What to Look for During a Self-Guided Apartment Tour

White and light wood L-shaped decorated kitchenA self-guided apartment tour allows you to explore a space at your leisure, taking your time to check out all the features or amenities the apartment has to offer. Learn how to make the most out of one of these self-guided tours, and ensure you cover all your bases before you sign a lease or make a deposit!

What to look for on a self-guided apartment tour

There’s really nothing that beats the in-person experience of walking through an available unit. A self-guided apartment tour is a flexible option that works with your schedule by allowing you to select a time to see the rental all on your own. But with this solo venture comes a bit more responsibility since you won’t have an agent or property manager there by your side.

Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of five things to look for during your self-guided tour, so you can feel prepared to make the right decision for you.

1.The condition of the appliances

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when you’re looking at expertly-retouched photos taken for the sole purpose of renting a unit. As you’re doing research online, it may be hard to tell how updated the oven is or how well that fridge has been cleaned.

When you take the tour for yourself, be sure to inspect each appliance’s condition, even opening the door or cabinets to see what’s inside. If anything looks like it’s coming up at the end of its lifecycle, it may be worth asking about getting a replacement before you move in.

Additionally, before you even start the tour, ensure that you’re looking at the available unit rather than a model. If the property manager only allows you to walk through the model, take all the glam features with a grain of salt — models are often decked out with better finishes, appliances, and views than available units.

2. The closet and storage space

If a place is listed as a two-bedroom apartment, you can probably expect it to have two closets — but are there any extra drawers, linen closets, or shelves in the hallway or bathroom? Depending on how much stuff you’re moving in with you, the amount of storage space might be a make-or-break factor in your decision-making process.

During your self-guided tour, be sure to check out the dimensions of each closet. Consider whether your belongings will fit comfortably or whether you’ll need an apartment with additional storage potential.

3. The safety or security measures

Regardless of if you’re living alone, with a romantic partner, or with a group of friends, you’ll want to feel safe inside your home and within your apartment complex. Online listings often leave out information regarding the security measures around the property, which means it’ll be up to you to make some mental notes on your tour.

Is the building located behind a gate, with a special code to get in? Does the door to your apartment lead directly outside, or is there an exterior front door you enter to access each unit? Does the unit you’re renting face the street or the apartment courtyard? Everyone’s requirements for what puts them at ease will vary, so just make sure you feel comfortable with the situation as you envision yourself living there.

4. The neighbors

It’s easy to look at a picture of a beautifully furnished model apartment and get your hopes up without seeing it in-person. But what a photo can’t tell you is what kind of activity that residence brings with it. When you’re taking a self-guided apartment tour, listen for any loud noises in the hallways or stairwells, as well as the noise from neighboring buildings or businesses.

It could be that everything is quiet and respectful, but if you hear excess commotion, it’s something to think about (especially if you work from home or tend to spend the majority of your time there).

5. The parking arrangement

If and where there’s parking available will have a significant impact on your quality of life. After all, ease of parking makes it easier to walk to your apartment on dark nights, stormy days, or whenever you’re toting six bags worth of groceries in one trip! So when you’re touring a new complex, pay attention to where the cars are parked in relation to each building.

Is there a covered garage where you’re protected from the elements, or is there a private lot for residents to use? Where can overnight guests park? And can you pay a little extra to opt-in for a closer space? If these questions can’t be answered through your own observations, you’re smart to ask the property manager for additional clarity.

What to ask when searching for an apartment

Knowing which questions to ask before signing a lease is vital to finding an apartment you’ll thrive in. The following are just a handful of things you can bring up, but of course, feel free to ask whatever applies to your unique situation.

  • Are the lease terms negotiable (length of commitment, adding a roommate, etc.)?
  • Is the available unit a different layout than the model apartment you toured?
  • Are furnished apartments available?
  • Who do you contact for maintenance issues or repairs?
  • What are the consequences for a missed (or late) rent payment?
  • Are pets allowed, and if so, are there guidelines as to their size/weight?
  • Are there any group activities or outings for tenants in this building?
  • Do they offer any discounts for signing a long-term contract?
  • What do tenants say they love most about living here?

