Apartment rents can take out a major chunk of your salary. If you are planning on saving some money or simply don’t have the money to pay high rental costs, don’t get intimated by apartment rentals.
How to find cheap rental apartments
With these tricks you can get yourself an apartment for cheap, without having to move into a dump:
Figure out your budget
How much can you take out for apartment rentals, without cutting back on your main expenses? Keep in mind that you will have to take this amount out monthly or even quarterly. We suggest keeping the figure around 20% of your salary. So, if you are earning $5,000 per month, don’t spend more than $1,000 on your rent.
Once you have a figure, you can narrow down apartment searches to the amount you have.
What are your expectations?
When it comes to apartment rentals, think of what you can compromise on and what you don’t want to. Some things you might want to consider are:
- Number of bedrooms
- Commute Time
- Distance to the bus stop/ subway
- Parking options
- Pet policy
- Whether the apartment has any white appliances, or will you be expected to buy them
Do an online search
Once you have a rough idea of what you want, the next step is to go online and search. Filter the search using your budget limit and your expectations. This will give you a rough idea of where you stand. Download real estate apps like Street Easy, Zillow, and Craiglist. Check what they are offering.
Go and visit some of the apartments that interest you. You should look at least 5 -10 apartments before you make a decision.
What’s Your Credit Rating?
Most people searching for apartments don’t know this, but your credit rating impacts your position. If you have a credit score of above 350, then you are in a better position to negotiate rent with your landlord or agent. It’s better to get an idea of where you stand. You can request your credit rating report from any of the three credit bureaus in US.
If your credit rating is below 350, it doesn’t mean your chances of landing a good cheap rental apartment are bad. Read more about renting an apartment with bad credit at Crediful.
Look At Suburban
The rental costs go down significantly when you move away from the main city. Plus, suburban usually offer a community. Look at the commute. Will you be able to commute daily? Maybe you can pair up with a colleague or a neighbor to save commute time.
Consider Looking for a Roommate
You can bring down apartment cost to a half, if you find a roommate to share the cost with. Ask your friends if they are looking to rent an apartment. Place an ad on Facebook, or even Craiglist.
But before you do that, find out if you are allowed to bring a roommate. Ask your landlord. Get a written agreement in your contract with your landlord to avoid problems later on. Also create an agreement with your roommate for the same reason. Lay down the rules of the contract beforehand.
Do you qualify for subsidy?
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD offers people in the lower-income scale rental subsidy. If you are unable to afford rent in any decent place, consider applying for a subsidy. Do a search on the HUD website to find out if you qualify for a subsidy.
Rent Directly from Landlord
When you hire an estate agent, you should know that they will be charging a fee from both you and the landlord when a deal is stuck. A real estate agent might make your job easier by showing you apartments that match your exact criteria. But when you don’t have money to spare, skip the agents.
Look for apartments that are rented from the landlord directly.
Don’t Forget to Negotiate
Every landlord keeps some space for negotiation. Negotiate on the rentals. Even if the rent amount is within your budget, negotiate still. Start with 20% less than the asking amount. Be prepared to make a little room for negotiation so ask for a lower price than you are willing to give. Remember, if you have a good credit score, you can get more room for negotiation.
Inspect the Apartment
Never rent an apartment without inspecting it carefully. Visit it at least two or three times before making your final decision.
Spread your visits to different times of the day to get a better understanding of what to expect. Look at the plumbing. Check the taps. Ask whether you will be getting any appliances with the apartment. Check if they are in working condition.
If you can’t inspect the apartment in person, ask a friend or family to do it for you.