How to Find a Cheap Apartment to Rent

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 04 August 2015 22:40

Finding an affordable apartment to rent can be really difficult, especially if you are searching for a place to live in a very developed suburban area with a lot of amenities or in the center of a busy city. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of great ways to find an affordable rental without having to settle for less than what you really want out of your new place to live.


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Renting is a great alterative to purchasing a home and dealing with an expensive mortgage. It can provide you with a cheap place to live until you are able to save up enough money for a home. And it is also a great way to have a place to live without really digging your roots in, especially if you plan on moving again in a relatively short period of time. So continue reading for some helpful tips that will help you locate the right apartment at the right price.

Figure Out How Much You Can Really Afford

The first step you need to take is determining how much you can really afford in terms of rent every month. But figuring out how much you should spend can be tricky. A good rule of thumb is to figure out 20% of the income you generate each month. It is a good idea to not exceed this amount for rent. If you must, though, you can go up to 30% of your income, but not more than that.

To figure out if you can afford a rental, keep a close eye on your expenses for a few months. This will help you track how much you bring in, how much you spend, where you can cut corners and save more, and how much you have left over at the end of the month. Keep these records in an Excel spreadsheet, and utilize the web tools at for any conversion you might need to keep records.

Also, do not forget to factor in the cost of renters insurance. This is usually an affordable rate, but you should look into local pricing options and factor these costs into the monthly rental and utility costs that you will need to cover. And if renters insurance is not required by your landlord, you should still consider getting it because it will cover you in the event of damage to your apartment or losses from a break-in.

Check Listings Online

Rental listings can be found in a local newspaper, but do not forget to also check out websites that provide plenty of listings as well. This is also a really convenient way to start your search before you move to a new city or state that is far away.

These websites often let you search according to your budget, as well as your desired location, so you can quickly and easily narrow down the results to those that are most relevant to you. Ultimately, this can help you save a lot of time and frustration, and it is an ideal way to begin your apartment search, especially if you do not want to get a real estate agent involved right away. 

Look for a Roommate

Splitting the cost of your rental with one or more roommates is a great way to cut costs while still being able to live in a really desirable, large apartment that has everything that you want and need. The most expensive apartments in the most affluent areas often require that people to share the costs of living there, so finding a roommate is something that a lot of people have to do.

Before finding a roommate, make sure you ask your landlord if it is okay to do so. And to make sure that you and your roommate will not run into problems, draft and sign a written agreement that you can both follow in order to establish obligations and expectations, whether your roommate is someone whom you have just met or someone whom you have known for many years.

Search Outside of a Popular Urban Area

A city is a great place to live if you want to be at the center of all of the action and have a quick commute to dining, entertainment, and job opportunities. But if you can't afford to live in the city, do not worry, as there are plenty of local suburbs to choose from. There, you can find amazing apartments with plenty of the amenities that you are in search of, but at a much lower rate. As long as you have an easy commute to work in the city or you can use public transportation to easily get around, the distance should not be an issue at all.

Opt for a Smaller Space

If it is going to be just you living alone in your apartment or if you plan on moving in with a significant other, friend, or roommate, consider going for less square footage in order to cut costs. This means a studio apartment or a one-bedroom unit might suffice and help you save a lot of money on a monthly basis.

This is especially important if you have a tight budget and you want to live in a popular neighborhood where rental prices tend to be high for larger units. The key, though, is to see an apartment in person and make sure it provides you with enough space to live comfortably. You should take your lifestyle, belongings, and pets into consideration, and you should not feel like you have to sacrifice your ability to stretch out and relax.


Now that you are aware of just a few of the many strategies that you can use to save a lot of money when renting out the apartment of your dreams in your desired neighborhood, you can set your budget and start your search. Remember to crunch numbers and keep an open mind so that you can find the best place to live at the right price.

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