Love where you live!

Finding a new apartment can be a real challenge, especially if the space you rent turns out to look nothing like the model you toured a few months back. Next time, skip the unpleasant surprises by vetting your rental options with ApartmentSearch!

ApartmentSearch can help you secure your next place with ease, so you can focus on all the fun that comes with settling in. Check out our list of city guides and apartment resources today, and start planning your move in no time!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Pros and Cons of Renting a House

Tan wooden suburban house photographed from end of drivewayWhen searching for your perfect home, there are plenty of big decisions to make – and one of those is deciding the kind of space you want. Renting a house isn’t the same as renting an apartment! Leasing a home does have its benefits, but it also has several drawbacks you should consider. Get the big picture by reading our comprehensive guide on the pros and cons of renting a house.

Pros of Renting a House

More space

One of the significant advantages of renting a house instead of an apartment is the extra space. In a house, you’ll likely have more bedrooms, bathrooms, and even outdoor space! Need a home office or extra room for your treadmill? That’s doable in a house. Not only will you have more room for your belongings, but you’ll also have additional space for hosting friends, family, and out-of-town visitors.

Less noise and more privacy

Paper-thin walls are a common complaint amongst apartment renters, and living in an apartment complex often means dealing with neighborly nuisances. In a house, you won’t be kept up all night by your neighbor’s unwanted (and unpolished) tuba serenade or shrieking baby. Additionally, you’ll have the increased privacy that comes with the added distance between you and your neighbors.

More family-friendly and pet-friendly

Though many apartments allow pets, the luxury of having your own yard makes pet ownership much more manageable. The increased space in a house means children and pets have more room to spread out and play (and you can get them out of your hair!). Plus, you won’t need to worry about their playtime volume eliciting any complaints from neighbors.

Cons of Renting a House

Extra maintenance

With all of that wonderful extra space comes extra lines on your to-do list — from additional floors that need to be vacuumed and swept to mowing and pulling weeds frequently throughout the year. While the spaciousness of a home is a major plus, it can also be a major pain. Keep this in mind when looking at available houses for rent!

Steeper rent and utility payments

You get what you pay for, and a bigger floor plan often means a pricier rent payment. On top of that, the increased square footage of a house means more space to heat, cool, and light, which results in heftier utility payments. Speaking of utilities: because they don’t have the convenience of apartment management, house renters may wind up waiting longer than apartment renters to get any necessary repairs done.

Often less walkable

Typically, apartment complexes and high rises are located in the hustle and bustle of the city’s hub, while rental houses will be found in quieter, more suburban areas. While apartment dwellers often enjoy the convenience of strolling down the street to get groceries, see a movie, or eat at a restaurant, renting a house may mean you’re more reliant on a vehicle to reach any destination.

Fewer amenities

One massive benefit of living in an apartment complex is the ability to take advantage of the building’s amenities, like on-site workout centers and pools. In some apartments, tenants even enjoy luxuries like movie theaters, dog washing stations, and co-working spaces. When you rent a house, you don’t get access to these sorts of things.

May make roommates a necessity

The increased space, cost, and upkeep of renting an entire house may make roommates a necessity. Smaller apartments, however, are often easier to find, with no roommate required. For renters on a budget who don’t desire roommates, finding an apartment, such as a mother-in-law suite, is usually easier.

Less flexible for short-term renters

Because apartment complexes are well-oiled businesses, they’re pros at moving tenants in and out. You can often find short-term leases, and the smaller space means less packing and heavy lifting if you find yourself moving often. Landlords renting out houses, however, often only manage a few properties and are less inclined to cycle through tenants. Houses usually require longer-term leases, and you likely won’t enjoy packing up an entire house after only a brief stay!

