It's increasingly difficult to find affordable apartments, especially in larger cities. Even for single people making a decent income, the price of renting an apartment today is putting a strain on the pocketbook.
A 2016 study conducted by GoBankingRates found that the average price of a 678 square foot apartment is $1,234.43. That's quite a chunk of change, even for the modern professional.
CNBC has reported that many college graduates are finding themselves moving back in with their parents. Along with other factors, the high cost of living is responsible for this.
Finance professionals suggest keeping rent expenditure to under 30% percent of your income. In some big cities, this is close to impossible.
Affordable 1 Bedroom Apartments Are Out There
Searching for a new place to live can be time-consuming and frustrating. When it seems like most of your options are out of your price range, it can be downright stressful.
But there are tactics to finding cheaper apartments, even in popular U.S. cities. Keeping yourself informed and putting in the legwork will give you an edge on finding cheap housing.
To help you out, we've put together some tips on finding affordable 1 bedroom apartments.
Use Apartment Finders And Agents
Searching for affordable 1 bedroom apartments can feel like a full-time job. You need to use all the resources at your disposal in order to find the right place for you. It's important to take advantage of real estate agents and apartment locators to help you out.
Usually, you can find savvy real estate agents who know the city and have relationships with apartment complexes and landlords. You're most likely not an expert in real estate and have your own career to focus on. Using an expert who knows what you're looking for will save you time and provide you with the best options.
Using online apartment locators has become commonplace. These websites and apps stay up to date with the most recent listings and allow you to do part of the legwork from home. Many also provide rental alerts that can be filtered to the price and areas you are looking for.
Consider a Fixer-Upper
Many people shy away from rental property that needs work. In some cases, however, this could mean an opportunity to secure cheaper rent. Many fixer-uppers go for a lot less than other properties in the surrounding area.
You could also negotiate a deal with an owner of a fixer-upper to lock down cheaper rent in exchange for doing some of the needed renovations yourself. This is a great way to lower your monthly expenses and learn a valuable skill set. If you don't mind a little extra work, this could be a great way to get cheaper rent.
Keep Location in Mind
Every major city has a trendy area that people are moving to. Unfortunately, these areas are usually more expensive. While it may be a desirable neighborhood, it doesn't make financial sense.
Always keep in mind that downtown areas or more centrally located areas are typically more expensive. Don't waste time looking at properties in these areas. Narrow your search to neighborhoods away from downtown.
You'll need to consider your commute when doing this. If you drive or can easily use your city's public transportation, finding something in a more affordable area may be an option.
Try looking into areas that are established but are no longer trendy. These areas have more affordable living and good reputations. An established neighborhood will also have more reliable crime statistics.
What Amenities Do You Really Need?
The more amenities a rental property has, the more expensive. Consider what you really need and what you can stand to live without. You may need to live a little more simply than you did in the past, but this will save you money.
Most apartment complexes have on-site amenities such as laundry rooms and gyms. You could always look for 1 bedroom apartments with fewer amenities and take advantage of the services offered on-site.
The neighborhood you choose may also provide easy access to things like laundry mats, pools and gyms that you won't need in your apartment. Staying aware of your options will help you decide what you need and don't need. Don't get tied down to a lease and then realize you don't really need those extra perks.
Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
If you know you're going to move, you need to start looking for a new apartment months before your current lease is up. Waiting too long severely limits your options and could leave you with no choice but to rent something out of your price range. Waiting too long adds unneeded stress to the process.
Giving yourself plenty of time will also help avoid making an impulse buy. Allow yourself enough time to consider your options and find exactly what you want.
Rental prices fluctuate frequently. Depending on the season, 1 bedroom apartments may be much cheaper than at other times of the year. Allowing yourself a good amount of time to search for a new apartment will let you play the market in your favor.
Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate
Landlords don't like having vacant properties. Many times they are trying to get a new tenant into the unit as soon as possible. It never hurts to try negotiating for lower monthly rent. The worst that can happen is the landlord says no
When negotiating, it helps to provide a reason for your suggested lower rate.
Research the average rental prices in the area and bring that information with you to show the landlord. You could even suggest paying a little more up front in exchange for lowering the monthly rent.
Let Us Help You Find Your New Apartment
Finding affordable 1 bedroom apartments in major cities is becoming harder and harder every year. These tips were designed to make the process easier on you. It's important to take all these tactics into consideration while searching.