On average, renters across the country spend anywhere from 15% to 46% of
their income on rent. For many, housing is one of the largest monthly
expenses, so knowing how much you can afford is essential before
starting an apartment search. Apartments.com – the most visited
apartment-listing site – is helping renters prevent overspending on rent
and living outside of their means by setting an ideal budget.
Start with the Rule of Thumb: Many experts say you should spend
30% of your gross income on rent. However, this should just be used as a
starting point as it may vary based on several other factors including
location, proximity, transportation, and offered amenities.
Examine Your Lifestyle: How much time are you planning on
spending at your apartment? If you’re a homebody or work from home, you
might be able to invest more on your space and budget up to 35%. If you
spend more in other aspects of your life like traveling or going out
with friends, 15%-20% could be sufficient. Take a look into all of your
current expenses such as student loan payments, car payments, and how
much you typically spend on groceries, entertainment, etc.
Consider the City Average: It’s not surprising that some cities
are more affordable to live in than others. Renters living in affordable
locations such as Decatur, IL and Jefferson City, MO on average spend
around 11% to 13% of their income on rent. When comparing this with
cities like New York, where residents spend 46.2% of their income on
average on rent, it’s clear to see how where you live can influence your
Adding in Unexpected Fees: Rent isn’t the only thing you need to
consider when moving to a new apartment. Even though move-in fees are a
one-time payment, they will still cost you and need to be considered in
your budget. Make sure you look into the cost of renters’ insurance,
application fee, administration fee, security deposit, first month’s
rent and any pet fees or deposits. Additionally, you need to include a
ballpark number for how much utilities will cost per month including
gas, electricity, water, sewer, trash, internet, cable, and pest control.
Find Way to Cut Costs: If you want to be able to increase your
rent budget, find other areas where you may be able to spend less.
Consider getting a roommate, cutting cable TV, or finding a place near
good public transportation. Possibly even moving just outside of a big
city to the nearby suburb, where rents are often less expensive.
While finding the perfect apartment is priceless, using the above tips
will help renters create a budget that suits their unique needs.
Renters looking to search for their dream apartment that fits their
budget can visit Apartments.com. For
more advice on moving or renewing your lease, go to www.apartments.com/blog/how-much-should-i-spend-on-rent.
is the leading online apartment listing website, offering renters access
to information on more than 1,000,000 available units for rent. Powered
by CoStar, the Apartments.com
network of sites includes Apartments.com,
is supported by the industry’s largest professional research team, which
has visited and photographed over 400,000 properties nationwide. The
team makes over one million calls each month to apartment owners and
property managers, collecting and verifying current availabilities,
rental rates, pet policies, fees, leasing incentives, concessions, and
more. Apartments.com offers
more rental listings than any other apartments website, and
innovative features including a Polygon™ tool that allows users to
define their own search areas on a map, and a “Plan Commute” feature
that lets users search for rentals in proximity to a specific address. Apartments.com creates
easy access to its listings through a responsive website and iOS and
Android apps, and provides unmatched exposure for its advertisers
through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements and
innovative emerging media. The Apartments.com network
reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic
and highly engaged renters to leasing offices. For more information: www.Apartments.com.