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If the news is anything to go by, renting is the new go-to for homeowners across the world. 100 million Americans alone now live this way, a figure that’s at its highest peak since back in 1965. That’s hardly surprising considering that renting is supposedly cheaper than buying a house in more than 59% of markets nationwide. Certainly, except for Wayne County, Philadelphia County, and Cuyahoga County, renters stand to pay significantly less over their lifetimes.


But, when we break figures like these down to size, we miss one significant fact – that rent is typically far higher every month than mortgage payments. While down payments and high price brackets may, therefore, prevent many of us from buying property, rents are still rising faster than wages in 52% of markets. The result? Monthly rental costs that certainly don’t fit into any definition of affordable. 


Luckily, there is a way out, and it comes in the form of smart renting. By keeping your head screwed on, you can turn the rental affordability myth into reality at last. And, we’re going to look at how.


Always research


Area has significant standing on rental costs, with apartments in locations with commuting opportunities and such garnering far higher amounts than out-of-city locations. As such, your first step should be to seek a reliable and comprehensive rental resource like Apartment Shoppers Guide that gives you the lowdown on prices across areas. Then, you’ll be able to see for yourself the locations that provide the most realistically ‘affordable’ rental living before you make any lasting commitments. 


Look for long-term rentals


Sudden increases in rent are a significant setback for many and can make a previously affordable apartment way out of reach. When you’re locked into a signed and confirmed 12-month or more contract, however, you can rest easy that your rental payments won’t change for the duration. While this does mean that you’ll need to stick around for the agreed period, it at least ensures you can budget for an affordable lifestyle now and into the foreseeable future. 


Protect your deposit


While deposits are a drop in the ocean compared with down payments, many landlords still ask for two or more month’s rent upfront. This is possibly the most expensive part of renting, and many tenants struggle to get that money back at the end of their term. This loss alone throws the affordability of renting into question, so it’s vital you avoid it. For one, making sure that you know where your landlord has put that money is key to guaranteeing it stays there. You should also read through your tenancy agreement to be 100% clear on everything you should do for general upkeep within your property. Many tenants also find it worthwhile to embark on simple tasks like painting before leaving to ensure even picky landlords can’t withhold significant amounts. As soon as that money comes back to you, you may find that rental affordability isn’t half as far out of reach as you thought, after all.