We’ve all been there. We have a budget in mind when apartment hunting, then inevitably, we start wondering if we can just push it a little more when we see the beautiful new apartment community with amenities galore. If you’re renting a new apartment, the first question that likely comes to mind is… how much can I really afford? This is probably the most important question when it comes to renting an apartment. Most renters are driven by cost – and many apartment communities offer special move-in deals and concessions. When you’re looking for a place, be sure to ask the leasing consultant if there are any special offers, such as deposit discounts or first month free.
One of the biggest factors to help you determine how much you can spend on rent is to examine how much you’ll be at home. If you work from home, you may want to make sure the apartment is a place that makes you productive and happy. However, if you’re out of your home at work, or with friends, or you travel, you may want to pick a place that’s a little cheaper. If you have a commute to work, be sure you don’t fall in love with a place that’s out of range. If you’re spending a lot of time on the road, you won’t be happy, and don’t forget that gas is pricey!
Ready to calculate how much you can afford? Here’s our favorite method:
- For a conservative estimate, you should spend approximately 30% of your gross income on rent. Say you make $70,000 a year – multiply that by 30% or the equivalent of 0.3 to get how much you can spend on rent per year.
- Divide that number (12,000) by 12 (months) and you’ll come to your preferred budget of $2,100 a month on rent.
The Cost of Moving In
Moving into a new apartment is both exciting and expensive so if you’re considering a move with an empty bank account, you’re going to run into some nasty surprises. When you finally find your dream apartment home, make sure you do all the math.
Move-in fees include:
- Application Fee
- Security Deposit
- First Month’s Rent
- Pet Fee/Deposit
- Moving Company (Optional)
Don’t Forget About…
Don’t forget about the potential charge for utilities (if they’re not included in your rent), monthly pet rent, renter’s insurance, extra storage fees, or parking fees. While these are based on usage and are not necessary for all residents, if these fees apply to you, then you’ll need to calculate them into your budget. Ready to start your apartment search? We have beautiful apartment communities in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and Northern California.