“Education is the fire-proofer of emotions.”
But what do these sage words have to do with finding the best apartment deals?
It’s simple: in order to find the very best apartment for your unique needs, you need to weigh up several important factors; educate yourself, if you will. You also need to throw emotion out of the window!
Here is what this wise counsel looks like in practice.
Getting the Best Apartment Deals
If you’re about to embark on a search for your first apartment, or even if you have been renting for a while, it can prove an emotional experience. What we really want versus what we can realistically afford to spend tend to do battle in our brains. We may make impulsive decisions that will cost us dearly down the line.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.
1. Know Your Numbers
Before you start typing “apartment deals near me” you need to know your budget. Our fickle brains have an uncanny way of tempting us with rentals that we can’t afford. Sad, but true. Create a budget, write everything down, and have a fixed monthly figure that you won’t exceed.
Ideally, your monthly rental should hover around 20 percent of your income – 30 percent at a push. Be sure to cap your search within this range to avoid financial hardships in a few months.
2. Widen Your Search
You may have an ideal area that you’d prefer, but we all know that the best areas are usually the most expensive. Can you realistically look for an apartment a little further away, where lower rentals offset additional travel costs?
It may be something of an adjustment to move into a smaller space if you’re used to a sprawling family home. But be honest – do you really need all that extra floor space? How much time are you going to spend in your apartment, and does it justify the additional cost?
3. Look for New Constructions
Owners and landlords managing newly built apartment blocks are eager to rent them out as soon as possible. Therefore, they may be a little more flexible on pricing and you may just pick up a good deal that benefits both parties.
4. Get a Roommate
City rentals can be steep, but a carefully chosen roommate can help to carry the cost.
The difference in cost between a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom apartment may not be as much as you think. This allows you to split a higher rent down the middle and you end up with more space at a lower cost. An added bonus is that you also have someone paying toward your utilities.
Just be sure to choose your roommate wisely.
5. Factor in All the Costs
Your monthly rental is one cost. Your lifestyle and choice of apartment will dictate the others. For example, will you need to budget more for transport or gas to get to work? Are there extra security costs to consider? Will the local amenities fill your needs, or will you have to travel further afield?
These are your real monthly costs and aren’t going to go away because you’ve found a beautiful apartment.
6. Get Your Papers in Order
Your landlord is likely to ask for some or all of the following documents:
- Your contract or letter of employment.
- Pay slips or bank statements as proof of income.
- References from previous landlords to confirm that your monthly payments were regular, and you didn’t damage the property in any way.
- Details of any pets you may have if this is applicable.
- Any information on your lifestyle; for example, if you travel extensively or you work night shifts.
They may also require a credit check. Why not request a free credit report from one of the credit bureaus to make sure that this isn’t going to trip you up later?
7. Start Early
Good apartments tend to go quickly in desirable areas. That means you want to start your search early to give you ample time to look around at what’s on offer and snap up the best deals as soon as they become available. There are some great online sources for locating great deals; go here for some excellent sites for NYC apartments.
Don’t leave anything until the last minute as this makes the whole process far more stressful than it needs to be. Remember, you will need to factor in your own notice period too.
8. Be Prepared to Jump
Don’t let a great deal slip through your fingers because you’re not prepared. Get your paperwork together and have your down payment ready and waiting.
Most landlords will ask for your first and last month’s rental along with a security deposit for damages. There’s no point in shopping for your perfect home if you don’t have this ready to secure the apartment of your dreams.
9. Check the Place Out
Once you’ve found the perfect place that within budget and in a great location, be sure to check the place out. Ask questions about the neighbors. Scout out the local area to get a feel for the people there. Check that the facilities are well-maintained, and everything works as it should.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your landlord. Your dream apartment can quickly turn into a nightmare if they are difficult or dishonest!
Finding the Best Apartment Deals Takes Work
Remember, a deal is only a deal if it’s right for you. There is more to the best apartment deals than the monthly rental. A smart tenant will make sure that they check off as many boxes as they can before signing on the dotted line.
For more lifestyle and living information, keep an eye on our practical and informative articles.