We all know that housing rates for the Bay Area are among the highest in the country. That’s why it’s so easy to understand why you would want to find a place in the Bay Area where you could make your hard-earned dollars stretch the most. If you’re looking to save money in the long run and just make the most out of your money, there are simple tips to keep in mind when on your search.
When Searching For Apartments
Many people rely on popular housing websites, such as Craigslist, to search for apartments. These sites can be a great way to start and figure out the average prices for certain neighborhoods and areas. For instance, some Mountain View apartments in one area may be less expensive than those in another area of the city. If you are searching sites like these, just make sure you act very quickly because any deals will be gone before you know it. It may be beneficial to skip the online listings all together and simple walk or bike around the neighborhoods you are interested in living in, and look for rent signs. Sometimes, landlords who have signs up may be renting apartments below the average price in the area and you could score a deal that wasn’t highly publicized on the internet. Plus, you may end up saving time by physically being on premises because photos and descriptions online can only show you so much. That way, you’ll be able to catch the bargains faster. Also, knowing whether the building is under rent control and researching rent ordinances of the area should contribute to your quest in saving money down the line. Know what utilities you’ll be responsible for and the average price of them. Sometimes, the monthly rent will be higher but utilities may be less expensive so the overall cost of living is cheaper than in another place where the rent is lower but much more money goes to utilities. Finally, learn about what it’s like to actually live there. You’re less likely to pay rent for a place that is horrible to live in or regularly charges tenants various fees. There are a few websites you can go to find ratings and reviews from tenants who are living or have lived in the complex.
Community amenities can either save you money or end up wasting your money. It all depends on what they are and how much you end up using them. For instance, if you need to use a gym frequently, living in an apartment building with a fitness center may save you more money than if you were a member at a local health club. But if you work out by jogging outside and wouldn’t set foot in a gym, then save the money and look for smaller apartment buildings that don’t have such features. Same goes for what many big complexes call a business center where you can fax documents, use computers, and hold meetings. If you see yourself taking advantage of these services for free on a regular basis, then it might be worth it, not having to pay to rent another place for meetings. But if you just need a simple place to rest your head each night, then save the money and look for smaller, simpler complexes. Some may not even have a leasing or manager’s office. But just keep in mind that some amenities such as a covered and gated parking can prevent damages or theft of your car, which could end up saving you a lot of stress and money in the end.