Rent can be one of the largest expenses in your budget. Therefore, you understandably do not want to pay more than necessary for this expense. Some people may want to save money on rent out of necessity. For example, maybe you had a pay cut at work recently and no longer have the same level of income. Other people may want to know how to save on rent because they want to increase their personal savings account balance. Or they want to take advantage of investment opportunities. The good news is that you can easily learn how to save on rent in various ways. Moreover, you can combine these methods for maximum savings.
You Can Save on Rent If You…
Your monthly rental payment may account for as much as 25 percent or more of your budget. The ability to save on rent can equate to substantial savings over the course of the year. Consider, for example, if you learn how to save on rent and can shave off $100 per month on this payment. You will save $1,200 over the entire year. If you want to know how to save on rent, you can consider applying some of these tips to your efforts.
1. Shop Around for a Better Rate
It is always a good idea to shop around for a better deal on your rent. Do that before you renew your lease if you want to know how to save on rent. Some landlords may increase your rental rate simply because they know that moving out of your home may result in moving expenses and stress.
However, nearby properties may have great deals on similar units. They may even offer promotions that can save you additional money. Get in the habit of looking for at least a few other places to live before you decide to renew your lease on your existing unit. You may be surprised by the incredible deals you can find on homes or apartments just down the road from where you currently live.
2. Barter With Your Landlord
Moving into a new home comes with its own set of expenses. Therefore, it may be cheaper, in the long run, to stay where you are. However, you may still be able to save money by bartering with your landlord. For example, you can offer to do some interior work on the home. Or you can upgrade the yard in various ways in exchange for lower rent.
When doing so, ensure that both the cost of materials and your labor are subtracted from the rent. Another similar idea is to offer your professional services to the landlord. For example, if you are a web designer, you can offer to upgrade his or her professional website in exchange for discounted rent.
3. Look for Undesirable Properties
Some rental units are snatched up quickly. However, others stay on the market for months. The landlords with the latter units may be very willing to negotiate for a lower rate. Still, you first need to find the units that have been on the market for a while. A real estate agent can assist you with this process. They can help you negotiate more affordable lease terms.
4. Choose a Longer Lease Term
Each time a tenant moves out, a landlord must pay to clean and repair the unit. In addition, the unit will sit vacant for a period. During this time, the landlord still has to pay utilities, the mortgage, insurance, taxes and more. Therefore, a vacant unit costs the landlord money, and the landlord is very aware of this. A longer lease term with a well-qualified tenant can be appealing to a landlord. Therefore, you may consider offering to sign an 18 or 24-month lease rather than a standard 12-month lease. The landlord may accept a lower rental payment in exchange for the longer lease term.
5. Negotiate for a Lower Rate
Apartment unit rates are typically calculated based on the market rent for that type of unit as well as the amount of inventory the apartment complex has available. On the other hand, a private landlord who owns a few rental houses may not take this approach to determine market rent. Instead, he or she may call around to a few nearby properties to determine their asking price. With this in mind, you can see that simply asking the landlord to bump the rent down by $25 or $50 per month may be worthwhile and even favorable for you.
6. Compare Expenses Included in the Rent
Before you decide where to live, always ask the landlord or leasing manager which expenses are included in the rent. Some apartment complexes, for example, many be all bills paid units. Their rental payment may be slightly higher, as a result. However, the net difference in your budget may make the all bills paid unit more affordable overall. It can be helpful to research common utility costs for similar units before you calculate this.
7. Get a Roommate
You may currently have a spare room in your home or apartment that you are not using. Turn this into a money-maker and lease it out to a roommate. He or she may also split the cable and utility bills with you. If you currently live in a one-bedroom apartment, you could consider upgrading to a two-bedroom unit to take on a roommate. Consider that most apartments do not charge twice as much for a two-bedroom unit as for a one-bedroom unit. This means that your overall housing expense may decrease with this strategy.
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8. Look for Special Offers
It is common to see special offers with rental homes and apartment units. For example, you may see an offer for the first month of rent free or a $50 security deposit. Moving is not free, so you need to carefully analyze the financial benefits associated with moving as well as the expenses. If you can take advantage of a special offer and save money with lower monthly rent, you may have found an offer that is too good to pass up on.
9. Move to a More Affordable Town
In some areas, the cost of living has skyrocketed in recent years. The unfortunate reality is that your town may simply be too expensive for you to live in now. You may be able to move to a suburban community in the same metro area to save money. Or you may need to relocate to an entirely different community or state. Keep in mind that states have different rates for property, sales and income taxes. This can affect your budget.
When you want to know how to save on rent, you can easily apply any of these strategies to your life. Some people will combine multiple strategies together for enhanced benefits. When your rental payment is too high, your entire budget may be stressed. This can create an uncomfortable lifestyle, and it can detract from your ability to save for the future. If you have additional comments regarding how to save on rent, please feel free to leave a message below.