Many people believe that one of the worst housing crises in American history means that housing costs will go down for most people. But this is usually not the case. Finding affordable housing is daunting in most US cities. However, there are some creative ways to save on housing costs when you need to find a place that fits within your budget. Experts from our apartments in Simpsonville, SC, discuss how to find housing to fit your budget.
If you have some flexibility in your family life and career, you may consider becoming a caretaker for a property. People who travel frequently, have extensive family estates or have vacation homes often hire property caretakers to live on and take care of their properties. In most cases, being a caretaker requires frequent moving because assignments are seasonal or short-term. But caretakers often pay very little for rent or live rent-free. In addition, accommodations are often pretty impressive since people who can afford to hire caretakers are usually financially well off. Imagine living on a quiet estate with plenty of land or staying in a millionaire's beach house. The downside is that you will likely have some work around the property, like caring for livestock or pets, making repairs, or doing yard work.
Many renters fail to realize that monthly rental amounts are not typically set in stone. Rent, just like a home's selling cost, is negotiable. You can sometimes get a great deal just by sitting down and negotiating with the landlord. Of course, it is essential to keep the negotiations reasonable. Landlords will not entertain offers that are ridiculously lower than what they can get from someone else. But, they would rather collect rent from someone than allow their property to remain empty for an extended period. Understanding this can give you leverage in the negotiation process.
Be sure to negotiate from a strong position by researching rent costs in the area. You can get this information by asking local brokers, browsing classified ads, and asking your neighbors. Come into negotiations with a reasonable figure in mind. It is also helpful to find out how many vacancies are in the complex or building. The more openings they have, the more likely they will be willing to negotiate the cost of the rent. It is also best to deal close to the end of the month when they might be more worried about losing out on a whole month's rent. You can also score a rent discount by signing a longer lease because it offers them some stability.
Using an apartment broker or referral service can help you find great listings that may not appear in your search otherwise. Referral services collect information about the type of apartment you want, your budget, the neighborhood you are interested in, the amenities you want, and other factors. Sometimes property owners offer special discounts to these services that are not available to the general public. The best part is that typically the services are free to you because property managers pay to have their property marketed to reliable tenants.
However, you may be charged for some referral services, especially in competitive markets like New York City. The downside of using referral services is that property owners' interests are often put above yours because they pay for the service. For example, the broker may only show you listings from property managers who work closely with them.