5 Tips For Renting In A Pricey Market

5 Tips For Renting In A Pricey Market

Don’t let sticker shock keep you from finding the perfect place to call home.

Recent data shows that U.S. renters can now expect to pay more than the suggested 30 percent of their income on their monthly housing payment. With vacancies decreasing and the growing popularity of renting in booming tech cities such as San Francisco,Seattle and Denver, finding a rental can be particularly hard hitting on the wallet.

Whether you’re dead set on living in your dream city or just landed a job in an area with sky-high rents, here are some tips for finding a home in a pricey market:

Be prepared to jump quickly

If you’re renting in an expensive market, that usually means a low number of vacancies. Fewer vacancies creates more competition for the units that are available. When you see something you like, be prepared to call or email the property management or landlord immediately. You should also keep your application paperwork — recent paystubs or a letter confirming that you’ve accepted employment, bank statements, contact info for current and past landlords — on hand to ensure that you’re ready to act quickly when you find a place you love.

Expect to compromise

When you picture your dream apartment, you might envision hardwood floors, a fireplace, two spacious bedrooms and of course, the ability to bring Fido with you so you can explore your new city together. While this type of place does exist, it may come at a pretty penny (or if it does exist in your price range, it’s gone about two hours after the ad is posted).

Don’t get discouraged. Know what’s most important to you in your home and then stick with that. Is location more important than aesthetics? Or can you not live without a charming vintage place to call your own? If you answered yes to the second question, you might have to prepare yourself for a long commute from the suburbs. Also, having a pet may automatically limit your options, as landlords can be picky in a tight market.

Consider sharing the burden

While you may have been able to live alone in a less expensive city, that may not be the case in an expensive market. Finding a roommate to share costs will lessen the burden. If you are not comfortable with house sharing, then be prepared to live smaller. Be creative when it comes to storage and buy multipurpose furniture.

Anticipate additional costs

Landlords in expensive rental markets typically expect a deposit plus the first month’s rent before you even move. Moving to a large city like New York often means paying a broker’s fee, which you pay at the lease signing for the broker’s help with finding an apartment. While apartment hunting in a less expensive market may just require a quick online search, navigating the New York City rental market can often be overwhelming and more expensive if you go it on your own. According to StreetEasy, broker’s fees are typically around 12-15 percent of the annual rent, which can get pretty expensive when it comes to Manhattan or Brooklyn rent prices.

Know the fair housing laws

Renting in an expensive market can unfortunately lend itself to scams and less-than-law-abiding landlords. While this isn’t the case most of the time, be sure to know your rights as a renter. For example, if you have a disability that requires a service animal, then a building’s no-pet policy doesn’t apply to you. Also, unless a building is specifically set aside for the use of senior citizens, a landlord cannot discriminate against anyone with children. Check your specific state laws on the rules for application fees and security deposits to protect yourself. 


Marilyn Cortez Headshot
Phone: 956-587-1633
Dated: November 9th 2015
Views: 304
About Marilyn: Always ahead of the highly competitive RGV real estate market, Marilyn Cortez is a Spanish speaking ...

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