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I am a couple of years out of college and I'm not ready to make the commitment involved in purchasing a new house. However, the appeal of living in a house (as opposed to an apartment) is significant to me, and I am considering renting a house as a test-run to see if I really know what I want in a house, what problems I'll have, etc. It will also give me a nice place to live between now and the time that I'm ready to "lock myself in" for 5+ years of living in the same house.

Does anyone here have tips for finding a good value in a rental house? Can you point me towards suggestions for evaluating and dealing with landlords? I assume this will be significantly different than dealing with the corporation that runs my apartments.

I am about 1 year away from making my decision on this, so I'm just starting to test the waters. Anybody who can point me towards a guide or intro would be very helpful.
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