When you’re hunting for a bargain, timing can be everything. We’ve all browsed sales waiting for the right time to buy a television or car—holding off for seasonal savings such as Black Friday. But did you know there’s also a best time of year to rent an apartment?
If you know you’re going to be moving in the next couple of months, and are wondering when the best time to rent an apartment is, read on.
When to Rent an Apartment (According to the Calendar)
If you want the best deal on an apartment, bundle up. According to CNBC, you’re more likely to get a significant price break between December and March. This is because demand for apartments is typically at its lowest around the holidays. As a matter of fact, in 2018, Google Trends showed that interest in the query “apartments for rent” peaked in July and bottomed out in November.
Though this may be news to you it isn’t to landlords and property managers, who offer rent cuts and deals during the slow winter season. If you’re apartment hunting in the winter, make sure you inquire not only about cheap rent but also about alternative arrangements such as getting the first month free or even a cash incentive for your business.
The weather and the longer days make apartment hunting more comfortable in the summer but, keep in mind, that comfort can cost you. Apartment rents tend to be more expensive between May and October.
Weather aside, summer is usually when recent college graduates relocate for new jobs and opportunities. It’s also when high school graduates move out, either to college towns or just to get away from their parents. Summer also allows parents of school-aged children to relocate their families without interrupting their kids’ schooling. This increase in demands means higher rent prices.
When to Rent an Apartment (According to Your Finances)
Renting an apartment is a significant monetary commitment, and it’s okay to wonder, “How do I know I am financially prepared to sign a lease?”
Many landlords will verify that you meet an income-to-rent ratio before letting you sign a lease. Often, this income-to-rent ratio means your gross salary must be at least three times the cost of rent.
You can better prepare for such financial screening by having the following handy when you’re ready to sign a lease:
- Employment and income information (offer letter or pay stubs)
- Official identification
- References from past employers, lenders, and neighbors
- Someone willing to serve as your lease guarantor
Whether the landlord you’re dealing with requires you to meet specific qualifications or not, it’s always a good idea to check in with yourself before renting. According to Consumer.gov, you should have at least enough money for the first month of rent, a security deposit, and utility deposits (if required).
You should also have enough in your bank account to cover a couple months’ worth of rent in the event of an unforeseen interruption to your employment or income.
As reported by CNN in 2018, four in ten Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency bill. Accordingly, take steps to save enough money to avoid damaging your credit score or facing an eviction when an unexpected bill hits.
When to Rent an Apartment (According to Your Circumstances)
It’s also important to make sure that the timing is right concerning other personal matters. Before you commit to a new place, it’s a good idea to make sure you have:
- Given proper notice at your current place of residence
- Secured time off work or school to move
- Received a written agreement of relocation compensation if moving for a new job
- Addressed credit issues that may prevent you from meeting financial qualifications
We’re Ready for Your Apartment Search Year-Round
So, when is the best time to rent an apartment? The answer, as you see, depends on a variety of factors. If the time is right for you, search for the perfect apartment on ApartmentSearch. Compare rent prices, amenities, and more so you know you’re getting the best deal.
And remember, apartment-hunting when the temperatures hit their lowest point may also help you secure the lowest rent!