As a renter, it can seem difficult to break out of the rental market and into a home of your own. Particularly in the Myrtle Beach area market, there are a couple of big factors that can keep you stuck in the cycle of ever-increasing rent. First, rental rates for most corporate-owned apartment complexes recalculate rental rates daily based on data from the local market. This means when newer and more pricey apartments are built nearby, those units get added into the calculations, making rental rates for older properties rise as well.
Secondly, the Grand Strand has a strong “moving season” where new residents flood the rental market every year to secure housing before their move. Entering into a lease during this part of the year means you could end up paying one hundred dollars per month or more in additional rent simply because of the high number of applicants and new renters securing their plans to move to the area. In recent years, seasonal increases in rental rates have begun climbing as early as late February and early March. This also means your renewals for subsequent rental years will be impacted by this seasonal rate hike as well, meaning higher renewal rates every year.
Tips to Break Free from the Rental Market Trap
You can break free from the rental market and realize your dream of owning your own home. Here are a few tips to help you save money while you’re a renter:
1. Learn how the local rental market works and avoid the seasonal rate hikes, if possible. Beginning a lease during the colder months means locking in the lowest possible rates of the year and also avoiding the larger rate increases when it comes time to renew.
2. If you aren’t renting from a corporate-owned complex, you can try negotiating with the landlord for a lower rental rate in exchange for signing a longer lease. Locking in a tenant for two years instead of one gives an individual landlord less headache and hassle of turning over the property as frequently in between renters and could provide enough incentive for them to negotiate the rate.
3. If you have the space needed, you can get a roommate to help with the rental costs and tuck away your savings toward your own home. Just make sure you follow whatever terms your lease specifies regarding roommates and discuss with your landlord prior to making this decision.
4. Consider older neighborhoods and complexes. Older complexes and neighborhoods are often still in great shape, but might not have all the newest and hottest amenities. More amenities mean more cost for the complex to operate and higher rental rates. Less amenities mean the complex carries a lower overall operating cost and might offer more affordable rental rates.
5. Track your spending. If you often pop by the coffee shop on the way to work or frequently buy lunch out instead of bringing a lunch to work, you might be able to beef up your piggy bank by cutting back on unnecessary spending. Make your coffee at home and bring it with you and use leftovers from dinner as the next day’s lunch. The money you can save with some simple changes adds up quickly.
If you dream of one day owning a home of your own but feel trapped in the rental market, there are ways to start working toward your goal! These five tips can help you get started on saving for your down payment and escape from renting. There might also be programs available to you to help with a down payment and making the leap into home ownership. Your Myrtle Beach realtor, James Haas, can tell you about options that might help you or refer you to a mortgage specialist who can help you leave the rental market behind.