited me in what I could and could not post about, I am in no way shape or form moving away from what I have been doing. This is just an update about the change. I Hope that you all understand.



Fixing yourself does more than you think it does.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently, I know this idea is not new and I have been reading books and listening to people who share this view a lot. However, I have started to really understand why improving on yourself is more important than I first thought. So, have you ever been in a situation where you can see the answer for someone else’s problem but no matter what you do you will never be able to get them to fix it or change? I have a lot, and I expect to be in more of these situations the older I get. But having learned from past experiences I know there is nothing I can do to directly make them change or make them do something. Yet, there is one thing I can do that will affect them. I can keep on improving myself because as I get better, I then become an example of how improving yourself is the best way forward.

If you don’t improve that’s fine too but know this, no-one is holding you back but yourself. So, no use pointing blame at others (which gives them the power). And that is a hard pill to swallow, knowing that you have to take the outcome of your life into your own hands, that you are directly at fault for how your future pans out. Now I know that you could come from a fractured home, or you could have had cancer, or you were in a car crash but all of that is in the past and you can’t change it. What you can change however is where you are going and how you choose to react to things. I could have the view that the world sucks and why did I have to get one-third of my bowels removed? why couldn’t someone else have had cancer? But then I lost the battle. I have to look at my experience with positive eyes and realize I had to endure that to understand something. Life is a gift, it can be taken at any moment.

As you start to put yourself together into who you want to be, then you can help others, but more importantly, others will see that it is possible. So, by taking responsibility for your part of the world, no matter how small, others may do the same with their part and together you will both help improve the world.

These are just some late night ramblings.

Thanks for reading.

See you on the mats.