Not all rental situations are the same, and there are some key differences between renting an entire house and renting an apartment. Want more space with less hassle? With Apartment Search, you can find apartments and condos for rent that offer many of the benefits of living in a house, without the downsides!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

9 Things That are Cheaper Than They Were Years Ago

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

The good old days were always better. Life was simpler, roads were clearer and — most of all — things were cheaper. Right?

Kind of. The good old days had their moments, but not everything was better or cheaper.

Some things actually have dropped in price over the years.

The reasons are varied. Some products are easier or cheaper to manufacture. Others face competition, which drives down prices. Or a technology changes the business model, as with streaming video, for example.

If it seems prices are just rising too fast and too high, here are some happy exceptions.

1. Televisions

Couple in shopping for a new tv.
Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock.com

How about a fancy television for viewing that blockbuster film? They are growing more affordable.

Numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that, between February 2018 and February 2019, lettuce prices rose 14.5% while the cost of a TV fell 16.8%.

On average, prices in general grew 1.5% over that 12-month period.

Writes CNET, in an article about dwindling demand for 32-inch TVs:

“Larger TVs are getting less expensive too, narrowing the price gap and making bigger sets better values.”

2. Classified ads

unemployed job seeker classified ads newspaper looking for work man
VGstockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Need to sell a couch, buy a used car, find an apartment? In ye olden days, you would peruse the classified ads in your local newspaper for what you needed or place an ad to sell something, meaning you would pay to buy the paper or to place your own want-ad.

Now you have online options that don’t cost a dime, including Craigslist and Indeed.

3. Home delivery

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Getting groceries, clothes and other necessities delivered used to be a luxury, reserved for those with lots of cash. Maybe pizza was the only thing regular people splurged on for home delivery.

Then came Amazon, and Amazon Prime‘s free two-day shipping.

Other stores are forced to fight back with delivery deals of their own, although restrictions or a minimum purchase requirement may apply. Just take a look at “26 Retailers That Offer Free Shipping — With No Minimum Purchase.”

4. Long-distance calling

talking on cellphone
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Some of us remember waiting for certain times of day to take advantage of lower prices on long-distance calling.

Try explaining this to a 20-something or teen. Their cellphone plan — and yours — doesn’t care if you call Alaska or Alabama, or what time of day you’re calling.

Google Voice and charges nothing for calls in the U.S., and Skype-to-Skype calls are free anywhere in the world.

5. Amazon Kindle reader

stickasa / Shutterstock.com

E-readers, such as Amazon Kindle, are a popular way to read most anything, whether a best-seller or comic book. As the technology has improved, prices have dropped.

The Kindle e-reader device that once sold for hundreds of dollars now retails for as little as $90, although the cheapest devices may have sponsored screensavers, special offers and personalized advertising. Refurbished devices go for even less.

Or you can skip the e-reader and read e-books for free. How? Download the Kindle app for your smartphone — no charge.

Here are “11 Sites That Offer Free E-Books.”

6. Ikea Poäng chair

Ikea.com / Shutterstock.com

Furniture giant Ikea’s wildly popular Poäng chair, now at $79, costs far less than it once did. Each year consumers buy about 1.5 million of the popular bent-birch chairs, and the Poang celebrates its 45th year in 2021.

The price is about 21% less than when the chair was introduced, Ikea said at the time of the chair’s 40th anniversary.

7. DIY learning

Art_Photo / Shutterstock.com

Want to learn how to apply makeup like a pro, change a tire, fix your furnace, speak Spanish? There was a time when you might have turned immediately to a community college extension course or another fee-based class.

While those still are good options, now we often test the waters in a chosen subject for free. For a quick “Do I really want to learn this” or a simple “How do I begin using my Instant Pot,” YouTube is likely to have the answer.

8. Solar panels

Worker installing solar panels
zstock / Shutterstock.com

Harnessing the power of the sun is getting easier as solar-panel costs come down.

