2015 looks set to be the year of low rent if you're willing to accept the shopping challenge! Here are some tips to get you started.
The price of rent is going down
Apartment complexes are being radically overbuilt across much of the country. Everybody in the Big Money crowd all at once decided the next El Dorado would be paved with apartments. All over America, banks have been willing to lend and insurance companies have been willing to invest in apartment construction.
If you want to take advantage of the oversupply, I want you to start your apartment search about eight weeks out before your lease is up, unless you're required to give more notice.
But know that you only hold the advantage if you're willing to walk out of your current situation when your lease comes up for renewal. If you'd rather stay put, you should still search for apartments and then show your current landlord what you find. Ask if he or she will compete against the other cheaper rents out there. You won't save as much as if you're willing to walk, but you're likely to save something.
One special tip here. There's a sweet spot in the market right now with what's called the "shadow market" -- essentially condos and single family homes that are being rented out by investors. The dangers of the shadow market include a possible risk of landlord foreclosure and the chance that you won't get prompt response on maintenance issues.
But as I said, the price of rent is headed down. To recap, follow this advice if you want the best deal:
- 6 weeks out before your current lease is up, go shop the market.
- Shop the shadow market.
- If there's one complex you just love, but it's too expensive, check the price once or twice a week. Pricing can change that much.