Demand for apartments has been going up for the past five years now, according to a recent article by Newsday. While this can be good news for landlords, it can have questionable results for would-be tenants. Since the game isn’t on your side, you need to get smarter about looking for apartment rentals.
There has been a larger demand for rental units ever since the housing market collapsed back in 2007. Foreclosures led to people being kicked out of their homes and into leases, while others became weary of an investment that was prone to depreciation. On the plus side, apartment builders have finally gotten the loans denied to them during the credit crisis and are erecting new buildings, which should put some ease on demand.
Until then, though, it’s likely that the vacancy rate for apartments will remain at a relatively low 4%. Are you looking at apartments and wondering what you should know about the rental process? Here are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Average Cost of Local Apartments for Rent
In the U.S., the national average for two bedroom downtown apartments is about $1,350 per month. Typically, living outside a city center will lower your apartment rates by about $500 per month. Apartment cost varies widely depending on the city, neighborhood, and condition of the apartment, however.
2. Is it Hard to Find Pet Friendly Apartments?
It’s actually not too difficult to find a pet friendly apartment — in some ways, they’re to the landlord’s advantage as they sport lower vacancy rates. In many cases, the landlord will either charge you a slightly higher rent, or more commonly, will require an upfront fee or additional security deposit. The American Humane Association has found that about 95% of apartment complexes accept cats. Large dogs have the lowest complex acceptance rate at 66% on average.
3. What Should You Look for in Local Apartments for Rent?
- Examine the parking options. This is often something that might be glossed over when you’re visiting for an hour, but will you need to remember to leave your apartment every day to switch street sides? For some people, this could lead to a lot of tickets.
- Take a good look at the appliances provided. Many apartment renters don’t find out until too late that their shower has incredibly low water pressure, or that the dishwasher takes four hours to run!
- If you can, talk to former tenants. Did the landlord refuse to give back their $800 security deposit because he had to run a vacuum?
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