Renting a house is expensive, but it will be even more expensive for you if you don't know how to hunt for cheap rentals. Even in relatively expensive cities, there are tips you can use to score inexpensive rental houses. Here are some of those tips:
Don't Be Super Rigid With the Location
Urban centers tend to attract the highest rental prices so you may have some luck by searching for a place in the suburbs. If you work in the urban centers, don't go so far into the suburbs that you have to spend a lot of time and money on commuting. Look for a balance between commuting time and rent; otherwise, the money you save on rent will be lost in commute.
Live With a Roommate
If you don't have a family, you can save on rent by sharing your house with another person. Before getting into such an arrangement, clear it with the landlord because not all landlords allow it. Also remember to draft and sign a roommate agreement to preempt the disagreements you may have with your roommate.
Negotiate the Rental Price
You may be able to pay less than the listed rental price by negotiating with the landlord. This is especially true if you aren't focusing on extremely popular areas. For a better chance at success, give the landlord a good reason to lower the rent. For example, you can incentivize your offer by signing a long lease to reduce turnover rates for the landlord or paying your rent several months in advance.
Consider Properties with Bad Views
When you rent a property in a prime location, you not only pay for the house but also for its views. This is one of the reasons waterfront or water view properties attract prime rents. Go for the opposite, properties with bad views, to enjoy low rent. For example, an apartment whose view is blocked by a bridge may cost less to rent than a similar one that has a perfect view of an opposite park. Of course, this only applies if you don't mind the view.
The next time you are looking for a cheap rental place, use the tips above so that you don't have to empty your account to pay rent. If you are dealing with a realtor (a great idea), tell them your real budget so that they can focus on your needs and not waste time showing you houses you can't or don't want to pay for.