5 Important Tips for Renting in a Pricey Real Estate Market

Home Prices Drop To Lowest Level Since 2006

Although the economy has been slowly improving since the end of the great recession, the pricey real estate market hasn’t gotten much better for renters. Although there was once a time when renting was the cheaper option, the number of people opting to rent instead of buy is causing a decrease in vacancies, and is putting the power in the hands of landlords to call the shots. For a lot of renters, just knowing that simple fact makes them feel uneasy when they’re in the market for a new place to stay. But with that being said, you can still get what you’re looking for in this pricey real estate market. As with anything else, you have to be willing to play the game and go after what you want. After all, there’s no sense in breaking the bank if you can avoid it. Here are 5 important tips for renting in a pricey real estate market.

Be decisive

Not only is the real estate market pricey, but it’s also competitive. That means that the apartment that you looked at this afternoon may not be available by this evening. With that being said, if you see something that you really love – you have to be prepared to make a decision immediately. In order to make this process easier, it’s important to have all of the necessary information and documents on hand whenever you’re on the hunt. Some of the things many landlords and property managers are looking for are recent pay stubs, proof of employment, personal contact information, and contact information for past landlords.

Find the middle ground

When you’re looking for a place to call home, it’s important that you know exactly what you want. However, even with that being said, you also have to keep in mind that you can’t always get all of the things that you’re looking for, and you have to be willing to compromise a bit – especially in a pricey real estate market. It’s also important to know that the pickier you are, the more you’re going to have to compromise. While the perfect apartment for you may exist, it may be out of your price range or out of the area you’re looking to live in.

Look for a roommate

This is a hard one for a lot of people, especially if you’ve always dreamed of living on your own. Unfortunately; however, trying to pay monthly rent in a pricey real estate market can be pretty difficult on one income, and for most people it’s simply too much to handle. It’s important to ask yourself if you’d rather live alone and spend more, or share the costs and find someone to live with. The good news is that getting a roommate will usually give you more options, and you may be able to end up getting something bigger than you imagined.

Know the costs

Moving can be pretty expensive – especially in a pricey real estate market. Monthly rent aside, there are often several other costs associated with finding a new place. In many cases, landlords will ask for money upfront which can range anywhere from just a security deposit, to two month’s rent and a security deposit. There can also be application and admin fees that can have you spending much more than you originally intended. It’s also important to keep in mind the other costs that can be associated with renting. While some apartments include utilities, others don’t – and this can add hundreds of dollars on top of what you’re already paying in rent.

Know your rights

With the pricey real estate market being what it is, it’s becoming easier and easier for people to take advantage of renters. Some real estate news stories have even painted horrible pictures of what can happen to uninformed renters. If you have the time, researching a potential landlord or property manager can be a good idea. It’s also important to know your rights as a renter from everything including disability policies to eviction laws. Since these laws can very state to state, make sure you’re looking for information regarding your specific area. The more knowledge you have the less likely you are to become a victim.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


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