Today’s economic atmosphere encourages renting rather than owning. Very few people are able to make the leap into home ownership at this time. While in many ways it is a great time to buy, there just aren’t many of us that can make that financial commitment. This means that the housing market is flooded with people wishing to rent. With a flooded renters market, renting prices are going up and landlords are becoming competitive about what applicants they accept. This can be extremely frustrating and difficult for a first time renter or someone who is not used to as competitive of an environment in the renting realm. Follow these tips to save money during your renting experience to help make it the most cost effective and stress free situation possible.
1. Property Damage Costs
One of the biggest struggles with a rental property is the security deposit and worry about damages. Because you do not own the property, any damages that you create while you live there will come out of a security deposit that you put down upfront. When you first get your new rental be sure to go through every inch of the place looking for existing damages. Take note of what damages there are that you have not created and show them to your landlord. This will ensure that you are not charged for any damages that already existed when you moved in. Also, it can be a very good idea to invest in renters insurance. While this will cost some money, the coverage can save you from some potentially disastrous situations. If a theft occurs or there is some sort of natural disaster, renters insurance can be a lifesaver.
2. Get a Roommate
While this certainly isn’t an option for everyone, finding a roommate can be one of the best ways to save money when you’re renting a place. Rather than taking on the cost of renting full on, try splitting it up with a roommate that you can live with happily. By finding a roommate you can usually find a rental property that has more space and better amenities for the same or less cost than renting solo. Sure, renting with another person comes with its own set of difficulties, but if you are able to find someone trustworthy and compatible, it can be a great way to cut down your rental costs.
3. Negotiate Rent and Terms
While this can be a bit more difficult in today’s competitive renting market, there is still room for negotiation at times. Try to talk the price of the monthly rent down with owner. If they don’t go for that, you could offer them three months up front, but at a lower rate (if you have the means to do so). With interest rates so low at banks today, paying a larger portion of your year’s rent upfront can be a good ploy for cheaper rent year round. You can also try negotiating the security deposit with your landlord. Give them reason to trust that you will take good physical care of their property by getting renters insurance or providing a solid reference from a previous landlord. Good tenants are extremely important to landlords and can be a great reason to lower prices on rent or other costs.
4. Don’t Be the Handyman
Part of what makes renting easier than owning your own property is not having to take care of all the handy work yourself. You do not own the property, so you should not have to maintain much of the around the house things. Of course, if light bulbs are out, sinks are stopped up, and other small things happen around the house, you should fix them. But, for big things, you should not have to pay for those repairs. It is your landlord’s obligation to maintain the property and make any improvements or repairs to your space. By taking on these types of projects yourself, you lose money of your own and you improve a property that you can reap the benefits from. Your landlord should be the one to pay for a plumber or an air conditioner repairman. Don’t take on costs that you don’t have to.
This is a guest post from Jacelyn Thomas. Jacelyn writes about identity theft for IdentityTheft.net. She can be reached at: jacelyn.thomas @ gmail.com.