Looking for Affordable Apartments for Rent

Are you moving to a new city? If you are then, finding affordable apartments for rent is probably one of your priorities. You can choose from plenty of options in your search these days. Finding the right rental property may not be as difficult as you imagine.

Your income is the first thing that you should consider if you are looking for an apartment. It may be possible to seek help from organizations like HUD if you fall within a certain yearly income. You can benefit from the affordable apartments for rent for low income tenants that these groups offer.

Do you fall within the state guidelines of programs like HUD? If you do, then you should make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity to find affordable apartments for rent according to your income. These organizations work with your specific level of income so you will only pay what you can actually afford.

Asking questions from the people I knew was the first thing I did, when I was looking for affordable apartments for rent. This turned out to be one of the most valuable resources available. I was lucky to have friends and family members who were willing to help me find a place that I could afford on my meager waitress income. I have to say that I was shocked when I discovered many cheap, unadvertised apartments for rent in my area.

An unadvertised rental that was behind a private home was one of the nicest options available to me. I found a cozy one bedroom suite that was perfect for me in that small building. I almost fell in love with the place, even though it wasn’t one of the affordable apartments for rent that I put on my list. That wonderful apartment was just too far out of the way for me.

I had no choice but to try the other affordable apartments for rent on my list. I had my eye on a place that was located on a perfect location and I already knew the landlord. I talked to the owner and asked to be put on a waiting list because the current tenant was about to move. I would have never known that the apartment was going to be available if I hadn’t networked with friends and family.

You can also find affordable apartments for rent by searching the newspaper. However, shopping around might be a better option. It’s important that you become familiar with the neighborhood. It would also be wise to consider how far you want to drive to work each day. You can find the best cheap apartments for rent available by simply asking around.

Five Things to Consider When Shopping for Apartments for Rent

Apartments for rent seem to be a dime a dozen in many population centers throughout the country. How can you possibly find the apartment that is right for you when there are so many to choose from? Here are five things to consider that should help with this process.

1. What part of town is most appealing to you?

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it is imperative to know the town or city that you are planning to live in. Be sure to research the area thoroughly and then select the part of town where you prefer to live. By doing the research on a particular place ahead of time, you familiarize yourself with the area and find the section that is just right for you. Are some areas more prone to crime than others? You would obviously want to avoid these. Are some areas more pedestrian friendly? Where is public transportation offered? Where are shopping and entertainment options? Where are parks located? Are some areas of town cheaper to live in than others? The list of things to consider can seem endless, but knowing the answers to these questions will help you distinguish where the exact part of town is that best fits your lifestyle.

2. Where can you afford to live?

Much more goes into your cost of living than just what is needed for rent every month. Along with this fixed expense, things like electricity, water, heat, internet, and cable must be factored in as well. Most apartment complexes will also charge an additional monthly fee on top of your rent if you have a dog or a cat. It is recommended that you spend no more than 20 to 25 percent of your net income on housing. If you discover beforehand that you cannot afford to live in a particular place, it makes it that much easier to cross it off of your list.

3. What types of amenities are you interested in?

Apartments for rent are all over the place when it comes to the types of amenities they offer. Some complexes have pools. Some do not. Some have exercise facilities along with basketball and tennis courts. Some do not. Some even provide car washing bays, game rooms, clubhouses, saunas, and racquetball courts. On the flip side, there are other apartments that may not even provide you with a free parking space. You have to decide what you want in terms of amenities and what you can live without.

4. What type of building do you want to call home?

Apartments for rent come in all shapes and sizes. There are massive complexes that house hundreds of tenants, small houses that are home to a single family, and pretty much everything in between. Larger complexes generally provide more amenities, but they also tend to cost more money. Smaller homes and duplexes tend to offer more private outdoor space. The question is, what do you want your living environment to be like on a day in, day out basis?

5. How long of a time commitment do you want to make?

When you begin the process of renting your new home, you will most likely have to sign a lease with the landlord. Some landlords only use one year leases while some may offer three or six month obligations. Some others may even allow you to rent on a month to month basis, simply needing you to give a 30 day notice before you plan on moving out. If you know that you want to stay in your apartment for a while, then the one year lease may be fine for you. If, on the other hand, you may need to move quickly, a month to month option is probably your best bet.

A Brief Introduction to Searching for Apartments for Rent

When searching for apartments for rent, the number one question you need to ask yourself is, “can I afford it?” When you begin your search, try finding apartments that are only a third of your income. That is, your monthly rent should only be equal to or less than about 33% of what you make in a month.

Utility Costs

Whether you’re moving from one apartment to another, or finally getting out of your parents’ place, finding one that’s right for you can be hard. There are a lot of factors you need to consider when searching for apartments for rent, but the cost should probably be the first thing you consider. And while rent is the biggest expense, it may not be the only one. It’s important to look at what is included, such as utilities, phone, cable, Internet, and whatever else. You may find what seems to be affordable but then discover that almost nothing comes included. It’s usually better to opt for a place with a slightly higher rent but with most utilities included.

Moving Costs

You also have to consider the costs of moving in. Most complexes require that you pay first month’s rent and the security deposit up front. You may also need to pay for a moving truck to move all your stuff. For this reason, you may want to start saving up a bit in advance.

Location

What else is important when searching for apartments for rent? Location is definitely a big one. How far away is your potential new home from your job or school? Is it near any grocery stores? Sometimes it’s worth paying a little more in rent for the convenience of a location than to spend time and money driving to get to the places you need to go.

Proper Documentation

Before getting an apartment, you will have to make sure you have all the proper documentation together. This may include pay stubs from your job to ensure that you are employed and can afford the apartment, as well as references from past landlords and professional colleagues. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to get someone to co-sign for you. This is especially true for young people moving into their first apartment. Essentially, a co-signer is someone who is saying that if you do not pay your debt, they are responsible for doing so.

Reliable Roommates

Lastly, if you are moving in with a roommate, it is important to know that they are reliable. You do not want to end up with someone who does not pay their fair share of the rent or ends up skipping out on you. Sometimes the search for a roommate can be as important as the search for the living space itself. Make sure you know who you’re moving in with before you commit to anything.