If you’re apartment hunting now or will be in the next few months, good luck. Demand is high and they move fast. Generally, prices start to increase in the beginning of spring and increase through the summer. People often move after graduation to looks for jobs. Contracts also are starting for many people at this time of year.
Properties in spring and summer rent at a quicker pace, which allows less time for you to consider an option you like. In a faster-paced rental market, you have to know what is most important to you in a home so you can make a quicker decision on an option that will work for you. Managing your list of priorities is helpful way to make a quicker, better decision.
Here are some tips:
Make a list of mandatory items. What are the most important priorities in an apartment. From keeping within budget to needing your door to face a certain direction, these items are different for everyone. These are the items on your list that are necessary in order to live.
Is there a certain amount of square footage you need? Will you be working from home a lot and need an office space in the home? If you will be working long hours then maybe your priority will be the ability to walk to work.
Make a list of items I would like to have, but I can live without. These items won’t take precedence over your mandatory items, but you would be thrilled to have. If a rental home has your mandatory items and a few items from this category that should push an option higher on your list of rental home choices. You would really like to have a fitness center, but maybe your work has a gym that is free so this is not mandatory. A balcony would be a great bonus.
Make a list of bonus items. These are the wish list items. You can live without them, but it would take a rental home option to the top of the list if it had your mandatory items and met your budget. A fireplace would be lovely. If an apartment without a fireplace is $200 less a month, saving that money may be more important to you.
In a competitive rental market like this, there are often things you have to be flexible about to stay within your budget. This might sound like a very basic thing to think about, but some renters let one requirement get in the way of a good apartment.
In some cases, a well thought out floor plan that is 850 square feet can work just as well as 900 square feet.
It is a good idea to sit down and make a list to help you look at the bigger picture in hopes of increasing your overall rental options. It is best to know on which items you can compromise so you are able to make the best decision on which place you will choose to call home.