When it is time to finally start looking for an apartment, you may find it to be difficult to actually find a place you like that is within your budget. You also want to make sure that you are budgeting properly and not spending over 30% of your income towards housing expenses. The best way to properly prepare to begin looking for an apartment is by creating a budget plan. You can create an ideal budget plan by figuring out how much money you make after taxes, and how many bills you have before housing bills. Once you have these two numbers you subtract your post tax income by the amount of bills you have in order to find out how much money you have available to go towards your housing costs and new bills like utilities and groceries. A good example of this is if you make $3,900 after taxes and you have $675 in bills. That means you have roughly $3,225 to put towards your housing costs. Rent should be no more than $1,000 and that is still slightly going over that 30% mark. However, many Americans aren’t reaching thismark. According to Business Insider, 33% of American households are overpaying on housing. You don’t need to be apart of the millions of Americans that is overpaying on their housing costs.Continue reading to find out how you can find an affordable apartment!
Option #1: Look for an Apartment Online
Use Housing Websites: There are websites that are specifically meant to help you go through your housing options and find the best one possible. Websites like apartments.com, Zillow.com, redfin.com, and more all provide you ways to look through all the housing options available to you. You can filter searches to only show apartments that are within your budget, so you don’t have to feel tempted by looking at what more expensive options are out there. As technology advances, so does apartment hunting. On some of these websites you can take a 3D tour to virtually walk through the housing unit! You will be able to get a better idea of the apartment before driving out to the complex to look at it.
Search for affordable housing through websites like Craigslist: You can find local listings of housing units on Craigslist whether through a private landlord or a property manager. Often times, these places will be a little cheaper because it is not listed through a traditional housing website. However, craigslist is still a gamble so to make sure that you are the safest you can be there are some precautions you should follow. Make sure to get a background check on your potential new landlord and speak to previous tenants. If you can get that information then you way want to reconsider movingin, no matter how good the deal is!
Use social media platforms like Facebook: Facebook is a great tool for not only social networking, but housing networking as well. You can join Facebook groups for renters and landlords in order to best see all the information and listings available for a certain area. This will also give you a good idea of the type of deals you can get on the market. Similarly to craigslist, you should also get a background check as well as speak to previous tenants before moving in.
Option #2: Search for Apartments in More Affordable Locations
Search for suburban areas that are on the outskirts of urban areas: These are some of the best areas because you are able to get the safety of a nice suburban neighborhood but still get the affordability because it s so close to the city. Often times the same area that would be surrounded by other suburbs would cost more than if it was surrounded by urban areas.
Choose a city that has more affordable housing: This is especially great if you don’t necessarily need to be in a certain area. If your job allows flexibility as to where to ucan move to then you can choose an area that is cheaper! The more flexibility you have which means the more options which means you will have an easier time finding housing within your budget.
Option #3: Making Rent More Affordable
Using a roommate to cut costs: Roommates can be extremely beneficial because you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If your budget for an apartment is $1,000 and you find one bedroom for that much, you can save more than you think. You may be able to find a two bedroom for $1,200 and you can split the rent and now instead of you pay $1,000 for your own bedroom you are only paying $600. This leaves you with an extra $400 that you can put towards other housing costs like utilities and groceries which you are also splitting with your roommate! It can be difficult finding a roommate at first. The best way to start is by asking people you know as well as friends of friends. If none of those leads work out, then you can use resources like Facebook and Craigslist can help tremendously! When you finally find a potential roommate, you should make sure you do a background check and credit check as if you were a landlord. You don’t want to get stuck with someone that has a history of evictions or has a criminal record.
Compromise on the size of your apartment: You may have a one bedroom or even a two-bedroom apartment in mind when you begin looking. However, those extra bedrooms are seen in the rent. You may need to compromise and consider moving into a studio if you are able to fit!Overall as you can see there are a lot of different aspects that go into finding an affording apartment within your budget. However, even though you may have financial restrictions, there are ways that you can achieve the apartment for the price you are looking for. Always be sure to use the tools and resources available and don’t give up! The hard work will be worth in when you’re laying in bed at your new place.