In much of the U.S., rent prices have been on the rise. There are a lot of compelling reasons to rent rather than to buy, but high rent prices can limit your options and really eat into your paycheck.
This has incentivized many people to try and figure out the best time to rent to save money. One question that has possibly entered your mind is: are apartments cheaper in the winter?
Let’s take a look at what you need to know to find a place you love within your price range.
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Are Apartments Cheaper in the Winter?
Apartments are typically cheaper in the winter. Right after the holiday season in December is when rent prices are usually the lowest. In general, between the months of October and April, you can find apartments for rent cheaper than in the warmer months of the year.
There are several reasons for this. Basically, when it gets colder and the weather takes a turn for the worse, fewer people are interested in moving. Many people are busy engaged in the holiday season and others are deterred by having kids that are in school.
However, this also means that there are usually fewer apartments on the market during this time. Landlords are incentivized to have their turnover happen during warmer months, and lease terms often reflect this.
The Best Time to Rent an Apartment
If you are looking for savings, the best time to rent an apartment is during the winter months. The best rental bargains are usually offered between December and March. At the same time, though, low inventory during this time might mean you have to make some compromises on which apartment you rent.
If you are looking to have the widest range of options to choose from for your next apartment, you’ll want to search between May and September. People prefer moving during the summer months for a number of reasons, which also means that this is when most landlords list vacancies.
However, this also means that there is more competition for apartments. You are less likely to find a bargain during the summer when it comes to rent prices because landlords are much more likely to find tenants who are willing to pay the asking price.
(Thinking about renting something over the top and luxurious? Check out this article about what distinguishes a house from a mansion.)
How to Negotiate With a Landlord
You can talk to potential landlords about striking a deal at any time of year, but the best time to negotiate rent is in the winter. While this can be intimidating, there are a number of strategies you can take to improve your chances of a positive outcome.
Ask If the Rent Price Is Negotiable
Your first step in negotiating rent is to politely ask if the landlord is willing to discuss the rent cost with you. Ask them when it would be a good time to talk. You have a much better chance of negotiating with an independent landlord than with a large property company.
Highlight What Makes You a Great Tenant
When it comes to renting an apartment, money talks. Show the landlord that you are financially stable by offering a few concessions in exchange for a rent reduction. This might include signing a longer lease or paying a few months of rent in advance.
Ask About the Possibilities of an Extended Lease
When you make it clear that you’re interested in renting for a long period of time, landlords might be much more likely to negotiate on the rent. Keeping a long-term tenant reduces the work that a landlord has to do and reduces the chance of lost income due to vacancy.
Offer to End the Lease During the Summer
Landlords are motivated to list vacancies during the summer when most people are apartment hunting. It can therefore be attractive to landlords to offer to end your lease during the summer, even if you move in during the winter. This might be appealing enough to them that they are willing to cut a deal with you on the rent.
Research the Value of the Property
Another tool to use when learning how to negotiate rent is to research the property’s value and rent rates in your area. If you can determine that the apartment is overpriced it can give you leverage in the negotiation.
Be Open to Finding a Middle Ground
Negotiation is a two-way street. When you start talking to a landlord about reducing the rent, you’ll want to be considerate of whether or not you have other options. If the apartment in discussion is the only one you can find that will suit your needs, you might not want to push too hard on the price.
On the other hand, if there are a number of apartments that would work for your needs, you can discuss potential rent reductions with a number of landlords to see who is willing to give you the best deal. Either way, though, there’s a good chance you won’t get the exact price your looking for and it’s important to be willing to compromise.
We’re Here to Help You Make Your House a Home
Renting a new apartment can be a stressful process. The recently increasing rent prices across the country don’t help in that regard. For this reason, many people reasonably wonder if there’s some way to save money on the expense of housing.
Are apartments cheaper in the winter? In general, yes they are. During this time, landlords might be more willing to negotiate on their listed price, too.
Whether you find your dream apartment this season or end up having to settle for something a little less than ideal, RoomImpact is here to help make your house a home. Check out our library of articles to help you create a house that supports you.