Some renters are locked into a moving schedule due to a lease agreement expiring or an unexpected life event. But many other renters have the freedom or flexibility to plan when they move out of one apartment and into another.
For savvy-renters that is an exciting advantage to have available. Depending on when you move, there is the opportunity to either find the best rents available or the largest number of options available. Here are some tips to help you move at the best time of year:
The Best Time for Your Budget
Housing costs make up a large percentage of the average monthly budget. And even in concentrated urban areas where demand is high the rates for rent can vary widely. For those reasons renters have a powerful incentive to look for the best deal possible. Start your search in the winter months between October and April.
Spring and summer are when most people move. That means during the winter months there is much less turnover and much less demand for the apartments that are available. In order to fill units that would otherwise sit vacant for months, landlords are often willing to negotiate better rental rates and terms.
There are also downsides to consider. Since fewer people are moving out, fewer apartments are opening up. Plus, moving in the cold presents unique challenges. Be sure to start your search early to account for the time that negotiations may add.
The Best Time for Your Options
For lots of reasons people consider their homes to be the headquarters of their lives. The perfect space can make every day more satisfying. Conversely, the wrong space can create a lot of stress and disappointment. That is why renters looking for a new apartment want to have lots of options available from which to select the perfect place to live. Start your search between May and September.
The spring and summer months are when college students move out, many short-term leases expire, and lots of restless people get motivated to move. More units come on the market than at any other time of the year. It’s also much easier to move when the weather is warm and the ice is melted.
Those same reasons mean that rent is less flexible, moving trucks/assistance is more expensive, and competition for available units is at its strongest. People who plan move in spring or summer need to act fast in order to get their name on the lease.
The Best Time for Everyone
Maybe you don’t have the flexibility to move when it’s best for you. Or maybe you do and you just want to make the process as seamless and successful as possible. Here are some quick tips to help you get settled in a new apartment at any time of the year.
- Define your needs, wants, and budget to help focus your search.
- Begin looking as early as possible, and don’t hesitate to reach out for more info.
- Consider new neighborhoods and housing arrangements.
- Be open to negotiating with your new landlord.
- Consider the benefits of hiring a mover vs. DIY.
- Do a rental insurance comparison to find the best rates available.
- Find out how to get utilities deactivated/activated.
- Start packing sooner than you think you should.
- Make accommodations for any pets or small children who may need care.
Finding a new apartment is important, but it’s only one aspect of moving your life from one place to another. Plan when to start your search, then work that into your broader plan for calling a new apartment home.