Help Finding an Apartment You Can Afford
There may be no shortage of available apartments near you, but it’s not as easy finding an apartment you can afford. Studies show that the cost of an apartment is the biggest issue for most prospective tenants. Here are some tips to consider before beginning an apartment search that should offer help finding an apartment you can afford:
- Look for rebates. Even in a relatively tight market, it’s possible to find larger complexes offering rebates. Often, these rebates are available through online sites that display available apartments. The rebate is likely to be $200 or less – and may not always be offered for studio or one-bedroom apartments – but every little bit helps.
- Find a roommate. It’s simple math. A two bedroom apartment usually doesn’t cost twice as much as a one-bedroom unit. That means you end up saving money by going for a larger apartment but sharing all the costs with a roommate. For example: a one bedroom might cost $750 while a $1,200 two-bedroom apartment would only cost $600, with a roommate paying the other $600.
- Be flexible on location. Location is one of the prime factors that affects the cost of rent. If you have reliable transportation and don’t mind living on the edge of town, you should be able to save more than enough to make up for the extra gasoline and other costs for your vehicle.
- Try renting a house or condo. Larger apartment complexes owned by big corporations are not as likely to be flexible on rent as an individual looking for rental income property. By choosing a house or condo for rent and dealing with an individual owner, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.
- Do plenty of research. Don’t sign a lease without spending the necessary time online looking up the cost of apartments in your town. There are plenty of web sites that provided this information. By the time you’ve looked at three to four sites online, you probably have a good idea of an inexpensive price for the type of apartment you are looking for.
- Search in the middle of the month. Experts say it can make a difference. There are few things that bother a landlord more than an apartment that becomes vacant at mid-month.
- Consider a long lease. Some complexes will offer a lower rent for a tenant who signs a year-long lease. Make sure it’s in your best interest to have an apartment for that long because if you decide later you want to leave several months early, paying several months of rent may be your only option.
- Haggle. Don’t hesitate to tell a landlord that you can’t afford what he or she is asking in rent. Even if the tactic is not successful, it isn’t unusual for tenants to respectfully bargain with landlords over the price of apartments.