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How To Find the Right Apartment While Sticking to Your Budget

January 18, 2024

Apartment Living


The quest for the perfect apartment that meets both your preferences and financial constraints can be a challenging task to undertake. Navigating the rental market can be a daunting yet rewarding endeavor. The key to a successful search lies in a well-thought-out strategic approach that combines research, realistic budgeting, and understanding your priorities. By using a systematic method, you can identify suitable options that meet your needs and align harmoniously with your budget.

Finding an apartment you love with the necessities you need does not have to put you in debt or living “house broke.” Through several approaches, such as setting clear financial boundaries, leveraging online resources, and exploring various neighborhoods, finding the right apartment becomes more manageable when guided by a well-informed and disciplined approach. 

How do you know if an apartment is right for you?

Living in Las Vegas presents a unique set of challenges for those on the market for a new place to call home. Sin City offers a seemingly never-ending array of options, and sorting through the nitty gritty becomes a tedious and often offputting experience. Determining whether an apartment is the right one for you involves considering a number of key factors that coincide with your lifestyle, preferences, and practical needs.

  1. Begin by assessing your budget and financial capacity to ensure the rental fits comfortably within your needs. You need to be realistic with this step. Finding the perfect apartment isn’t going to matter if you aren’t honest with yourself about your financial abilities.
  2. Once you have determined your rental power, you can begin evaluating and deciding on the location you prefer for your Las Vegas apartment. Keep in mind the size of the apartment you require, proximity to work, public transportation, and those amenities you just can’t live without. 
  3. Determine what you can and cannot live without. Again, being realistic is going to be your best friend when it comes to finding a budget-friendly apartment. 
  4. Keep your eyes open for any maintenance issues or red flags. Finding an apartment you love is of little consequence if there are large issues you will have to address.
  5. Take into consideration the community and neighborhood vibe. And don’t forget about those lease terms and policies. You want to make sure they are rules and guidelines you can adhere to. 
  6. Trust your instincts, and carefully weigh these key factors to help you decide if the apartment meets not only your basic needs but also aligns with your long-term goals and lifestyle. If not, move on to the next one. 

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What’s a good budget for an apartment?

You can determine a good budget for an apartment by following a few easy steps: 

  1. Figure your monthly income: We suggest looking at your monthly income rather than your annual as your monthly income is going to matter most. Figuring out what you can afford on rent and what you have left becomes much easier if you stick to monthly.
  2. Write out your monthly expenses: Determine your monthly expenses, such as living expenses you pay monthly. These include rent, utilities, insurance, food, car payments, phone, etc.
  3. Determine the difference between your expenses and income to see what is left: You’ve figured out your monthly income and how much you spend each month. Now, subtract your monthly expenses from your income. If your expenses exceed your income, you may have to cut costs. Generally, this means you’ll need to spend less on rent, as this is probably your most significant monthly expense. 

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What percentage of your income should apartment rent be?

Las Vegas luxury apartment kitchen

What percentage of your income should rent cost varies on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule of thumb, the popular guideline is the 30% rent rule. That means rent should generally be around 30% of your gross income. Bear in mind that this is not a one-size-fits-all rule by any means. If you encounter an apartment you love that meets all your requirements at a more affordable price, you shouldn’t put it on your veto list just because it doesn’t meet the 30% guideline. 

On the other hand, the 30% rule may not be an option in more expensive cities where the average apartment price is $2,000 plus for a single bedroom. At the end of the day, you need to decide on a rental that you can afford without having to pinch pennies to scrape by before having to do it all over again the following month. 

Helpful tips

  • Consider roommates: Having roommates has its pros and cons. One benefit is you may be able to afford a bigger apartment or a more preferred location while sticking with your budget. However, weigh the pros and cons to determine if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. 
  • Carefully read the lease agreement: This will save you from any potential headaches down the road
  • Negotiate within reason: If an apartment has been vacant for a while or you see that other apartments in the area are less expensive, you may be able to negotiate a lower monthly rent
  • Be strategic in your search: In some areas, rent prices are subject to change. Determining when those changes occur and why and approaching the landlord or property group when rent is down is a good way to save some extra money on rent. 

Finding the right apartment while sticking to a budget requires a thoughtful balance between practicality and preferences. By evaluating your spending power, location, size, condition, and overall feel you are looking for, you can make a strategic decision that aligns with your unique needs. Taking time to research thoroughly and trusting your instincts will contribute to ensuring you are satisfied and on your way to a harmonious living situation. 

The perfect apartment is not just about meeting your immediate needs but also about creating a space that enhances your quality of life. By exercising some patience, critical thinking, and evaluation skills, you can successfully find an apartment you love while sticking to your budget.