It’s easy to focus solely on location and the cost of rent when searching for your rental home. But, you may want to take a few other things into consideration during your search.

Rent Isn’t the Only Important Number

Many first-time renters fail to consider the way utilities can add to monthly costs. This is a dangerous mistake for your future savings potential!

On average, utilities cost approximately 18% the cost of rent. You should take this into consideration during your budgeting process. The average rent in 2015 was $1,341 — with many variables included in that cost — and the average cost of utilities was $240 a month.

utilities cost

This statistic isn’t meant to frighten you. In fact, it is possible to find an apartment with utilities included. Think about the potential for savings if you can find this! Saving that money now may help to make a higher-priced rental more obtainable in the future.

If you’re unsure of what’s included in your rent, ask questions. In many apartments, water, sewer and trash are included. Cable and other utilities may not be. When you’re searching for apartments for rent, taking the time to find something all-inclusive when it comes to utilities might be worth your while.

Additional Amenities to Consider

In addition to apartments with all utilities included, there are other amenities to target during your search. Certain features and bonuses may make one community much more desirable than another, even if the rent and layouts are similar. These include:

  • Pool memberships on- or off-site.
  • Fitness centers on-site or memberships for fitness centers off-site.
  • Free cable television.
  • Private entrances.
  • Finished basement.
  • Fireplaces.

Remember, finding your new apartment isn’t a race. Taking your time and doing extensive research will help guarantee your satisfaction with your decision. Think about what’s best for your unique situation and the lifestyle you want to live. Renting can be an excellent way to get out on your own while still saving for your plans and dreams. It can also be a long-term way to avoid mortgages and other stressors that accompany home-buying.

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