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House Hunting 101: How Much Rent Can I Afford?

Budget Planning for Your New Haslet Rental SearchAs a renter, it is important to identify how much rent you can afford before you begin 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 picking accurate income and expense numbers, you can more unfalteringly pursue a rental home that meets both your chosen lifestyle and your paycheck. Yet different Haslet property management companies search for various things, so it’s smart to remain flexible and keep your options open during your rental home search.

Historically, rental experts illustrate that you should be spending no greater than 30% of your gross income on rent each year. 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. Commonly, this is an overgeneralized means to deciding how much rent you can afford. There are additional expenses that must be taken into consideration.

For instance, if you have lots of debt or have any type of large monthly payments that you cannot change or reduce, these expenses should be included in your calculations. Above that, your budget should input a thorough list 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 distinguish how much you’re spending, you can more definitely come to a realistic estimate of how much rent you can afford. In places where rents are very high, it may be difficult to stick to the 30% rule. This may compel you to minimize 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 bidding for a rental home, other property management companies and landlords may have different ideas about what makes a desirable tenant. Even if you can prove that you can afford the advertised rental rate, some property managers or landlords 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.

To get the best result, be straightforward with the property manager or landlord and provide all requested information promptly and in full. It doesn’t hurt to make sure that you come on time to all appointments and to dress up a little, too. These may appear like trivial things, but a good first impression could help you impress a property manager that you will be a responsible and conscientious tenant.

Clearly, despite your best efforts, sometimes the rental house you want is given to somebody else. If that occurs, try to stay positive and 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, but it may not mean that you are not an excellent candidate 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.

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