A research study published by MIT in the fall of 2018 takes a deep dive into the reasons. In short, improved manufacturing efficiency and increased plant size have helped drive down prices for the energy alternative.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

How to Find an Apartment in Houston

Man in backpack going down an escalatorThere are over 2.3 million people in Houston, reports the U.S. Census Bureau. On top of that, the HTX metro area spans more than 599 miles! So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about your move to H-Town — we don’t blame you! But, before you say “screw it” and move into whichever decent place you can find, read our insider’s guide on how to find an apartment in Houston.

Finding Apartments in Houston, TX

Consider your commute.

Despite its advanced infrastructure, Houston has some of the worst traffic in the U.S., reports KHOU. Even using HOV lanes and toll roads, the average Houstonian commutes 50.56 minutes, says Robert Half.

If you can’t stand the stress of long commutes and traffic, finding an apartment in an area near your work can save your sanity (and your gas money). Luckily, there are plenty of pleasant suburbs, happening neighborhoods, and even hotspots for singles in Houston for you to pick from. Here’s a quick list of neighborhoods to consider if you work in certain areas of town:

  • Do you work in downtown Houston? Check out apartments in Montrose, River Oaks, The Heights, and The Museum District.
  • Is your office in North Houston? Start your apartment search in Houston suburbs like Spring Branch, The Woodlands, and Humble. These communities are generally family-oriented, so you may be able to find lower rent prices by seeking out studios, one-bedroom apartments, or even duplexes!
  • Headed due south for your daily drive? If you work in south Houston (or just south of downtown) look for places in the vicinity of the medical center and Astrodome area, or check out apartments in Central Southwest and Crestmont Park for a more suburban feel.
  • Are you commuting to East Houston? Before you sign a lease on the other side of town, look for apartments in the Greater Eastwood neighborhood and the Manchester/Harrisburg area. If your budget is on the higher side, you can also check out apartments in EaDo — the up and coming east downtown region.

Pick a Houston neighborhood.

When picking a neighborhood, don’t just focus on being close to work. Also, consider what you like and need to do before and after the daily grind. If you’re really trying to avoid traffic, live in an area that contains all the “necessities,” like grocery stores, pharmacies, and excellent schools (if that’s a priority for you).

Remember, we all need some fun, too! So, find a neighborhood that’s close to your needs and wants — whether that means pubs and eateries or churches, gyms, and art galleries. Soon enough, you’ll find a community in Houston that fits your lifestyle and your work or school schedule.

Browse apartments in your desired area.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the perfect Houston neighborhood for you, it’s time to find the ideal pad, too. Find apartments in your desired neighborhood by entering your fave HTX ‘hood or zip code in the search bar on ApartmentSearch.com. That search will pull up rental housing options in that neighborhood, showing rent prices, apartment reviews, and even open availabilities in each property.

Find budget-friendly Houston apartments.

A general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than a third of your gross income on rent. However, the lower your expenses, the better — regardless of how much you make!

Crunch some numbers and figure out how much rent you can afford. Then, use the settings on our apartment finding website to filter your search results by rent prices. You’ll get a list of available apartments that fit your budget and are in your desired Houston neighborhood!

Pick your favorite!

Last, but certainly not least — it’s time to pick your ideal apartment in Houston! If you’ve followed the steps above, you now have a list of properties to choose from. Narrow that list down further by deciding which “extras” (a.k.a., amenities) you’d like your rental community to include.

Make a list of amenities you’d enjoy, ranking them from most to least important. Consider renter favorites like gated access, resort-style pools, fitness centers, and free WiFi. Once your list is ready, find properties in your ApartmentSearch that offer what you need and use the “Contact Property” button to request more info.

Once you’ve found the one, give the lease a careful read before signing. Don’t forget to tell them ApartmentSearch referred you — it’ll help you qualify for our exclusive $200 reward!

