It is important to face the fact that renting is in no way an investment in yourself to live. Most people spend a large chunk out of their paycheck on rent every month and agree that their living cost is not very affordable. Americans spend a higher percentage of their incomes to rent than to buy because the cost of renting has exploded. In contrast, wages have stagnated. To control your rent spending, you can pay attention to rental rates in your area and know your apartment’s market value before you re-sign a lease.
Take advantage of these tips for saving money on rent year-round.
Get a Roommate
This one may sound obvious, but it really can save you the most money by far. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in 2020 is $964; while a two-bedroom is $1,192. If you divide the price for living in a two-bedroom apartment in half, it is $396 cheaper per month and $4,416 cheaper per year to share costs with a roommate rather than living alone. Plus, this doesn’t include sharing expenses like utilities, kitchen supplies, toiletries, and groceries, which you may also find helpful.
Negotiate when you re-sign a lease
Landlords want to keep good tenants since it costs them money to replace someone, so you have some leverage on a re-sign. Research similar apartments in your area to determine the number you want to negotiate with. If the landlord won’t budge, you can be honest in saying that you will look elsewhere. If you’ve been a good tenant, they will likely want to keep you.
Keep in mind that independent landlords have a lot more wiggle room than property management companies, as they could have multiple renters in the complex and aren’t willing to make concessions, so you might have to come up with a better deal.
You might want to consider offering to pay the entire lease or at least a few months upfront for a discount if you can afford it, as the landlord may agree to cut a deal for you.
Keep in mind that you will not want to rack up credit card debt from emptying your bank account to save a few dollars on rent. The savings would be lost to credit card interest. If you can and decide to pay upfront, be sure to pay the money back into your savings each month.
Sign an extended lease
Landlords look for the most stable renting situation they can secure. Signing for a year-and-a-half or two years instead of six months or a year offers peace of mind for them. The longer the lease is, the lower the landlord may be willing to go.
Give up a Parking Space
If you don’t have a car or if you have two spaces and only need one, you can offer to give one up in exchange for discounted rent. The landlord might be willing to sell the space to another tenant who is looking for an extra parking space.
Apartment Search in the Winter
It is more difficult to fill spaces during the winter, and vacancies can go on for months. The longer a place is vacant, the landlord is losing money and likely becoming more desperate to get a tenant.
Prices go up in the summer, mostly due to college graduates flooding the market and high school graduates entering the market in college towns, while young families wait until the school year is over to make a move to ease their children’s transition to a new school. This increases demand, which equals higher prices in the summer.
When looking in the winter, you can offer to sign an extended lease that ends in the summer to ensure the apartment hits the market at a good time for the landlord when your lease is up and provides stability for the landlord, so they are more willing to accommodate you.
A private rental is a property owned by an individual or family rather than a corporation. Private landlords can be easier to work with in regards to application fees or deposits as there is no obligation to adhere to strict guidelines.
You will be more likely to negotiate rent amounts with a private landlord. However, every landlord will be different, but some may even cover the background check cost.
Some landlords will offer cash for referring a new tenant, so it could be worth it to inquire about tenant referral fees. This is more likely to work with the larger apartment companies since they would need to have an excess of vacancies before having tenants assist with filling them. A private landlord with one or two properties is not likely to offer anything for a referral, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Saving on utilities
A lot of energy and money are wasted by inefficient appliances and drafty windows and doors that make it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. You can save money on utilities by upgrading old appliances or making some repairs. Contact your landlord before making any drastic changes to make sure they are on the same page. Before all else, be sure to secure Augusta renters insurance, so you are properly protected.
About SB One Insurance Agency
At SB One Insurance Agency, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefits, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.