What are some of everyone's favorite resources to refer to when trying to determine average rent rate in a particular area?
Zillow Data FTW!
Appreciate the input @Jon Reed !
Rentometer and craigslist.
@Matt Heidenfelder as said before, rentometer is a great resource. Otherwise I have looked at other active rentals on various sites like Zillow and estimate based on the most similar unit. Then, a quick call to a rental real estate agent will help round you out.
If you want to really shake things up check rental rates in HUD and that will give you what the government values the rent at for voucher programs like Section 8 if you are interested and qualify to offer Section 8. My experience is the HUD rate can be VASTLY different than open market so keep that in mind.
The Annual Census, known as the American Community Survey, is a good resource as well.
Rents are broken down by value cohort and even by number of bedrooms
Here is an example for Cleveland, OH
Definitely Zillow and Craigslist although the ones mentioned above can be very handy as well. I just get rent prices as if we're running comps basically and see what they're asking in the area and adjust for square footage and renovations etc and of course if completely unfamiliar with an area most agents or property managers should be aware of the rental rates so they're good resources.