Make Houston Your Home

Whether you want a pool-front studio in The Woodlands, or you’re looking for an apartment with access to a fitness center in River Oaks, ApartmentSearch can help you find a place to call home in Houston!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Can You Be Evicted If You Pay Partial Rent

Stressed woman at desk looking down at computerTimes are tough. When you find yourself struggling to scrape together enough money to pay rent, what are your options? Will you face eviction if you can’t pay all of your rent on time? While rules vary from state to state, learn what commonly happens and what landlords can and can’t do when you can pay only partial rent.

How Laws Affect Partial Rent

Laws designed to protect renters like you differ by state and even by city. Therefore, where you live might be kinder to renters or kinder to landlords. Oregon is considered a more renter-friendly state, while Texas is regarded as a more landlord-friendly state. Let’s look at how these two states treat the issue of paying partial rent.

According to Law Server, under Oregon law, a landlord can accept a partial rent payment. If an Oregon landlord tries to evict you for nonpayment of rent, you may stand a better chance of avoiding eviction if you’ve made a partial payment. In some cases, the landlord loses the right to evict you for nonpayment of rent if they’ve accepted a partial payment.

However, as reported by Oregon Law Help, landlords in OR do not have to accept partial payments as long they issue:

  • A 72-hour notice to pay rent or move out once monthly rent is at least seven days overdue.
  • A 144-hour notice to pay monthly rent or move out after your rent is at least four days overdue.
  • A 72-hour notice to pay week-to-week rent or move out after your rent is at least four days overdue.

A landlord in Oregon is not required to accept a partial rent payment during one of these notice periods.

On the other hand, according to Texas Eviction, a landlord in the lone star state can evict a renter if they pay only partial rent. However, advocates for landlords advise them not to accept partial rent at all because it might weaken their eviction case. Instead, it’s suggested that Texas landlords accept only full rent payments from tenants. If a Texas landlord has issued a 14-day notice to either pay rent in full or face eviction, they do not have to accept a partial payment during those 14 days.

The bottom line is that if you’re a renter in Texas, it might be more challenging to make a partial rent payment and remain where you live than it is in Oregon.

(Keep in mind that many states and cities changed rules about partial payment of rent during the coronavirus pandemic so tenants could avoid eviction.)

How to Ask a Landlord About Partial Rent Payments

Ignoring the fact that you can’t make a full rent payment won’t make the problem go away. It’s best to be honest with your landlord about your situation and try to work out a solution.

“A landlord who considers you a good tenant won’t want to lose you, since it’s often difficult and expensive to evict you, then find and move in good tenants. This means you can probably get the landlord to accept a portion of the rent now — maybe even a small portion — and the rest later,” according to legal website Nolo.com.

If you find yourself unable to make a full rent payment, Nolo.com suggests that you:

  • Offer to make a partial payment in writing.
  • Explain your situation and emphasize (if you can) that the problem is only temporary.
  • Assure your landlord, in writing, that you can pay the full rent by a specific date. Be sure to honor that deadline.
  • Commit, if you can, to making full rent payments in the future.
  • Agree to pay late fees if such fees are mandated in your lease.

Find Apartment in Your Price Range

Whether you’re dealing with a limited budget, a prior eviction, or both — there’s an apartment for you! Use ApartmentSearch to filter available units by rent price, amenities, and more to help you zero-in on your next home.

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Suburban vs. Urban Life: Where Should You Rent? | ApartmentSearch

city skyline of Melbourne, AustraliaWould you rather spend a night on the town, or a night on the backyard patio? Walk to brunch on the weekends, or wake up to fields of green and chirping birds? Be close to the action, or have some space to breathe?

There are no wrong answers! Still, between suburban vs. urban living, it’s a tough call. We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons so you can find an apartment in the part of town that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Should You Rent a Downtown Apartment?

City living certainly has its perks, but be sure to weigh the good and the not-so-good before you sign a lease on that urban loft.

