When you're looking for an apartment, the number one piece of advice is to stick with what you can afford, but how do you determine just what that amount is? The traditional rule has been 30 percent of your income, but here are some tips to help you find your individual answer.
1. Consider Total Housing Expenses
People often plan around the rent alone, then get caught short when other housing expenses are factored in. Make sure you include utilities, parking, insurance, and other miscellaneous charges that accompany your choice of apartment. Some websites have rent calculators that use standardized formulas to start you off with a ballpark figure.
2. Are You a First-Timer?
If the new apartment will be your first home, you'll want to include additional items in your calculations. Plan for a deposit ("veteran" renters can essentially roll over deposits from one apartment to the next) along with any furnishings needed to get you started. Don't forget about renters insurance, which is required by many apartment communities.
3. Location, Location, Location
Location involves more than just your chosen city. Carefully research different neighborhoods, taking into account features such as local services, schools and distance from work. Lower rent could be more than offset by a long, difficult commute or lack of social activities. On the other hand, a modest cost of living could free up additional funds for rent.
4. Think Long-Term
You may be tempted to economize by going for the lowest rent you can find, especially if you lead a busy life where you're away from home for long stretches of time. Don't overestimate your ability to endure spartan-like surroundings. No amount of savings is worth being uncomfortable in your own home.
5. What's On Your Wish List?
Apartments come with endless combinations of available features and amenities. Knowing your deal-breakers helps you prioritize what you can and can't live without.
- If you're on your own, a studio or one-bedroom is fine. But if you have frequent visitors or work from home, some extra space may be worth the additional rent.
- On-site amenities such as fitness centers and pools can eliminate the need for pricey health club memberships.
- Modern, well-appointed kitchens make food budgets easier to manage by cutting back on the temptation to rely on carry-out.
With available options such as flexible lease terms, our Springs luxury apartment homes can accommodate any budget. Stop by one of our Springs communities and learn more from the friendly members of our on-site management teams!