If you’re short on cash, there are a few ways to rent while still getting the most bang for your rental buck.
According to Zillow, as a general rule, Americans should spend no more than one-third of their income on housing. But in reality, that’s much easier said than done.
Here are some ways to help you save some dough:
Always Try to Negotiate
Nothing on the rental listing is set in stone and there is always room for negotiation with your landlord. See if they can lower the rent or include perks like parking if you commit to a longer lease. If you’re renting a single-family home, see if you can take care of yard work, property maintenance or snow removal for a discounted lease.
If you approach him or her in a professional and courteous manner, you never know what will happen.
In the words of pop singer, Pink—try, try, try.
Get a Roommate
If you want a bigger apartment, keep costs down by finding a roommate to split the rent with. For example, instead of forking over $1,000 (and don’t forget about utilities) for a studio apartment by yourself, you can split the costs of renting a 2-bedroom apartment for $1,700. This way you’ll save money AND get more bang for your buck.
Referrals are your Friend
Does your apartment have any vacancies?
Give your landlord a hand in marketing those empty spaces by referring people in your network who are looking for a place to live. Saving your property manager some marketing dollars could translate to a pretty significant amount of savings on rent each month. Check in with your landlord to see if this is an option.
Find a Place with Utilities Included
All those monthly water, gas and electric bills add up. However, it’s a good idea to compare costs and do the math to make sure the rent and included utilities aren’t more than what you would pay if you budgeted for them separately. Amenities like an on-site gym, access to public transportation and a high walk Score can also help you save on your costs each month.
Find Out if you Can Share the Internet with your Neighbor
Talk to a neighbor or two to see if they’d be willing to share their Wi-Fi connection. It doesn’t hurt to ask and they probably want to save some dollars too.
With some planning, renting in an expensive area doesn’t have to exhaust your bank account.
How do you save on rent each month? Let us know in the comments section!