Pros of Renting a Downtown Apartment

  • Close to the Action: When you rent a downtown apartment, you’re close to what you need: restaurants, stores, nightlife, and events. Depending on your specific location, you may not even need a car—you could live close enough to walk or bike everywhere.
  • Easy Commuting: Work downtown, too? Your commute will be almost nonexistent, and you’ll be able to drive to other parts of town quickly.
  • The “Cool” Factor: City centers tend to be full of creative souls and entrepreneurs, which can give your neighborhood a “cool factor.”

Cons of Renting a Downtown Apartment

  • Noisy Neighbors: City life isn’t for everyone. Most downtown apartment buildings are close together, and many are located right next to busy streets, highways, or railroads. Do you really want to hear everything that’s going on outside?
  • Higher Rent for Less Space: Since space is at a premium in densely populated metropolitan areas, you’ll likely pay more for rent than you would in the suburbs, and for less space—which is a bummer if you want to live with a pet or entertain friends in your apartment.

Renting an Apartment in the Suburbs

Not into the idea of city life? Renting a suburban apartment might be your best bet.

Pros of Renting a Suburban Apartment

  • Easy on the Budget: Your budget may get you a small apartment in the city, but how much apartment can you afford in the suburbs? As it turns out, much more! In the suburbs, you’ll usually get more square footage for less money.
  • Great Amenities: Apartment communities in the suburbs tend to have more amenities (think pools, a gym, or a dog park!) because the suburbs are less densely packed than the city centers and real estate doesn’t cost as much.
  • A Calming Escape: If you need the opportunity to recharge and retreat from the world every so often, a suburban apartment can offer just that: a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Living in a suburb provides a small-town feel and a slower pace, but still allows you access to the city when you want to change up your routine.

Cons of Renting a Suburban Apartment

  • Distance from the Action: Unfortunately, living in the suburbs can mean a longer commute to work, and make it difficult to get around the city quickly to visit with friends or run errands.
  • Slower Pace: The suburbs likely won’t have as many entertainment or nightlife options, and you may not find as many locally owned, Instagram-worthy spots like coffee shops or boutiques.

Rent Where It’s Right for You

Whether you’re looking for a chic downtown loft or a laidback suburban apartment, find your perfect apartment with ApartmentSearch. We’ll help you discover the best city spot that’s close to the action, or a quiet location in the suburbs to call your own. Wherever you sign a lease, mention ApartmentSearch and we’ll hook you up with a $200 reward!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Why I’m Grown-Up and Employed, but Still Need Mom to Co-Sign on My Home

When I got my first apartment after college, I needed my mom to co-sign my lease.

The landlord required proof that I made three times the rent, but since I wasn’t making nearly enough, I called Mom to sign on that second dotted line.

Then, in my mid-20s, when I bought my first condo, I needed a co-signer again. Once again, my mom was there for me.

Now I’m almost 30, married, and expecting our first child. Both my husband and I are gainfully employed and have good credit histories, so you’d think we wouldn’t need any parent co-signing for us to rent a home! But alas, we’d recently moved to New York City, where rents were so high, snagging a half-way decent apartment would require Mom to co-sign once again.

What’s going on? Would I need my mother to co-sign forever?

Of course, I feel lucky to have a parent who’s so supportive. But I can’t help but think that there’s something wrong with me, where I was choosing to live, or perhaps the housing system in general.

So, I started looking into why co-signing is so often required, even in cases where it seems unnecessary. Here’s what I learned, and some words of wisdom from experts that could help you get through the inconvenient (and embarrassing) cycle.

Why co-signers are required

What bothered me most about needing a co-signer was that I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously as a tenant. I had a good job and a college degree, why couldn’t I be trusted to pay my rent?

As it turns out, many people face this problem.

While landlords may have differing requirements, the industry standard is that your take-home income must be three times what you pay in rent. So if you make $3,000 a month, your monthly rent should not exceed $1,000.

But is this realistic with today’s runaway rent prices?

