Being a first-time renter can be a very exhausting process as you start a whole new life from scratch. Along with all the chaos that comes with shifting homes, you also have to worry about being financially responsible! Spending your money efficiently and effectively is one of the hardest things anyone has to go through as an adult. With the world being far more expensive than our ancestors had it, making the right decisions could be strenuous, but for now, we’ve got you covered!
Here are eight smart financial planning tips for first-time renters so that you can have a smooth sailing renting experience,
Research and prepare
Since you are a first time renter, research is crucial. Starting from the neighborhood you are planning to move into, the average cost of living in the state, the most affordable transportation options, and the prices of prospective rentals, being on a budget and knowing your capacity will save you from being in debt later. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you keep a stringent check on your expenses and income. Most landlords need you to pay a deposit upfront, so you will have to keep a contingency for that as well.
Having a room for rent in NYC or different parts of California will cost way more than the country’s average rent. This is because the demand for certain cities is exceptionally high due to the opportunities and the standard of living they provide. So, what’s the alternative? Considering shared housing in NYC seems to be a pragmatic option if you are moving to New York City and looking for a place to stay!
If you are looking for a place in the Bay Area, having a beach view might sound lovely, but is it financially viable? Be realistic in your goals because the responsibility of paying the rent on time every month is purely yours!
Start saving up
Now that you know the cost of living in the city you want to call home, start making cuts in your daily expenditure. Saving up for the big move is essential, and you will need to start early as well. Around six months to a year before you move, start writing down all your expenses and cut down on the unnecessary spending. Right from the deposit, the moving company charges for any renovations that you will have to make in your new home, so keep an emergency fund ready!
Getting a room for rent is much less pricey than renting an entire apartment. Remember, if you plan to find rooms to rent in NYC, San Francisco, Washington, San Jose, or other cities that make up some of the most expensive cities to live in the United States, you will have to save for a more extended period if necessary.
One of the crucial things to keep track of is your credit score before approaching a homeowner to rent out a room in their house, whether in New York or San Francisco. Since today, information is transparent, and trust is low, most landlords tend to do a credit check before giving out their apartment or a room in it for rent. Pay your credit card bill on time, if you have any student loans, don’t delay the EMIs, file your taxes in time, and you’ll be squeaky clean when anyone checks your credibility!
Having tenant’s insurance is a good idea as it covers all your personal property and mitigates the risks from fire, theft, and vandalism. It can also cover costs in case of any small renovations. Even though you can get insurance on your rented property, make sure to inspect the home
before signing any documents. It’s structural integrity and conditions will tell you if there can be any future costs or not. If you have a room for rent in NYC, San Francisco, or other metropolitans, find a secure neighborhood free from crime. This brings us to the next point.
Know thy neighborhood
Having shared housing in NYC, San Francisco, or other popular parts of the country will confuse you about the best option for a suitable neighborhood. From the bustling boroughs of NYC to the scenic coastal regions, you have choices to make! There are plenty of online blogs that will provide you with all the information one can need regarding affordability, connectivity, safety, accessibility, and of course, about the fun factors in the different neighborhoods. Another option is to find yourself some compatible roommates to cut costs on your rent every month. The more, the merrier!
Negotiate based on information collected
Once you do your research and planning, you’ll be in a much better position to discuss and negotiate with agents and landlords regarding the terms of the rental agreement. Never pay more than the average rent in your area, and try to keep the deposit amount to the minimum as this will decrease the cash you have in hand for other circumstances. Online portals like Cirtru work the best for comparing the rent across various houses and locations all over the country!
Be prepared in terms of all the information about the state’s rental laws and the other regulations you might have to follow. For example, if you have a room for rent in San Francisco, California, your landlord should only take a deposit, which amounts to a maximum, two months’ rent, and they should return it to you within 21 days of moving in.
Choose between furnished or unfurnished homes
Calculate the difference in cost between furnished and unfurnished homes or rooms for rent. Unfurnished houses will have a lesser price while you will have to spend extra time and energy to furnish it according to your preferences. Furnished homes cost more due to the convenience but customizing them according to your taste will be more complicated. Only buy portable decor elements that you can carry with you to your new rental place if required.
Read the lease thoroughly before signing it
Last but not least, read through the rental lease line by line for any circumstances you might have to be financially prepared for. There might be penalties on specific actions, and hence you will have to be very careful during your stay. You can also get legal help to consolidate your agreement, in case you don’t feel confident about all the legal jargon.
Now that you are all prepared to move into the next phase of your life, have a fun experience in your first rental, and ensure that you save as much of your hard-earned money as possible, using these tips and tricks!