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House Hunting 101: How Much Rent Can I Afford?

Budget Planning for Your New Peterson Rental SearchBeing a renter, it is vital to apprehend how much rent you can allow before you establish your rental home search. The best way to know exactly how much rent you can afford is to start by taking a closer look at your household budget. By obtaining accurate income and expense numbers, you can more assertively look for a rental home that meets both your chosen lifestyle and your paycheck. But at the same time, different Peterson property management companies seek for certain things, so it’s good to remain flexible and keep your possibilities open during your rental home search.

As a rule, rental experts advise that you must spend just 30% of your gross income on rent annually. That is your gross income, or your income before taxes and other deductions, not your take-home pay. So, for example, if you make $40,000 per year from all sources of income, your ideal maximum rent amount is $1,000 per month. Usually, this is a basic means to figure out how much rent you can afford. There are frequently other expenses that must be taken into account.

For instance, if you have large debt or have generated large monthly payments that you cannot change or reduce, these expenses should be included in your calculations. Other than that, your budget must contain an exhaustive category of two types of expenses: fixed and variable. Food, transportation, medicine, utilities, and other necessary expenses should be added up in the “fixed expenses” category. Entertainment, vacation travel, and so on would go on the “variable” (a.k.a. optional) list. Once you recognize how much you’re spending, you can more painlessly come to a realistic estimate of how much rent you can afford. In towns where rents are very expensive, it may be difficult to stick to the 30% rule. This may warrant cutting some of your other expenses just to better afford your rent.

Of course, how much you think you can afford to pay is only one half of the equation. When registering for a rental home, other property management companies and landlords may have different ideas about what represents a desirable tenant. Even if you can prove that you can afford the advertised rental rate, there are property managers or landlords who may still hesitate to offer you a lease for other reasons. Qualification criteria may include things such as past credit history, and whether or not you own pets.

For the best result, do your best to be open with the property manager or landlord and provide all requested information promptly and in full. It doesn’t hurt to make sure that you arrive early to all engagements and to dress up a little, too. These may seem like small things, but a wonderful first impression could help you compel a property manager that you will be a responsible and conscientious tenant.

Undoubtedly, even with your best efforts, sometimes the rental house you desire is offered to someone else. If that transpires, try to stay positive and to do what you can to maintain or improve your financial situation. You may not know why the property manager or landlord didn’t pick you, and it may not mean that you are not a well-qualified applicant for another property. As long as you are applying for rental homes that fall within your range of affordability, the right one for you should come along soon.

Are you in the market for a new rental home? If so, please check out our available listings and contact us if you find something that piques your interest.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.