There are several ways to save on rent without getting a roommate, which might be the best news yet if you're not roommate material. On one hand, you might be ready to move out of your parents' house. But if you doubt your ability to afford rent on your own, you might hesitate about making a move. Fortunately, there are options for scoring cheap rent. Here's a look at seven practical ways to save on rent without getting a roommate.
1. Know the Market
If you're looking for ways to save on rent without getting a roommate, it's important that you research and know your local market. In other words, where's the cheap rent? You might prefer living in one section of town, but since you're on your own, you may need to lower your standards and move to a cheaper area. Don't rush the process. Research different rental houses and apartments and compare prices.
2. Go for Minimum Square Footage
You might envision yourself living in a two or three bedroom place with plenty of closet space. But if you're trying to save money and get a place without a roommate, you need to slash your “wants" list, and you can start by looking for places with smaller square footage. Space is nice, but it comes with a hefty premium.
3. Sign a Longer Lease
Most apartment and private landlords require a minimum 12-month lease. But if you sign a longer lease – perhaps 24 months or 36 months – you might be able to score cheaper rent. Only sign a longer lease if you know for certain that you'll live in the place long-term. Leases are legally binding, and breaking a lease early can start a legal battle with your landlord.
4. Be Your Own Handyman
If you're renting a house, you might snag cheaper rent by agreeing to be your own handyman. For minor repairs up to a certain amount, tell the landlord that you'll handle these expenses in a timely manner. Since this reduces the landlord’s out-of-pocket costs for maintenance and repairs, he might negotiate cheaper rent. Get the agreement in writing.
5. Ask for Cheaper Rent
This doesn't work when renting an apartment, but if renting a house, you might get cheap rent by asking for it. This doesn't always work, but if a rental has been on the market for several months with little interest, the landlord might be anxious to find a tenant and willing to drop the price. You won't know unless you ask.
6. Get a Cosigner
If you don't have a credit history or bad credit, a landlord might charge higher rent to compensate for your shaky credit history. But if you have a cosigner for the lease, maybe your parent or an older sibling, this might convince the landlord to offer normal rental rates, or at the very least he may require a cheaper security deposit.
7. Pay Upfront
If you have some cash in the bank, negotiate cheaper rent by agreeing to pay upfront. You don't have to pay the entire year upfront, but if you agree to pay three or six months in advance, the landlord might be open to negotiations and reduce the rent. Again, this is more likely to happen when renting from a private landlord, not an apartment.
Living on your own can get expensive quick, and if you don't want to be cash-strapped, getting cheap rent can keep your finances on track. What are other ways to save on rent without getting a roommate?