Summary: Finding apartment can be a difficult if you don’t know the right time. A recent study from apartment listing site RentHop found that renters could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year by timing their apartment search. If saving money is the primary goal, winter is the best time to rent an apartment. Apartment turnover is much slower between October and April, or summer.
Planning to move very soon? Depending on where you currently live as well as the time of year, waiting might be your better option if you want rent an apartment of your choice.
Not everyone gets to choose when they move, but if you do have a say, it could save you some money. The time could be based on whether you want the best deal or the best apartment. The best time to rent a space could also be impacted by the location you are considering.
Finding out the best time to rent a place can be tough. If you are fortunate to have the flexibility to strategize and decide about the time of year to start looking, selecting the perfect month could have a great impact. Although there will be some other factors, the perfect time to rent an apartment often rest on one question about your priorities.
Are you in search of the best apartment or the best price?
By knowing the current trends in rental rates as well as availability and analyzing your life as well as the rental market, you will surely be making the best and informed decision.
Below are some of the vital discoveries from the report of Renthop that will assist you in determining when to rent an apartment.
What Time is the Best to Rent an Apartment?
Finding out the best time to rent a place is based on your major objective. Many renters fall into two categories. They are either looking to save as much as possible or select from the numerous alternatives of homes to get themselves the perfect match. Selecting your main focus, which is either options or affordability will provide you guidance when making other decisions and also form your moving timeliness.
You can only choose one over the other, so, perform some great searching to ensure the choice you make is perfect with your long-term goals. It makes sense to go for a lower rent if you are operating on a strict budget, paying down old debt, or saving up to meet your upcoming financial goal.
If you or your roommates are trying to bounce back from financial instability, a job loss, or a health problem, focusing on saving money makes the most sense to create a financial cushion.
However, if there is any flexibility in your budget, renting at a time when options are at a peak in the market might be the best way to go. This is so true if you decide to live in a particular neighborhood or like a certain floor plan or amenities. The more defined your goals, the more alternatives you will need to see.
Let’s take a look at time of the season to know the one that best fit for your apartment rental needs.
The Winter Period is the Best Time for the Best Deal
If you are of the mind that moving in winter is difficult, you are probably right. A lot of people avoid moving in winter. This is so true in cities like New York, Boston, or Chicago, where delays can be caused by snowstorms and icy roads, thereby affecting moving plans. Since most renters dread moving in winter, getting a deal on an apartment at that time is the best.
The demand for apartments in December and January is generally at the lowest. Property managers are still required to fill their units to ensure the vacancy rates are kept low. Therefore, winter months provide renters the most opportunity when negotiating the rental process and getting deals.
Rent in Winter to save Money
If your main goal is to save money, the best time to rent an apartment is during winter. Apartment demand is on the lower side between October and April, so property managers and owners are usually willing to negotiate to have their vacancies occupied during the winter months. If you are determined to save money, move in the chilliest months of the year when everyone else is not looking.
Studies from big city areas reveal that rental rates between December and February are the lowest.
Savings are at an average of 3% to 5%, even though the rate will vary based on city and state. Between December and March are the cheapest months to rent, or from the start of winter to the start of spring.
Unlike peak months, rental prices in this period can be 3.4 percent lower, with the amount of savings totaling from $38 to $139 less for 1-bedroom apartments and $47 – $176 less for 2-bedroom apartments. Even when savings are not much, that can mean almost $500 off your overall rental cost all through the year.
Get the Best Selection by Renting in the Summer
If you want the highest variety of homes to pick from, your best option is to move between May and September. Parents and college students plan their moves for after school season and a lot of renters want to go for a summer vacation before they move into their new home. Most moves in America happen in this period. Also, warm weather doesn’t pose any huge threat to moving unlike what a winter move might present.
Even though those that live in a temperate region are likely to enjoy summer moves without any unhappiness, since demand is high during the peak months, renters will have a lot of options.
Just know that more choices are equivalent to more competition from other renters. You need pre-planning to get your dream apartment in a competitive rental market.
