6 Tips for Finding Affordable Housing for Renters

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Renters, across most metropolitan areas in the United States, have been experiencing significant rent hikes throughout 2022. GOBankingRates surveyed 997 Americans ages 18 and older from across the United States to find out if their rent is increasing. Of the respondents experiencing rent increases, 13% surveyed said they planned to move.

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Moving is usually easier said than done, especially when searching for and securing affordable housing. If you need extra help finding affordable housing, look into exploring the following options.

Utilize Social Media 

Affordable housing could be a click away across several social media platforms. Leverage your existing network and consider joining relevant Facebook Groups. In Groups, you can learn more about housing available for rent and message other users for more information after you are accepted into the group. Share more information about yourself and what you’re looking for so users can send you a direct message with contact information for housing, rooms or apartments that may be a fit. 

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As you’re joining relevant Facebook Groups, consider looking for available listings through classified platforms like SpareRoom. You can also post in your local Nextdoor to see if any neighbors are looking for tenants or know someone you may contact. Remember that when using any social media platform to be polite, friendly and exercise caution. Do not give out your private information. If you plan to view a place, ask if a friend or family member may accompany you as an extra precaution.

Search Rental Housing Websites

What if you need a larger space than a room for rent? Use rental housing websites, like Zillow, Rent.com and Apartment Finder, to see what’s available and within your price range.

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Explore Subletting Arrangements

If direct renting is not an option, Boyd Rudy, associate broker at Dwellings Michigan, recommends looking into the possibility of subletting or shared living arrangements. 

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“These options can be significantly cheaper than renting an apartment on your own, and they also offer the added benefit of being more flexible and easier to get out of if needed,” Rudy said.

Walk the Neighborhood

For all the online searching you’re doing to find an affordable place, there could be an apartment or home available in your own backyard. You just need to walk past it.

Jonas Bordo, CEO and co-founder of Dwellsy, said in the post-Craigslist era, many landlords have returned to using their yards or placing a sign in the window to rent out their place. More often than not, these are usually the lowest-cost places available.

“Figure out the neighborhood you’d like to live in and spend time walking and looking for ‘for rent’ signs there,” Bordo said.

Look For Efficiency Units

Another option to traditional housing for rent is the efficiency unit.

This is one of Bordo’s favorite options, as the efficiency unit was once a mainstay of the U.S. housing market. Bordo said efficiency units — often converted motel or hotel room with access to a common kitchen — are making a comeback.

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Renting an efficiency unit, if you can find one available, is significantly cheaper than apartments in similar areas and often available to rent on a weekly or month-to-month basis.

Weigh All Your Options

Remember: Apartments are not the only type of rental housing available. Renters may also find affordable homes, townhomes and duplexes for rent. Some tenants, like veterans and seniors, may also be eligible for discounts or reduced rates from landlords.

Ultimately, the best strategy for finding affordable housing will vary depending on the renter’s individual needs and circumstances. However, Rudy said by exploring all of the available options, it is possible to find a place to live that fits both your budget and your lifestyle.

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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