Sunday, August 13, 2017

Finding a Great Rental on a Budget

The cost of living is pretty steep these days, and rent is no exception.  Stories of scarily high rent for less than ample living space—stories that used to belong only to the likes of London, Tokyo, and Manhattan—now seem to be the norm for much of North America.  While high demand in the housing market is keeping rent high, there are still some great, affordable spaces out there if you happen to be apartment hunting on a budget.  Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking to snag a great rental on a dime.

The first step towards securing an affordable rental is to determine what “affordable” means for you.  Generally you should look to spend about 30% of your income on rent, so look at what you are bringing in and determine exactly what your optimal rent range should be.  When you know what you are comfortable spending draw up a list of your priorities, so you can best match what you need with what you can spend.  You may want a parking space, a balcony, a fireplace, a backyard, an eat-in kitchen, on-site laundry, a dishwasher, and a ten-person hot tub . . . but, to budget you need to prioritize what you absolutely cannot live without.  Once you determine your price range and your mandatory requirements affordable apartment hunting becomes much easier.

Think Outside the Neighbourhood Box 
 One way to guarantee that you will find a more affordable rental is by looking in more “off the radar” neighbourhoods.  We all have our preferences when it comes to city living, but try to expand your horizons.  These more “up and coming” neighbourhoods offer exciting renting possibilities, and often list rentals at more affordable rates due to slightly lower demand.  Not only can you save money by thinking outside the neighbourhood box, but you also get the chance to see a whole other side of your city.  Alos, at the rate at which development takes place in most cities these days, moving into an “off the radar” neighborhood allows you get in on the next new hot spot with a lease you can afford.

Use All the Tools at Your Disposal
There are many great tools to help you in your hunt.  Rent Compass allows you to search directly by neighbourhood and price range to give you a comprehensive view of all of your options by location.  In addition to this powerful apartment hunting tool, friends, family, and coworkers are an invaluable resource in helping you locate a great rental at a great price.  The direct contacts offered through your network can allow you to connect directly to property renters, which can often save you money and time.
Rent can be costly in this day and age, but if you keep an eye on your priorities and keep an open mind in terms of where you want to live, you can find a great apartment at a great price.

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