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Advice from the Experts to Help You Find the Cheap Apartment that’s Right for You

Of all the factors to consider during the apartment-hunting process, budget tops the list. The key to finding an affordable apartment is balancing your needs with your means. Sounds easier said than done, right? Let the following pieces of advice guide you on your quest for a cheap apartment and set you on your way to an ideal living situation that doesn’t break the bank.

What to Consider When Searching for Cheap Apartments

Before you begin searching, use this formula to set your budget: (monthly income after taxes) * 30%. Landlords use the same formula to determine if an applicant qualifies as a financially reliable tenant. But remember, you’ll also need to cover a few costs upfront, before you even move in. So it’s key to start saving for the deposit, utility set up costs (unless you find an apartment with utilities included), moving supplies, truck rental, etc. in advance. Moving is expensive, but it’s a lot less stressful when you know you still have money in the bank when it’s over. It’s also important to look beyond just the cost of rent when deciding what you can afford. Think about outside expenditures ranging from your daily commute to groceries and how much you spend going out. Weigh out the pros and cons of having cheaper rent, but don’t forget to factor in your cost of living.

Competition for Cheap Apartment Rentals

Affordable apartments don’t stay vacant very long—so when applying for potential places, go above and beyond to stand out from other applicants. In a market where demand is high and supply is hard to find, making a solid first impression can improve your chances of snagging a cheap apartment rental. Come prepared with pay stubs to verify income and employment, recent tax returns, a credit report, references and a checkbook in case they’re ready to sign you right then and there. There are also other outlets that improve your chances of landing an apartment. Try checking for subsidized housing through the government—those with lower-income jobs can qualify to apply for more affordable rentals.

How to Look for Cheap Apartments

If you’re in the market for a cheap apartment, you must be flexible and open-minded during the process. The most expensive apartments usually fall within a prime location (think – close to bars, public transportation and landmarks)—so you’ll probably need to look at neighborhoods just off the beaten path. You might be surprised to find areas just outside city limits that are still in close vicinity to the action, but far enough away that your rent would be significantly lower. You’ll find lower pricing by staying true to what you need and sacrificing some amenities or settling for less square footage. And keep an eye out for move-in specials such as a discounted rent for signing a longer lease. Additionally, consider splitting a pad with a roommate or two. Often times this results in lower monthly rent, a more spacious apartment and indirectly broadening your social network.

Price-Conscious Renters of Cheap Apartments

Cheap apartment rentals call for renters to be reasonable in every aspect of their decisions. Balance the standards of living and really think about what you want and what you need and what you can afford. These questions will keep you focused in finding a cheap apartment for rent and allow you to live within your means as best as possible.

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