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An apartment search can cost you some cash, even before you’ve started paying rent! Test out these six tips to save money, making your apartment search more efficient and affordable.
One of the easiest ways to curb costs when you are hunting for apartments is to map out efficient routes, saving gas on your in-person apartment visits. Pick one or two days to devote to your search and schedule appointments in concentrated areas. The Apartment Guide mobile app, for instance, features easy search tools to help you find rentals in specific zip codes and neighborhoods so you don’t waste time or fuel driving willy-nilly all over town.
You can take your savings even further by doing the bulk of your research before you even get in the car. Most apartment listings include photos and online tours so you can check out an apartment community and see whether it’s worth a trip. The Apartment Guide website serves up amenities, floor plans, rent prices, and availability so you can accomplish much of your research online, and then pick your top three or four apartments for an in-person visit.
One way to watch your budget bottom line is to pay attention to special offers. Available online deals which waive certain deposits or fees are sometimes offered as incentives to move quickly. Another point to remember is that paying cash over credit for certain transactions may include a discount.
Unless you live in a huge city with a high demand for apartments like New York, Boston or San Francisco, don’t bother using an apartment broker. They typically charge a commission that is a percentage of the first year’s rent. With so many great apartment search tools available, try first to navigate the waters on your own and find your apartment match. (You can apply the money you save to your security deposit!)
Sometimes the expense of an apartment search can be a hidden one that sneaks up on you later, such as the cost of utilities. Don’t forget to ask landlords about average utility costs, which may be a statistic they keep up with. You can also call local utility companies and ask for the average energy usage costs for the address you are interested in. Also look into costs related to parking, having pets, or anything else that you might be interested in, but might carry a price tag.
Once you’ve saved money with a smart search and found the best deal on your dream apartment, put in a little extra effort to cut costs by bringing less stuff with you. If you reduce clutter before you move, you can shave some money off of your moving expenses by renting a smaller truck, packing and moving fewer boxes, and allocating fewer hours to move the reduced load. All of this means more money to buy new stuff for your new home, of course!
Written by Steve Harper