The average cost of a U.S. apartment is about $1,231/month. Considering that’s 36%–over a third—of the average person’s monthly salary ($3,396), it doesn’t leave much room in a budget for food, transportation, and other bills. Luckily, you have plenty of options for spending less on your space and more on the things you love. Here’s how to find cheap apartments that won’t break the bank:
- Send an S.O.S. on social networks: Sometimes you can find great apartment steals by simply letting others know you’re looking. Share what you’re looking for with friends and family, and you might get lucky with a referral.
- Search rental websites: Websites like 4Stay.com and real estate apps like Craigslist, Trulia and Zillow share cheap apartments posted in your area. You can search by apartment rental type, price, location and amenities.
- Look into a sublet or room for rent: Sharing rental costs among roommates makes costs much more affordable. If you don’t have a few friends available to room with, you can find room shares available online in your area.
- Consider a different location: Often, compromising by looking in a different (and maybe slightly less convenient) location will have a big impact on costs. Look for up-and-coming and trendy spots with still lower-than-average rental prices.
- Compromise on amenities: There’s a difference between “needs” and “wants” when it comes to apartment hunting. Save on apartment costs by letting go of a few items or amenities that are unnecessary.
- Negotiate prices: Always remember to ask if there’s wiggle room in a rental price. Sometimes you can score deals for first month’s rent free, or a discount on utilities or pet fees.
If you’re looking for cheap apartments in the Washington, D.C., area or beyond, 4Stay’s easy-to-use rental database can help you find affordable housing (without compromising on your “must haves”).