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Housing Assistance: Affording an Apartment

Whether you are seeking an apartment for the first time or you are looking for a new place to live, you will most likely want to save money on your new home.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can find a more affordable apartment including searching select areas, avoiding highly desirable features and renovated units and even negotiating your rental agreement with a potential landlord.

Apartments with a view, units that are on a higher floor and units with extensive features are just as important in the consideration of cost as the location.

Additionally, apartments that reside within a bustling neighborhood will often cost more than other apartments.

If you are really looking to save money, consider obtaining a roommate or taking advantage of room rentals.

Furthermore, many rental lease agreements are not set in stone until you sign, which allows you to negotiate for a lower price if you present a win-win situation.

To learn all the tips and tricks that can aid you in your search for an affordable apartment, you can review the sections that have been provided below.

Consider the Neighborhood

It is common knowledge that apartments in busy and cosmopolitan areas are generally more expensive, but you do not have to live in an undesirable neighborhood to find a great deal on an apartment.

One of the best ways to find affordable apartments is to look at a neighborhood that may have once been neglected, but has been expanded upon, revitalized or renewed in some way.

This happens most often after nearby businesses or new homes and communities are constructed.

If timed just right, you can find affordable apartments in these now-desirable neighborhoods before the prices on units skyrocket. Of course, you will want to research each neighborhood that you look at, no matter the price, to learn about the crime rate and economics of a neighborhood.

It is important to keep in mind that lower economic neighborhoods do not always equate to a higher rate of crime.

Factors That May Reduce the Cost of Rent

Other than location, there are a lot of factors of an apartment complex or unit itself that affect the cost of rent. Apartments that have a scenic view or are close to shopping plazas are generally more expensive than an apartment complex that is not accompanied by these features.

Contrary to common belief, apartments that are on the higher floors are actually more expensive than their lower floor counterparts, even if the layout of a unit is exactly the same.

Why, you ask? Statistically speaking, renters tend to value the view of their apartment or features such as balconies far more than the convenience of a ground floor apartment.

Units that are on a corner of the building are also sometimes more expensive as these units tend to be less noisy since you have a wall that is not shared with another neighbor.

Lastly, the features of an apartment have a lot to do with price. Units that offer amenities such as washer and dryers, dishwashers and central air or heat may cost more than a unit that does not offer such amenities. If a unit has recently been renovated, expect high prices and consider asking for a unit that has not yet received renovations.

Negotiating Your Rent With a Potential Landlord

A great deal of renters believe that a rental agreement, including the cost of rent, is set in stone. This is simply not the case and there are an abundance of landlords that will negotiate on price under the right circumstances.

There are a number of techniques that you can use to present a win-win situation that may entice a landlord to lower a rental amount, including:

  • Agreeing to a longer lease period
  • Having flexibility regarding your move in date
  • Offering to prepay some of the rent
  • Offering services such as shoveling walkways, lawn work or painting as needed

If you intend to negotiate with a landlord, it is important to be polite and organized, and you should present yourself professionally. Have your most recent paystubs with you to show your proof of income and any other documentation that the landlord might ask for, as these documents can indicate that you are ready to seal the deal.

Negotiation tactics can also be used if you are renewing a lease. If you have always paid your rent on time, have not caused problems for the landlord or fellow tenants and have not received any complaints, it is possible that your landlord may be willing to negotiate your rent if you agree to sign another lease.

Reviewing Move-in Specials

Move-in specials are a good way to attract new prospective renters so this type of advertisement is common no matter the area you are looking to move to. If you are interested in more than one apartment, consider the move in specials that may be offered.

While a lower deposit, waived application fee or entirely free deposit may seem like a steal, it is actually cheaper for you in the long run to find a move in special that offers a lower rental rate for the entire length of your lease.

While that lower deposit may save you $200 immediately, obtaining even $25 off your rental price can lead to a $300 saving over a one-year period.

Obtain a Roommate for Lower Expenses

Roommates are popular for one obvious reason: saving money. When you have a roommate, you can generally split both rent and utilities down the middle, allowing both you and your roommate to save money.

This can also help you to better afford a more desirable apartment or live within a bustling area. In most cases, obtaining a roommate can be even cheaper than renting a studio or one bedroom apartment.

Take Advantage of Rooms for Rent

Another option available to you that provides extremely affordable housing is by taking advantage of an advertisement for a room for rent. Rooms for rent are different from apartments as you would be living in another individual’s home, but you would be given your own room that would be “separate” from the rest of the household.

In many cases, rooms for rent will also offer you a private bathroom and use of a kitchen. In some cases, you may even be permitted to use of common areas.

Rooms for rent are common in many areas and can easily save you money, so long as you do not mind not having your own apartment.

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