Renting an apartment gives you flexibility, both in location and budgeting. It is also an easy way to have a comfortable home until you can save enough for the down payment of your first house. Watch out though: rental prices, along with other expenses, can be costly. Below are some tips that can help you save money on your rent when signing a lease.
- Pick an affordable location.
In general, living in the outskirts of the city is cheaper. Renting a posh pad downtown is obviously more expensive than a cozy rental in the suburbs. The commute may be longer in the latter though, and may increase your fuel costs if public transportation is not available. Consider your needs and choose an apartment in a location that matches your budget.
- Negotiate the rental cost.
If the apartment you are eyeing has empty units or has been vacant for a while, you may be able to negotiate a deal with the landlord. It never hurts to ask for a reduced rate. Check the prices of nearby competition and use it as leverage. If the landlord is not willing to lower the rent, ask if it is possible to waive the application fee or deposit. Just ask and always be on the hunt for discounted rental rates and move-in specials. They exist.
- Decide your essentials.
Do you really need a one-bedroom apartment or a studio is enough? Will you save on parking fees if you choose an apartment in the suburbs instead of downtown? These questions will help you define what is essential to you. This is particularly useful if you plan on renting for a short time. As long as an apartment meets your basic needs, is safe, and comfortable, you should be okay and save money at the same time.
- Find roommates.
Find roommates you connect with to quickly split your rental costs. Make sure you are all on the same page when it comes to paying your bills and establishing house rules. Also, sign individual leases to protect yourself from a possibly irresponsible roommate. It is better to be safe than sorry.