Finding your forever home

Across Australia, property prices are sky high and finding budget rental accommodation seems to be out of reach for many people. Having a secure place to live for the long term does away with the stress of frequent moves as rental properties are sold, and it offers you peace of mind, knowing that you can finally sink down some roots and breathe a great big sigh of relief.

So where do you look when you're in the market for stable, long term accommodation? The answer lies in using the many resources you have on hand.

Searching online

Of course, a great place to start when searching for budget rental accommodation is online, and Australia boasts some fantastic commercial real estate websites that allow you to focus your search by geographical area and budget. Many of these property-specific sites will even prompt you to narrow your search by your particular personal requirements, and you can get as specific as you wish in terms of the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and parking spaces you require, whether pets are allowed and sometimes even the length of the lease on offer.

There are also many other social, community and classifieds websites that, while not specifically tailored to renting properties, certainly include several private rentals in the mix. If you're open to renting a granny flat from a local family or even tenanting a holiday property the landlord can no longer afford to maintain, community sites are a great place to search.

Hitting the streets

Next, give it a personal touch and do the rounds of the real estate agents in your area. Although most agents maintain updated databases of their available properties on their own websites, nothing beats a friendly face and a big warm hello when you're trying to make an impression. If you're after something unusual, for example a flat with a studio space or a commercial kitchen attached, a face to face approach is often more successful in turning up properties that are a little out of the ordinary.

While you're on the town take a look at any notice boards you can find in your local supermarket, cafe or community centre. You'll be surprised at the budget rents on offer from private landlords.

Using your networks

You'll be amazed how often just chatting to someone you know can turn up a property to rent. Property owners often prefer to entrust their apartment or house to someone they know, and having a personal reference from a friend or former employer can go a long way towards putting you ahead of the pack. Letting people know you are seeking long term accommodation is also a great way to express your reliability and stability - two qualities that landlords adore!

So go on, get out there. The perfect home is waiting just for you.