Renting a House
Visitors looking for housing may have different priorities in choosing the best home and neighborhood.
- The first step is creating a list including the wants and needs in a home and neighborhood.
- Browse the following housing search sites
For visitors with kids of school age, school options will probably be the most important criterion in house renting. They can determine the candidate schools via the following school rating sites and then look for housing in the enrollment districts of the chosen schools.
After determining the nominee houses for renting,
- Contact property managers directly to set up visits. If you are not in the area, you may ask a friend to visit on your behalf.
- Finalize the lease agreement.
Move-In Day Necessities
Most of the supplies (cleaning, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, living room) you need on your move-in day can be purchased from a convenience store (Walmart, Target, Meijer, etc.), but a Dollar Tree may have these same items for a better price.
Divide your list of furnishings into what needs to be purchased immediately and what can wait. You will save money by not purchasing items that will sit idle. Many essential furnishings can be purchased second-hand (https://www.voaohin.org/columbus-thrift, https://www.goodwillcolumbus.org/,https://www.habitat.org/restores).
Now, you have a new address and need to set up the utilities.
- Electricity is through AEP Ohio (https://www.aepohio.com): +1 800 277 2177
- Gas is through Columbia Gas of Ohio (https://www.columbiagasohio.com/): +1 800 344 4047
TV, Internet, and Phone Services
Many providers can give you access to various connectivity services, such as TV, internet, and phone (e.g., https://www.t-mobile.com/, https://www.verizon.com/, https://www.spectrum.com/, …). Once you’ve decided on a service provider, you can pay an installer, or in some cases, such as installing internet or cable, you can do it yourself.
If you rent a home with a community Mailbox, you will need to go to the U.S. Post Office – USPS (https://www.usps.com/) that services your property (You will pick up the mailbox keys from that local post office). Community Mailboxes are owned by the USPS and are federal property; they are not owned by the public or property owners.
Once you move to Ohio, getting your driver’s license is important. You can get your driver’s license through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles – BMV (https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/). You may need to provide specific identification and proof of residency (for Non-U.S. citizens https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/dl-non-permanent-resident.aspx). Fill out the paperwork to get a new driver’s license, take any required tests (https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/forms-general.aspx) and pay the required fees.
Opening a Bank Account
There are two types of retail banks for personal banking and having a checking account in the U.S.: National banks and State banks.
- National banks (https://www.chase.com/, https://www.capitalone.com/, https://www.bankofamerica.com/, https://www.huntington.com/, …) have branches in all states across the nation.
- On the other hand, state banks have branches in their local states (in Ohio: https://www.bankatosb.com/, …).
You can deposit and withdraw money by opening a checking account in these retail banks. These banks also give out credit and debit cards, loans, and financial assistance.
To open a bank account, you will be asked for a lot of information. For most banks, that information is your birthdate, Social Security Number (SSN), U.S. address, and phone number. Most banks will also want to see one or two forms of identification (driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, state ID, etc.).
You will need an initial deposit if the bank approves you for an account. For most banks, this deposit is between 25 and 100 dollars, but each bank is different.
It is important to check with your bank to see what you will need to open an account there.