For instance, in 2013, as a fresh college graduate, I paid $1,600 a month for a one-bedroom, third-floor walk-up in Los Angeles. So based on the three-times rule, I should have been earning $4,800 a month, or $57,600 a year.

A salary that size was an unattainable dream for me right out of college. Even though I had a great sales job and a minimum-wage side hustle, I was making only about twice the annual rent, or $40,000.

And I was one of the lucky ones. The minimum wage in California is $12 an hour, but in 2013 it was $8. To afford a monthly rent of $1,600 in 2013, a minimum-wage worker would have needed to put in 150 hours a week.

Is the three-times rent rule realistic?

Because I needed a co-signer, I couldn’t help but wonder about the three-times rent rule, and the reason for it. Did this mean I’d overextended myself?

As it turns out, I had no reason for worry. With a monthly rent of $1,600, I had another $1,600 left for other expenses, and it was more than enough.

So I started wondering: If twice my income worked just fine for my bills, why do landlords want proof that renters make three times their rent?

“The exact origins of the three-times rule is unknown,” says Michael Dinich of Your Money Geek. Nonetheless, this rule has remained the industry standard—for renters and home buyers alike.

“Mortgage lenders have often used the guideline that housing costs should be no more than 30% of income,” Dinich says. “The three-times rule is likely a handy approximation based on those old guidelines.”

This guideline may even contribute to younger generations’ low rates of homeownership.

“The income of many people, particularly younger adults, has not kept up with home prices in many areas,” says Andrew Latham, managing editor of SuperMoney. “This is why millennials have lower homeownership rates than previous generations.”

Plus, experts say that most landlords (even the nice ones) don’t necessarily care if people aren’t making as much money as they used to. They care more about finding a renter who will be able to pay their rent on time. And if that means sticking to the tried-and-true method of renting to those who can prove they have plenty of income to spare, or can at least get a co-signer, they’ll do it.

How I pay my rent without a co-signer today

While it’s tough for young renters and home buyers almost everywhere to cover their housing costs, it’s even worse in New York City.

Sure, my mom agreed to co-sign the lease, as always. Yet with a baby on the way, my husband and I decided that, rather than taking my mom up on her kind offer, I’d try to find an apartment with a rent that fell comfortably within the three-times rule.

We started crossing things off our wish list. We moved our search from Manhattan to Brooklyn. We stopped looking at homes near subway stations and cute cafes and started touring apartments that were a bit farther out. In the end, we found a studio we liked, and the low rent didn’t require a co-signer.

For more smart financial news and advice, head over to MarketWatch.

Source: realtor.com

Get Two Months Free on This Adams Morgan Studio | Apartminty

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The Best Apartment Deals In DC Right Now | Cheap DC Apartments

We’re all about scoring a good deal here at Apartminty.  While we love perusing the top-of-the-line luxury apartments in DC, we also understand, sometimes an affordable rent is the better option. Either way, instead of you searching for Washington, DC apartments on Craigslist and property management company listing sites, we are delivering our choice of the best apartments to rent in DC right now.  Here’s our pick for the best Washington, DC apartment for rent today. Want more information on moving to DC? Check out Apartminty’s  Ultimate Guide to Moving to Washington, DC.

THE SHAWMUT

1768 Columbia Road NW

Washington, DC 20009

Studio Apartment
$1325/month
Unit #: 308
330 Sq Ft
Available Now

Why it’s a great deal:
The Shawmut is in the intersection of Adams Morgan and Kalorama and just a quick walk to Dupont Circle.  This apartment building is one of the most pet friendly buildings in D.C. They allow cats and dogs, but do not charge pet rent or a pet fee.  The customer service and maintenance team are incredible.   

The price on this studio apartment is not something you will see often! PLUS The Shawmut is offering two months free if you lease before the end of December!  You are only responsible for electric and cooking gas.   If you’re interested, reach out today! Looking for something a little different? Check out Apartminty’s guide How to Find an Apartment in DC.   *Pictures may not be of exact unit.*

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Source: blog.apartminty.com

8 Amenities Every Decent Apartment Should Have: How Many Are in Your Place?

Whether you are looking for a studio or a three-bedroom apartment, finding the right amenities may make the difference between loving or hating your new pad.

