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These days, less is more. Find cheap housing fast when you search Rent.com by entering the maximum rent you want to pay. You can easily view properties offering affordable housing units or move-in specials. Rent.com features a variety of properties, all listed by rent price to help you find cheap housing close to where you're moving.
When it comes right down to it, housing can be cheap without, well, being cheap looking and feeling, or worse, cheaply constructed. The trick is to know how to search so that you can keep your standards and still keep within your budget. This is particularly crucial given the tough economic times and inherent struggles that many people are facing. Here are a few tips to help in your search for a nice home that just happens to also meet the definition of cheap housing.
Cheap But Chic
Sometimes you can save money simply by downscaling. Make sure that your list of requirements is realistic. Do you need two bathrooms? If your apartment is just for you, maybe these are times when you can make do with just one. To balance what you are giving up, though, be sure to look for character and style that makes you feel good about your decision. Perhaps an older house with lots of built-ins or old-fashioned molding would bring a smile when you walked through the door. If you are going to go small, those special characteristics are what make the trade-off worth it. That's when you can say to your friends, "I found this chic little place on the West side."
A Little Bit of a Drive
Although often called the dreaded commute, sometimes a little extra drive can be worth it. You can find that housing can be cheaper a bit farther out. By being willing to drive farther, you can often find all of the amenities you want without having to break the bank. In this case, the housing is cheap simply because it's not as close to the center of town. But at the end of the day, you might find that you are happy to get away from the center of things! A little peace and quiet on your weekends is a great bonus to finding that cheap housing. If you're ready to be away from the sirens, the constant construction, and the early morning gardeners, then you might find that going cheap has it rewards.
Making Room for a Roomie
It can be a tough decision, but when times are tough, bringing in a roommate can turn pricey housing into cheap housing. It can mean the difference between finding a place in a so-so area or a really nice area. But be careful, this requires much consideration of what you are willing to accept and what you are not. Finding someone who is similar to you in taste is important, but so is finding someone who is respectful of your space and your belongings. In addition, you want to consider whether it's important to you that your roommate keeps similar hours. An early bird and a night owl can be like oil and water, or they can be complementary if you set the right ground rules at the outset.
Finding the Deal
Another way to get reasonably priced housing is to simply negotiate a deal. At certain times of the year, for example, landlords are willing to give two months' free rent or to waive deposit and move-in fees to get you into their unit. When amortized over the course of a year, this can bring the monthly cost in line with your housing budget. You don't have to look for an advertised special, either. If the market is flooded with available units, don't hesitate to make an offer. Be sure to be reasonable, but let the landlord know that you are considering several other apartments.
Opting to Buy
In certain economies, it can be ultimately less expensive to buy than to rent. If you can easily access funds for a down payment — say, by borrowing from your own retirement account — you may find that a monthly house payment is considerably less than rent! When most people are looking to rent, that is your opportunity to look at affordable (cheap) houses. Combined with low interest rates, the result is a low monthly payment in the comfort of your own home. Remember that this is a huge decision, though, and all factors should be weighed carefully before jumping into home ownership. There are many trade-offs and so a list of pros and cons is definitely recommended.
Putting it All Together
Cheap isn't always easy. It takes a lot of thought to find an affordable place to live that still reflects your personality, your needs, and the all-important budget. Balancing all three can be done if you know which characteristics are essential for you and what you can give up in your quest for affordability. Knowing the difference can make the process not only easy, but fun and rewarding.