How much you can expect to spend on an apartment rental relies on several variables. If your budget is a top priority, there are a few strategies you can use to find apartments at a reasonable price. Some apartment rentals might offer more for what you’re willing to pay rather than having to compromise.
For instance, a lot of apartments are priced according to the location. Being open to an alternative location might mean you can save some money off your apartment rentals. However, you do have to weigh all the pros and cons of settling on a neighborhood or city that isn’t the best spot. The trade-off for cheaper rent might lead to minor inconveniences with work, amenities, or being social.
Here is a quick guide on how you can save money on an apartment rental.
Buy A Smaller Unit
If you’re just one person, you may not need lots and lots of space. A two-bedroom, for instance, isn’t something you necessarily need as just one person. Try for a 1-bedroom or bachelor’s apartment instead. Keep in mind an apartment doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement. It often isn’t. If you want to save money, look at what you can sacrifice and try a smaller apartment.
Basement apartments are generally cheaper than those on above-ground flooring. This is because most people have the misconception that a basement unit is bad. While some basement rentals in detached homes are less than desirable, basement units in apartments are often identical to those above-ground except with fewer windows.
Look At Transportation Routes
Research the transportation routes from your apartment to your workplace or school campus. The cost of a bus pass can prove more cost-effective than paying extra in rent to be closer to education or work. If you can live slightly further out of your ideal neighborhood, you may still navigate easily and affordably via public transportation.
Look At What’s Included
Some apartment rentals hike up the price but include a lot. Do a full monthly budget, with electricity, cable, internet, cell phone, and any other apartment-related costs you have. Do comparisons side-by-side considering the money you might save monthly paying a little more on an apartment rental. You can actually save money this way.
However, try to avoid furnished apartments for rent. They tend to be more expensive and fancier than what you can get unfurnished. Although you’ll have to buy furniture for your first rental, this is something you can do on your own dime. That means you can control the costs.
Get a Roommate
The easiest way to save money on an apartment rental is to get a roommate. That way, everything is split and you cut your bills in half. If you like your time alone, this is definitely not a perfect scenario. If you can make the sacrifice and split the bills with someone else, even in a temporary arrangement, this drives down the cost of an apartment rental.
Try to Negotiate
Negotiation is not necessarily an option in most markets. If it’s highly competitive and a landlord has multiple offers, they probably won’t be open to negotiating the price downward. In some areas, you may negotiate a different rent by cutting out amenities included or by offering some handyman work to the building.
Some superintendents may be willing to allow you part of the responsibilities of being the apartment on-call handyman for a lower rent. If you know the basics of plumbing, painting, and maintenance, this is an important skill that you can use to net sometimes a significantly lower rent. It’s all up to the landlord, unit owner, or superintendent though.
Look for Unconventional Apartments
Look for places where you may think some people wouldn’t want to live. Apartments can exist anywhere, above a bar or restaurant or tucked away on a main road. You may be able to find a deal renting an apartment not advertised on main websites. Some affordable apartment units are slightly off the beaten path and not located in a commercial apartment building.
Ask if You Can Rent or Sublet
Another option to save money is renting or subletting a part of your unit. If there’s parking included with your unit, you may be able to rent it. If you have more than one bedroom, consider renting out the second bedroom monthly or nightly. Unfortunately, not all landlords will allow for this. Some leases also make it clear this isn’t allowed. Be sure to ask ahead of time. If possible, negotiate.