Looking for an apartment when you’re not in the best financial situation is not the ideal option. However, an apartment or other housing unit is essential for you or else you have nowhere to live. (Or, you will live in an apartment that you know you cannot afford.) This is why you should consider these tips when you are looking for an apartment, if you are broke. Being broke is not the end of the world and many people get out of it in one piece.
How to Find an Apartment If You Are Broke
If you are broke and you need to find an apartment, then you should not worry. There are many tricks of the trade that you can do to help look for an apartment in an easier way.
Create a Budget That Suits You
One of the many things that will help you out in this type of situation is creating a budget that suits your needs. (We specify that your budget should revolve around your needs, not your wants.) Make sure to stay true to your budget and put in the bare minimum that you can afford on your apartment. You might be tempted to add extra money on your apartment, since you want to avoid rejection from landlords. One of the ways you can create a budget is by using the 30% rule. You should set aside 30% of your income as your rent limit.
Know Your Deal Breaker
If you are on a budget for your apartment, then you probably think you will sacrifice your quality of life. But, that is not necessarily true. You should consider taking some time to think about what you would like and what you cannot live with. This should include: your commute time, the distance to the nearest transportation, or the amenities you need. Additionally, you should consider how you feel about pets, living in a quiet place, or a smoking apartment. All of these things are essential for your potential living situation. (You do not want to end up in an apartment and hate it.)
Think About Getting Yourself a Roommate
You might not be in a college dorm, but roommates are the best way to help pay the rent. A roommate is a way to make your budget work. If you get an apartment with more rooms and a roommate to help pay rent, then it will be much more affordable for you. It might be tricky to find the perfect roommate, but at least you will be saving money. You can always look through roommate matching services and applications. These applications will provide potential roommates for you that you can link up with on a potential apartment. It is not ideal, we know. But, if you want to save money, then you should consider a roommate.
Consider Working With a Realtor (Or Not, It Depends on You)
Depending on your current financial situation, you should think about whether you want to work with a realtor, or not. There are some realtors that receive their fees from your landlord, so you might not have to pay for any of their services. (It does not always happen, but there is a possibility.) On the other hand, a realtor may charge you a fee, but they will still help you find an apartment with a lower monthly rent. This all depends on your current financial situation and how much you can afford. If you cannot afford this type of service, then you should skip out on working with a realtor.
Think About The Type of Amenities You Want
Amenities could be the main reason that an apartment’s rent is expensive, but you might save some money in the long-term. You should consider finding an apartment that has amenities you might need. These amenities will help you reduce or cut out other monthly expenses you might have. One of the amenities that might help you save money later on is an in-unit laundry. An in-unit laundry can help you save money on a monthly basis. The money you save can be used to pay for a higher rental price or better apartment. (See? In the long run, you got the better part of the deal.)
Pick The Perfect Time To Find An Apartment
Believe it or not, there are off-seasons and peak seasons for apartment hunting. You can be able to save a lot of money on rent, if you choose the right time. In the case that you go apartment hunting in the offseason, you will find that rent prices are driven down. Offseason for apartment hunting would be between October and February. Just like how you are eager to find an apartment, landlords are eager to fill up their apartments. Also, when you are planning on signing a lease, consider moving the date or subletting in between moves to a different apartment.
Look Everywhere For an Apartment (And, We Mean Everywhere)
When you are looking for an apartment, then you should think outside the box. Look everywhere you could think of, since you never know what you will find. You should expand your search as much as possible, to give yourself more options. This includes graduate school pages, educational institution-related services, and even your own network. If you have a friend who has a really good lease and their landlord has an empty apartment, then you can look into that option too!
This does not mean that you should ignore the rental sites and social media groups. What we are saying is that you should broaden your horizon and look for places you would never expect.
In conclusion, there are many alternatives to finding an apartment when you are broke. Even though your financial situation is tough, you should not sacrifice your quality of life too much. You should find a compromise between saving money and being nice to yourself. Additionally, make sure you stay as honest as possible with yourself throughout this whole process. (Honesty is the best policy.)