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Renters Can Save Cash Too

By Pam Marino

When you mix today's tough economic climate with big life changes such as divorce or separation you may feel as though you're running into a brick wall. If you are in need of a new apartment or are searching for a new living space you may feel like it is impossible to find a reasonably priced solution in your area. Most people are misled into thinking that all of the good deals have been scooped up by those who were quick on their feet at the beginning of the recession. But don't fret. This is not exactly true. Even in this economic whirlwind it is possible to find good deals on rental apartments and rental homes.

With a little know-how and pre-planning you can find the right place for you. The first rule of renting is to stay within your budget range. Sit down and prepare a budget especially if you've never had one before. If you do have a budget prepared, good for you, you have a leg up already. You need to know your boundaries to be able to sufficiently plan. The .rent. is not just about paying for housing you must remember to include utilities, public water and sewage, trash pickup and renter's insurance. All of these things will be included in your monthly budget. Also, do not forget to consider your overall size and space requirements. Apartments vary in size and some include special amenities. Consider how many rooms you need, bathrooms, storage space, square footage, and extras including fireplaces. The apartment may include a gym, tennis court, or swimming pool; if these amenities cost extra, determine whether you need them or not and if the price can be deducted.

Don't limit your search. By browsing the classifieds and asking friends you are only skimming the surface of your search possibilities. Don't be afraid to visit a local realtor's office, browse online ads, and check more than your local papers. You may want to deduce all of the towns, cities, and counties that you are willing to expand your search to. The more areas you're willing to search the better your chances are of finding something worthwhile. Consider your commute to and from work during your search. Finding an apartment that is close to your work will decrease your commute costs and overall expenses. If you find a place that is close enough to walk to work, consider yourself lucky. Lastly, always read through the lease agreement thoroughly. Don't get roped into an agreement that you are not OK with. Set a time limit and a monthly allowance in which you have previously agreed on.

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