With rents increasing across the country, from Los Angeles at 3% in to Atlanta at 4.7%, renters are taking savvy approaches to save money around their homes, says apartment-listing site Apartments.com.
So the company is revealing the top 10 tips to save money using little time and effort.
From setting a budget to finding the perfect neighborhood, everyone can take advantage of these easy tips on a dime while searching for the perfect rental.
Set Limits: Housing costs are dependent on location as rent varies by city and neighborhood. Relocating from the city to a suburb could save you hundreds of dollars in rent. In Chicago, moving from the city to Grundy County saves $458 a month and in Houston moving from the city to Austin County saves $332 a month! Most importantly, set a budget ahead of time. Going over budget by even $100 a month can set you back by $1,200 a year.
Be a Savvy Commuter: Finding the right location can help cut on costs, especially if it is closer to work or public transportation. With hundreds of thousands of apartment listings, Apartments.com offers the largest inventory available with the most advanced search tools renters want, including commute-based search designed to show properties nearby where a renter works and plays most, whether it be car, bike, public transit or walking.
Go Green to Save Green: While switching light bulbs to LED, washing clothes in cold water and turning off lights when leaving the room help save money, look for energy saving features around the apartment when touring potential homes. Does the apartment have energy saving appliances, ceiling fans and a programmable smart thermostat?
Be A Neighborhood Trendsetter: Consider moving to an up-and-coming neighborhood to help lower rent like Fishtown in Philadelphia, Northside Village in Houston, Bushwick in Brooklyn, Eckington in Washington DC and Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh.
The Apartments.com Neighborhood Guides feature not only gives background on a selected area, but also provides a detailed description of restaurants and nightlife, history and culture, transportation, cost of living, shopping and nearby parks.
Insure and Protect: Imagine having to replace clothing, food, personal items, furniture and memorabilia. Disaster is sometimes inevitable and renters insurance will provide protection in the event of emergencies. Renters insurance is affordable and a small price to pay for peace of mind in case of fires, flooding, electrical issues, stolen belongings and more.
However, keep in mind every policy is different, so be sure to understand what is and is not covered.
Damage Control: A security deposit is a fixed amount of money paid to the landlord, or management company, to cover any damage caused to the property, which must be returned if no damages occur.
Document the apartment upon move in by taking pictures of each room and notify the landlord of any preexisting damages to ensure receipt of the security deposit back in full upon move out. By documenting the apartment's condition at move in and keeping the place clean and undamaged, no additional money will be lost throughout the lease.
A New Home for the Holidays: During the second half of the year, a slow down in apartment demand leaves landlords with less of an ability to push rents toward the end of the year. If possible, wait until Black Friday to sign a lease—when rents average 10 percent lower!
Don't Be Late: Make sure to be aware of when rent is due and all potential late fees. Mark the day on a calendar, set a reminder and always remember to pay on time. If in a tough bind, be upfront with your landlord about the situation and see if they will provide an extension – it never hurts to ask!
Consider a Roommate: Having a roommate might not be ideal, but the amount of money saved could make it worthwhile. For example, a two-bedroom apartment in Atlanta averages at $1,270 whereas a one bedroom is $1,093.
Sharing a two bedroom would cost you around $635, saving you almost 42%. Splitting other expenses such as cable, utilities, kitchen supplies, decorations and groceries can also help cut back!
Take Advantage of Amenities: The search process is now significantly easier. Apartments.com simplifies the experience by allowing for the selection of specific interior and community amenities desired, only delivering results based on those selections.
Whether looking to explore rentals a four-legged friend can call home too, have a dire need for an elevator, or simply want fitness center and pool access, the site can narrow down the options without having to sift through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Related: Here's One Reason Rents Keep Rising