Most people don’t have the luxury of being able to pick a specific time of year to move. But if you find yourself apartment hunting this spring, then read on to make the most of it.
1. Snag those college rentals if you can
If you live in a college town, late spring and leading into early summer are the perfect time to go apartment hunting. If you’re planning a move in the earliest parts of spring – late March or early April – this might not help you. But, if you’re apartment hunting towards the latter part of spring, you can score early on college rentals that will soon be emptying out.
Many colleges’ terms end in late April or early May meaning that students will either be heading home for the summer or graduating, leaving tons of rental apartments and homes open. If you time it right, you can have your pick from tons of places.
2. Take advantage of the tail end of the winter lull
Apartment hunting in the spring can afford you some leverage with your landlord that you should definitely take advantage of. The winter is always the slowest season for landlords, and many will be willing to negotiate a discounted security deposit, reduced rent or even a free month.
Depending on your local rental market, there’s a chance that you can ride this winter lull into the early part of spring and get a sweet deal on your next apartment. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Chances are, any landlord would rather have their units occupied – even at a reduced rate – rather than sitting empty.
3. Equalize competition vs. availability
Every commercial market comes down to a principle we learned back in Econ class – supply vs. demand. The same is true for the residential rental market.
In the summer, everyone is out hunting for their next new place and the tons of available units tend to come and go faster than you can keep up. In the winter, no one is apartment hunting, because there aren’t many apartments for rent.
Spring and fall are two seasons that offer a happy medium between the two. The problem with fall is that winter is right around the corner. How fun would moving in a blizzard be? Spring offers the perfect balance between competition and market inventory, plus the guarantee of favorable summer weather is within view.
4. Get a good idea of your utility costs
Since spring lies somewhere between scorching heat and frigid cold, you have the opportunity to get a clear idea from landlords or previous tenants about the real costs of utilities.
In the summer, it’s tricky to remember all the way back to the winter and estimate the heating costs. The same is true with winter and recalling cooling costs of the summer. Spring will give you a good average of utilities.