So you’ve decided to take on the time-consuming, stressful process of searching for a new apartment to lease. It’s not easy, and as I’m sure you know, you’ll spend more than a few days pondering your best options. With more than a third of Americans renting, there are probably hundreds of different apartment choices in your area. Between driving from complex to complex and coming up with a budget, you might just be ready to tear your hair out by the end of your search.
However, there are some steps you can take to avoid said hair-tearing. With North Texas real estate booming and constant construction, it might not be that difficult to find the new pad you’ve dreamed about (at a reasonable price, of course).
Come Up With a Strict Price Range Before You Start Hunting
Don’t ever let a beautiful apartment talk you into saying, “Well I could make that price work… maybe.” No matter how many pools or amazing amenities an apartment might have, it’s not worth straying outside of the original budget you set. Like The Motley Fool says, it doesn’t matter how much you scrimp and save on lunches if you are over budgeting for the big things in your life. Your apartment, car, and other large expenses have to be carefully calculated if you’re really looking to live frugally. Even though the smiling sales assistant is trying to convince you that the more expensive floorplan is a good deal, stick to your guns and think about your expenses long-term.
Look for New Construction
This is an especially easy tip to abide by in the North Texas area. There are apartment complexes springing up everywhere from Dallas to Prosper, and guess what? Many of these brand new buildings will offer you a discount or promotion when you sign your lease. They are trying to fill empty apartments as quickly as possible, and more often than not, that desperation will work in your favor financially.
Start Looking Before You Have To
Although it’s tempting to put off the arduous task for as long as possible, shopping in advance is actually the smarter way to go. Experts say to start looking roughly six weeks before your current lease or living situation ends. Not only does this give you plenty of time to search at your own pace, but it also gives you wiggle room with move-in dates and negotiations. You don’t want to get stuck taking whatever apartment you can get because you ran out of time. If you start your search about a month and a half in advance, your wallet will thank you later.
Double Check Prices at Different Dates
Sometimes, apartment prices can fluctuate drastically in a matter of days. Many complexes operate on a supply-and-demand system, meaning that their prices vary depending on how many apartments are leased. If you find an apartment that you love, but the price isn’t quite right, don’t give up hope just yet. Check the prices off and on for a couple of weeks and see if the rent fluctuates at all.