About 36 percent of Americans still pay for rent and there are many reasons why a person would rather pay for rent than own a house. The truth, however, is that renting can be more expensive than owning your own place.
In fact, the median cost of rent increased by 19.5 percent since 2007. It could now cost thousands of dollars to be able to afford a place monthly. Whether you’re still a student or already working, paying for rent is just really expensive. It probably even takes the biggest chunk of your income each month.
Nowadays, practicality is important. If you can’t avoid paying rent, then you have to find ways to save money from it. Here are some good tips that we’d like to share.
- Choose a wise location
When looking for an apartment, one of the important factors you should consider is the location. This could determine how much rent you’ll need to pay and how much you’ll be spending each month. This basically affects your monthly budget so be wise about it.
If you’re working, look for a place that is near your workplace. If it’s just not possible, then look for a place that’s near public transportation. Looking for a place that’s nowhere near a bus stop or a train station will mean that you will have to book a cab or taxi ride. Your monthly expenses will definitely skyrocket with that.
It’s typically ideal to look for a place in the center part of the city. Just make sure that a transport hub is easily accessible.
- Negotiate your rent
Before signing a lease, it’s always a good idea to negotiate the price of the rent. Check with the landlord if there is anything that can be settled to have lower monthly rent. Ask the landlord about insurance coverage.
A renter’s insurance is typically not included in rental agreements as landlords have insurance of their own. However, know that renting is a financial risk for you as well. While having a landlord insurance can help protect the apartment, that won’t really get you covered for anything.
You can first talk to an agent from renter’s insurance agencies like Paige & Campbell to check for affordable policies. Once you know the details, you can share this with your landlord and see whether you can work on an agreement to lower your rent because of this.
Aside from that, make sure that you inspect the apartment thoroughly. You can always use the imperfections of the apartment during rent negotiation. You can also tell the landlord that you can take care of the maintenance if the rent will be lowered for you.
- Get a roommate
When you simply can’t afford to live in a place on your own, then getting a roommate or even more can be a sensible solution. Just make sure that you have the space to accommodate more people in your house.
What’s even better about getting a roommate is that you don’t just have someone to split the rent with. You can split other expenses and utilities with your roommate too. However, if this is what you plan on doing, make sure that you check this with your landlord. Some places can only allow a maximum number of heads in an apartment. Such rules are usually printed on the contract so be sure to check on that.
- Sign for a longer lease
Landlords are always after stability. They’d rather have their properties rented than vacant most of the time. This is why sometimes, there are landlords who would allow a decrease in rent as long as you sign an extended lease with them.
Be sure to check this with your landlord before signing an agreement with them. Typically, a lease should be at a minimum of two years, and so make sure that you’ve really made up your mind about this before signing.
- Pay upfront
Aside from signing an extended lease, you should also check if the landlord would give in to lower monthly rent if you pay upfront instead. If you’ll be signing for a one-year lease, check if the amount could be lowered if you pay for the whole year or a few months.
This may mean that you’ll need to use a big chunk of your savings. If this is the case, make sure that you pay the money back into your savings. This option works best if you already have the money. Avoid this if you only plan on using your credit card. Credit card interests just won’t help you save any money.