Apartment amenities come in various forms, ranging from an in-unit washer and dryer or state-of-the-art alarm system to biannual pest control or a private parking spot. If you’re lucky, you may find an apartment with all of the above! More likely, however, you’ll have to prioritize depending on what’s important to you.

So what amenities should you put on the top of your list? Here are a few that will make a big difference and are worth having before you sign your next lease.

1. Dishwasher

Once you’ve had a dishwasher, it’s hard to go back to washing dishes by hand. But you already knew that, right?

“A dishwasher has to be arguably the most underrated invention of all time,” says Rostislav Shetman, founder of 9Kilo Moving.

“Washing dishes by hand after a long day at work is the last thing anybody wants to do. Having a dishwasher not only enables you to keep your utensils, and by extension the rest of your kitchen, clean, but since a dishwasher does not need as much water as washing dishes by hand, it also helps you lower your water bill,” says Shetman.

2. Alarm system

Having an alarm system can give you greater peace of mind, but professional installations of new systems can cost hundreds of dollars. To save money, look for an apartment that comes with an alarm system already built in. And don’t forget to ask the landlord who pays for the monthly monitoring. Some landlords offer the system but ask tenants to pay the monthly fees.

And there are other safety amenities to check for.

“Check the dwelling for deadbolts and window locks,” says Karen Condor, a home insurance and real estate specialist. “Also check for safety devices such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Whatever is lacking, request they be installed. This will not only make your apartment much safer, but it will also give you cheaper renters insurance rates.”

3. Pest control

Between wasp nests on your balcony and roaches invading your kitchen, pest control can be a time-consuming, unpleasant, and expensive chore. Some commercial pest control products can also be difficult, or even dangerous, to use. Save yourself the hassle, and look for apartments offering regular professional pest control.

4. Air conditioning—or ceiling fans

If you live in an area where summer temperatures become unbearable, having air conditioning is a no-brainer. Many newer apartments come with central AC, but if not, make sure window units can be installed.

Just keep in mind that AC eats up a lot of electricity, and can raise your monthly bill. To save on these costs, check if the apartment has ceiling fans. In the summer, a ceiling fan set to rotate counterclockwise at a higher speed will circulate air throughout the room, allowing you to feel cooler without running AC.

In the winter, set the ceiling fan to run clockwise at a low speed to force warm air trapped at the ceiling back into the room. You will still have to use the heater on the coldest days, but a simple flip of a switch can reduce some of your heating needs.

5. Washer and dryer

No matter how great an apartment is, lugging your laundry to the laundromat and back each week gets old awfully fast. Ideally, an in-unit washer and dryer combo is the best.

“After you’re out of college, you want your days of lugging your clothes to the laundromat to be over,” says Condor. “As well as saving you time, this will also save you money.”

If you can’t find an apartment with the appliances in the unit, at least try to find a place that has washers and dryers in the building.

6. Private parking

While the apartment complex probably has a parking lot, it could get full on weekends, when tenants are likely to have guests. To make sure you always have a spot, look for a complex that offers reserved parking spaces.

“There is nothing worse than making a large grocery run and having to park a mile away from your place,” says Condor. “Ask about the amount of dedicated space, as well as the amount of overflow parking available.”

7. An outdoor courtyard area

Sometimes you need some fresh air! Look for a complex that offers a courtyard area or, better yet, a swimming pool, so you can spend time outside without having to leave your apartment complex and driving to the nearest park or community pool.

8. On-site maintenance

A busted pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a leaking water heater can cause serious damage to your apartment (and your stuff). Having an on-site emergency maintenance crew can lessen the damage and get your life back to normal quickly.

Source: realtor.com