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How Much Can I Afford for Rent and What Should I Budget?

By February 26, 2019April 26th, 2021Apartment Hunting
Westview Apartment Homes Near Irvine Spectrum

We’ve all been there! You’ve found the perfect apartment. From the marble backsplash in the kitchen to the rooftop pool with stunning views, everything about this place is perfect except for one thing − the price tag. Can you really afford it?

Before you even set out on your apartment search, it’s essential to determine how much you can realistically spend on rent, commonly your biggest monthly expense. There are several factors to consider when determining exactly how much you can allocate toward this cost.

How Much Should I Budget for Rent?

For a conservative estimate, you want to spend no more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent. Although this amount can vary based on your other reoccurring expenses including credit card debt, student loans and car payments, it serves as a great reference point.

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 (21,000) by 12 (months) and you’ll come to your preferred budget of $1,750 a month that you can spend on rent.

Ask about leasing specials

Many apartment communities offer move-in specials and exclusive concessions. When you’re touring a community, ask your leasing consultant if there are any special offers such as a deposit discount or first month free.

Think about your commute

A big factor to think about when determining how much you can spend on rent is how much you’ll be at home. If you work from home, you may want to make sure your apartment is a place that makes you productive and happy. If you’re not planning to be at your apartment because of work, friends or travel, you may want to choose a place that’s a little less expensive.

Your commute is something to keep at the front of your mind as well. Not only does a longer commute waste precious time, but it’s also incredibly costly when you consider travel expenses. You may consider spending more on rent to be closer to the office.

Consider moving costs

Moving into a new apartment is exciting and expensive. When you’ve finally found your dream abode, make sure to leave a little wiggle room for:

  • Application fee
  • Security deposit
  • First month’s rent
  • Pet fees and deposits
  • Moving company (if you decide to hire one)

Don’t forget about the extra expenses

In addition to the cost of rent, you’ll also want to include the cost of reoccurring expenses that could include:

  • Pet rent for your dog or cat
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Parking fees
  • Additional storage fees
  • Utilities

Once you’ve determined your monthly rent budget, it’s time to begin your apartment search. We have over 125 distinctive apartment communities throughout San DiegoOrange County, Los Angeles and Northern California waiting to welcome you home.