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How to get the best deals on apartments

Apartment hunting for the first time can be intimidating. I’m willing to bet that apartment hunting for the 20th time can be overwhelming too. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to apartment hunting or seasoned, these tips and tricks will help you get the best deals on apartments.

My little sister who is in college is apartment hunting for the first time in her life. I enjoyed hearing about her experiences when she was home over Christmas break. I thought it was the funniest story hearing how she had no idea that you have to pay for water and utilities. Welcome to the real world, baby sister!

She’s not alone though. Many college students and recent grads have no idea what to expect when apartment hunting for the first time. Because of this they can easily make poor financial decisions. Here are my best tips that everyone, not just college students, should know when apartment hunting.

How to get the best deals on apartments:

Find out what is included in rent

Be sure to ask questions about what will be included in your monthly rental rate and analyze prices accordingly. Utilities such as water, sewage, and trash may be covered in rent. If you’re in search of student housing, you may be able to find some that apartments that include electricity, cable and internet as well. Other things to consider are washer/ dryers,  parking spaces per apartment, workout room, and transportation to school if you are close to campus.

Compare apples to apples

Now that you know what is included in rent, make sure to compare the prices of the ones that offer the same amenities.

Take into consideration your traveling cost to school or work

Location, location, location, right? Location is very important because too much time spent in transit can mean money down the drain. When looking for apartments in Orlando, you can search by how close you’d like to be to a certain area of town. Isn’t that cool?

Use a reputable website 

We all know that there are scary people on the internet. There are plenty of scammers waiting to offer you a great deal on an apartment that doesn’t even exist. Scammers ask for a deposit, then they disappear. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Reputable websites keep the scammers away.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate 

We’ve done this with every apartment we’ve rented. It never hurts to try! Even if you are working with a large company, they may be willing to work with you by finding a special promotional deal or finding you a different unit. We once got a waterfront view at a non-waterfront price because it was blocked by another building. It made no difference to us since we were still able to see the sunset over the water every night!

Read and understand your lease

Don’t sign the lease without reading it! Read it carefully, and if you don’t understand a term, look it up or ask a friend or family member. There are lots of things that could be included in the lease that may not be terms you want to accept.

Final thoughts

As a renter, you should never underestimate the monthly rent difference between apartment communities in a city. Just in Florida for example, apartments in Orlando monthly rental rates can differ by more than $12,000/year for two bedroom apartments. Start early, and shop around to find a monthly rate that fits your needs and budget.

How to find the best deals on apartments new home keys

What tips do you have for saving money on apartments?