Your lease is up for renewal, and you’re just not sure if you should stay or go—mainly because of the rent price, and because you’re wondering if you can save money by moving somewhere else nearby. Although moving can be a hassle and it can cost money, it can be worth it if it means a similar apartment for less money. On the other hand, it may be worth it to stay put, especially if you’re getting a good deal (compared to other communities in your area) and you generally are happy with your apartment. But whether you’re staying, moving, or perhaps even renting for the first time, there are some ways you may be able to lower those monthly rent expenses:
If you’re moving
Can you sacrifice some square footage? Moving into a smaller place can substantially lower your monthly rent, so if you’re living alone, consider a one-bedroom apartment or even a studio. Not only does this help with lowering your rent, but moving into a smaller place can also mean lower electric bills, because there is less space to heat up and cool down. If you already live in a studio or you simply don’t want to downsize, consider the area you’re living in. You may be able to find an apartment that’s the same size (or bigger) in a neighboring town, and for less money.
During your apartment search, you may also want to enlist the help of a real estate agent who deals exclusively with rentals. As the renter, it doesn’t cost you anything to work with a real estate agent, and a real estate agent may be able to find great deals that are out there that you aren’t even aware of. Additionally, a real estate agent can be very helpful if you’re thinking about renting through a private landlord, rather than a managed community. Rent negotiations can also be easier if you choose to rent through a private landlord.
If you’re renewing
If you have the room to spare, consider getting a roommate. With a roommate, you can automatically split the cost of rent in half every month. But if you don’t have the room or you simply don’t want a roommate, you may still be able to lower your monthly rent. If you’ve lived in your current apartment for a while and you’ve always been a good tenant, bring this to your landlord’s attention and ask if it’s possible to work something out—especially if your rent is being increased even more for the following year. If you’ve always been timely with your rent, your landlord may be willing to work something out with you, because landlords don’t like to lose great tenants.
When you sign a lease—whether you’re moving and signing a new one, or renewing your current lease—consider the available lease terms. Many landlords and managed apartment communities will offer leases beyond the traditional one-year term, such as 18 months or even two years. Not only can a longer lease give you the opportunity to lock in today’s rental rates, but you may receive some good incentives for signing a longer lease, such as lower rent. Even if it’s not openly advertised, ask for details as you’re apartment hunting. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask, and if you don’t have plans to move anytime soon, a longer lease can save you some big bucks in the end.
Do you need extra cash to take care of monthly bills and expenses? Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re receiving long-term payments from a structured settlement or annuity. Contact Peachtree today to learn more about selling future annuity payments for a lump sum of cash.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.