Finding an apartment to rent can be a nightmare, especially if you live in a heavily populated city. These days, people in cities have to spend months on waiting lists and submit their requests to an apartment lottery system just to see an apartment.
This doesn’t include renting the place when rental fees are at an all-time high.
So, while it may seem like your hands a tied with the number of rentals available, there is an easier way. While apartment hunting in the winter is a dreadful thought, it can give you a leg up.
Here are some reasons why finding a new apartment to rent is much easier during the colder months:
There is Less Demand in the Winter
Winter is the perfect time to start your apartment hunt because demand will be low, and prices can be even lower.
Over 50% of renters search for a residence between the warmer months of May to August. This leaves the housing market pretty wide open for rental applications through November-March.
The best part is that even though demand for housing is low, the market is still saturated with rental apartments. This means that your chances of finding a reliable rental that you don’t have to fight over is more than likely to happen during the winter.
Another reason the market is much more open during the winter is that people with children don’t want to move their children in the middle of the school year.
Making big changes like that can slightly throw a child off balance, affecting their grades.
So, with families waiting until the summer and other renters just not wanting to brave the cold windchill, renting in the winter is your best option.
Most People Simply Don’t Want to Move in the Winter
It is just too cold and snowy to go from apartment to apartment, searching for a unit that will fit your needs.
Not to mention the actual struggle of having to move during the winter. Once a lease is signed, you usually have up to 30 days to move into an apartment.
This timeline may even be sooner depending on if and when the apartment is ready to move into.
With the obvious struggle of hauling boxes in the ice and snow, you also have to consider how difficult it may be to find an ideal parking spot for your moving truck in the winter.
This is especially true in the city.
With winter comes hazardous road conditions, which can force public officials to close the roads for street parking to safely maneuver a snowplow through.
However, you are not like most people. You are brave and can find adventure even in the snowiest of conditions. Most importantly, you require a place to live. So, don’t let the struggle of moving during the winter stop you from finding your new home.
It is only a matter of time before the dishes are put away, the boxes are empty, and you find some warm peace in your new place.
Seasonal Jobs Tend to Drive Up Rental Prices
Seasonal workers, like construction workers or farmers, tend to travel around depending on where the demand for their profession is. This is one of the reasons why you see such a high demand for rental units in the summertime.
Most seasonal jobs rotate around the weather. So, when the weather is nicest, that’s where the work will be.
Not only do seasonal jobs ramp up the demand for apartments, but they also drive up the prices because the demand is so high.
This is how landlords can continue to rake in the money year-round. They know that people have little choice regarding where to live, so marking up rental prices when they don’t have to worry about filling an apartment makes it good business for them.
However, this does mean some good news for you as well.
A recent study shows that the cheapest apartment rent is between January and March. So, if you choose to wait until the summer to rent a place, you may find that you are signing a lease for upwards of 20% more than if you were to sign a lease in the winter.
Rental Prices Are Lowered as Utilities Go Up
Nothing drives power bills up more than the excessive use of heat.
To keep up with rising heat costs while also keeping their units occupied, many landlords offer a winter deal that, if you sign your lease during the colder months, rent will be lower than normal.
The good news about this is that whether you are signing a 1-year lease or are looking for a longer commitment, you will be locked into that initial sign-on price.
However, landlords can raise rental costs, but only by a certain percentage, depending on your state.
The bad news about this deal is that the landlord or rental company will control your unit’s heating and may even have temperature or timing locks to keep costs low.
If you rent a place that has you pay for your own utilities also offers winter deals, but the heating costs are completely up to you.
The good news is that with the assistance of space heaters and draft covers, you can easily keep this cost low.
Landlords Are More Flexible in the Winter
Since many people don’t want to move in the winter, landlords become more desperate to fill those empty homes.
All the power is in your hands when signing a rental agreement. Most obviously, you can negotiate your monthly rental fee, but there is an even smarter way to save money when renting in the winter.
Landlords might be more easily swayed by a few suggestions that won’t initially affect their wallets.
For example, negotiating a free parking space or even a break when it comes to utilities like water if you agree to be conservative with utilities which the landlord is financially responsible for.
Often, landlords will appreciate your willingness to negotiate certain terms if it will help them keep the unit in use during the long winter months. It never hurts to ask for something that you want.