The process of searching for housing and finding a place to call home can be challenging, but there are resources and tools available to simplify the process. Use this step-by-step guide full of resources and strategies to help with your online housing search.
Step One: Set Your Expectations and Budget
Before you begin your search, take a moment to set realistic expectations and establish your budget. While the general guideline suggests allocating 30% of your income to housing, today's rental market can be challenging. You might need to be flexible with your budget or consider creative solutions like sharing a space. Focus on what truly matters to you, such as affordability, location, amenities, and size, to find a rental that meets your unique needs and circumstances.
Step Two: Find Internet and Computer Access
If you lack access to a computer or internet access at home, don't worry. Local libraries and drop-in centers often offer free public internet and access to computers. Visit our Housing Resource Centres or the Region of Waterloo Public Libraries to find free access to computers and the internet.
Step Three: Explore Housing Search Resources
Use the search bar at the top of each housing search online resource to input the area, city, or province where you want to find available rental units. Use filters to narrow down or expand your search based on factors like price range, move-in dates, and number of bedrooms.
- Kijiji: Offers a wide range of rental listings, from apartments to houses. To find current rental listing in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, visit our Housing Search Online Resources.
- Walk Score: Discover the walkability and transit-friendliness of different neighborhoods, a vital aspect when selecting your new location.
- Rent Board: An invaluable resource providing an extensive listing of rental properties, complete with filters to help you refine your search.
- Zumper: Explore a user-friendly platform designed to help you find apartments and houses for rent in various cities.
- 4Rent: Discover apartments and homes for rent, with valuable resources for renters.
Step Four: Be Mindful of Online Scams
Avoid dealing in cash, sharing confidential information, making premature deposits, and always view the unit in person. Keep these rental red flags top of mind to avoid an internet housing scam when you are conducting your housing search.
Step Five: Make Use of Additional Local Supports
- Housing Search Support Sessions: Sign up for our Housing Search Support Sessions where our skilled Housing Advisors help you become more familiar with the online tools and strategies that can help you find housing. Next session is September 28th - sign up here.
- The Renter’s Toolkit: Produced by the Region of Waterloo in collaboration with Lutherwood and other local service providers, The Renter’s Toolkit offers answers to common questions, informative videos, printable tip sheets, and worksheets to help you find and maintain a home. (Explore the Toolkit).
Remember, if you need additional support in your housing search or are at immediate risk of losing your home, we are here to help. Please call our Housing Resource Centre at 519-749-2450 or drop into our resource center Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM to find out how we can assist you.
Use this guide and list of resources to help you with your housing search online.
"Since being housed, I have been able to work towards many of my goals, I have addressed my health concerns, and I have been able to strengthen many of my relationships. I am very grateful for Lutherwood's help."