Plan your budget and wish list before the time. Come to the meeting with the right documents, so if you see what you like, you can swing into action. Else, another renter will.
Rents in the Summer and Fall are at Peak
Overall 10 metropolitan areas in the report, the costliest months for rental prices are May through October, probably making them the least good time to rent a space. To know the reason behind this, it is important to check the relationship between the rental market as well as the buying market. The same method behind prices in a buyer’s market against a seller’s market is also applicable to rentals, with more buyer demand equivalent to higher prices.
Inventory and demand in the rental market seem to be the highest from the beginning of summer to the start of fall, which implies that landlords and management companies can ask for more money on their apartments and still get away with it.
Best Time of the Month to Search for an Apartment
Now that you know what month to perform your move, is there a perfect time of the month to start searching? Yes. The majority of leases expire at the end of the month and need 30 days’ notice before move-out. Begin to look around that time, and you will find various apartments immediately they are being listed on the market. Begin your search in the last two weeks of November if you decide to move in December.
You can also consider searching in the middle of the month. Any available vacancies then have been available probably for a little while, and property managers are likely looking to get that unit occupied as well. If you are prepared to move in immediately, it could save you even more money.
Best Time of Day to Search
If you want to be more specific, the best time to look online for listings is between 9 and 10 AM. That is because property managers often post new listings for recently-freed rentals around that time. You can get a deal while the managers are desperate.
How to Get the Best Deal on an Apartment
Aside from the time of year, there are certain things that you should always perform so you can get the best price possible on an apartment.
Below are six of them.
- Begin early with your apartment search: Apartment searches start in December and January and increase slowly until they get to peak in July. The more people in the market searching for a new apartments, the fiercer the competition you face. Even if you decide to move in the summer, you want to start your apartment search early when the rental market is slowly moving. Starting earlier enables you access to more choices.
- Diversify your search: Avoid focusing your apartment search on a single place. Many websites list vacant apartments and you won’t always find similar units on all of them. To ensure that you have access to wider inventory and thus the most comprehensive range of prices, check at least four or five.
- Partner with a rental agent: You can freely use a rental agent (they are paid by landlords and management companies for who they find customers (renters)) and can make your budget work to get you a perfect apartment for your budget. Since you have nothing to lose, it is sensible to have a rental agent using their resources to find you your next apartment
- Get a roommate: When you share your apartment you also share the cost of living there. Not everyone can get a roommate, but when you get one, it can increase your chances of finding a great apartment on a reasonably workable budget. For instance, you will save $1,200 per annum if you get a 2-bedroom apartment for $1,800 per month against a 1-bedroom apartment for $1,000 per month, and you will also be able to reduce your utility bills by half. As regards where to get one, click here to see 10 online roommate finders to assist you to get a roommate quick.
- Negotiate: Rent prices are not usually negotiable but it is always good to try. Speak with your potential landlord to find out if they have any flexibility on cost, ensuring you mention some reasons that you would be a perfect tenant. Part of the vital points to use in your favor is you would be renting for a longer lease period, or if you are ready to pay a few months’ rent upfront. While there are no assurances that you will be able to reduce the price, a lot of landlords will be willing to listen to you, especially if you are searching for apartments during the off-demand periods.
- Identify what you can live without: In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to sacrifice amenities to obtain a good deal on an apartment. However, in the real world, you usually have to put some things on the line. The key is to choose what is important and what you can allow flexibility on. You might be able to secure a good apartment for a lower price if you let go of in-unit or indoor laundry, for instance, or if you are open to move to any location. Perform a cost-benefit analysis with each unit that you look into and choose whether the price is a good deal against what you do and don’t get to do.
In all, timing is important. There are greater times than others to rent a space, and finding the perfect time can assist you get the ideal place or save some money. If your move date allows some flexibility, choose the best time of year for your apartment rental according to your specific needs, whether that means a cost or other personal factors.
Usually, it is worth holding on for a few more months if that will reduce your rent or increase your choices. Together with the advice given above, you should also be able to locate an ideal unit for you without exhausting your budget.