You’re biting the bullet: it’s time to go apartment hunting. Unfortunately, you’re on a tighter-than-tight budget. What amenities do you have to sacrifice in exchange for cheap housing? What should you avoid? And what tips and tricks can you use to snag a cheaper rent?
Renting on a budget doesn’t have to be a nightmare, even when scouting out apartments in New York City. Here’s everything you need to know about finding a cheap place for your family in a big city.
Choosing a Location: Safety Should Be Your First Priority
It’s never okay to sacrifice your family’s safety for a cheaper rent. Your peace of mind is worth far more than savings. You can change anything about your apartment’s aesthetics, but you can’t change its location.
That doesn’t mean location can’t play a factor in saving money on your monthly rent. Choosing an older or less trendy neighborhood can mean huge savings in your rent. Get to know all the neighborhoods in your city. Venture out and explore your city by foot to get a feel for the different vibes within each neighborhood. Though a neighborhood may have more mom-and-pop joints than trendy bistros, it can still offer your family a wonderful place to live.
Another way to save money based on location is to choose housing that’s more “off the beaten path.” The farther you are from bus stops, subway stations, and highways, the cheaper your city rent will be. If you don’t mind walking an extra 5 to 10 minutes each day, you may enjoy a significantly lower rent.
You Can Always Economize on Space
There are thousands of creative ways to optimize space in tiny apartments (even the notoriously tiny apartments for rent in new york City). Look for seating that doubles as storage, creative shelving, and closet space savers to optimize your apartment’s limited space. A one-time purchase on a storage compartment is much cheaper than a higher monthly rent.
Haggle for a Cheaper Rent
Landlords love long-term tenants. If you’ve found your dream apartment, try haggling with your landlord for a cheaper rent in exchange for a longer lease (two years instead of one, for example). You can also exchange property upkeep (meaning you take care of your own plumbing problems, repainting, and other minor household issues) for a cheaper rent.
How Did You Save on Your Apartment?
Got any creative apartment-hunting tips for moms on a budget? Share your advice in the comments!