How to save money when you are looking for a rental apartment

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to save money when you are looking for a rental apartment

Though home buying is on the rise, there are still plenty of people in this country looking to rent houses and apartments. Renting—especially renting apartments—is an attractive option for those with temporary living situations—think college students living near campus or professionals whose career requires extensive travel.

While renting an apartment doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, you could wind up spending much more than you’d anticipate if you don’t choose the right place. The problem is that there are so many factors that determine the price of an apartment: the location of the place, the presiding landlord, and the time of year all contribute to the bottom line of your rent and utilities. Fortunately, I have some tips regarding apartment hunting that could help you save a ton of money and steer you away from unnecessary stress and hassle. I hope you’ll give them a read. After all, in this shaky economy, who isn’t looking to save some cash?

Do your own research

I can tell you from personal experience that you can waste a lot of money by hiring a real estate agent to look at apartments for you. There’s no reason why you can’t do the bulk of your apartment hunting on your own—there are tons of online resources that will help you find the best deals on apartments in your area, no matter where you live. Some people hire real estate agents or apartment hunters simply because they don’t feel equipped to search for places on their own, but rest assured that anyone is capable of finding a quality and affordable apartment.

You just have to be smart about what places are worth checking out. For example, a listing from a huge apartment megaplex that only shows stock photos and promises of a “GREAT DEAL” might not be worth your time. A listing posted by an actual person who is willing to correspond with you, on the other hand, could have much more promise.

Inspect potential apartments thoroughly

Let’s say that you found a potential place to rent that you really like. On paper, everything looks great, but you haven’t seen the actual place with your own eyes yet. Please do yourself a huge favour by carefully inspecting the place firsthand before signing any document. If you don’t, you could wind up spending money you didn’t anticipate spending on repairs, security features, lighting, and so much more.

I made the grave mistake of neglecting the inspection process for an apartment that I rented while I was in college. The place looked nice from the outside, the management seemed friendly, and the price was right, so I didn’t put too much time into inspecting my actual apartment once I had the keys. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that my windows lacked a proper locking mechanism, meaning that anyone could slide them open if they were so inclined.

 Well, some enterprising burglars took most of the items from my apartment shortly after I moved in, on a weekend when I was away from the city. It turned out that they used the unlocked windows as a means to access my apartment. What followed afterwards was a mess of paperwork and finger pointing with the landlord and the real estate agent. Let that anecdote serve as a cautionary tale: don’t make my same mistake.

Don’t compromise on quality

If there’s any advice that sticks with you in this article, it should be this titbit. It’s easy to find a dirt cheap rental apartment in any city, but there’s no guarantee that the place won’t end up costing you a fortune in unexpected expenses. It’s extremely important that you find a place to rent in a neighbourhood where you feel safe, and in a complex that isn’t crying out for renovation or demolition. 

Moreover, you don’t want to live in a place that will cause you emotional stress for one reason or another. Notoriously loud and negligent neighbors, a deadbeat landlord, and high crime rates: these are just a few red flags that should steer you clear. The nicer place up the road might just be worth that extra $50 a month in rent if you can see yourself sleeping more soundly there.

About the Author:

This article is written by Barbara Jolie. She offers tips on accredited online college classes and online education. Contact her at

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