When hunting for a new apartment, you probably have your monthly budget in mind of what you can spend on rent. But there’s more to your monthly apartment costs than what you write on your rent check.
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Know What You’re Getting When Renting an Apartment with Utilities Included
Living in an apartment with utilities included often makes it easier to budget and plan your expenses. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, it’s definitely a beneficial way of renting so long as you understand exactly what you’re getting. To ensure the most financial gain, pay attention to the following details when deciding on a utilities-included rental.
What Utilities Are Actually Included?
The definition of “utilities included” is rather vague. Talk to the landlord or property manager to discuss exactly what that means for the specific spot you’re eyeing. A lot of times when an apartment advertises “utilities included,” it only covers water and electricity in the monthly cost. Whereas others might additionally cover services like cable and internet—you’ll find this more often in luxury apartment complexes where rent is essentially inflated to cover these costs. Before signing a lease, carefully review the entire rental agreement and see what is paid for and what is not to avoid any discrepancies later.
Pros of Living in a Utilities-Included Apartment
The obvious benefit of living in an apartment with utilities included is that you pay a flat fee for all your rental needs at one time. This type of rent removes unwanted surprises from unpredictable (and unbudgeted) utilities. Utility costs innately shift up and down with seasons—when it’s hot, the AC bill is bound to go up and when it’s cold, you better bet indoor heating is going up as well. But that’s not something renters of utilities-included apartments need to worry about since it’s fixed into monthly rent, which results in overall savings. And if you’re a college student who’s just beginning to practice the art of real-life budgeting, renting an apartment with utilities included is a great start to keeping more money in the bank account each month and maintaining a steady cash flow.
Finding an Apartment with Utilities Included
Getting an apartment with utilities included makes a lot of sense to a lot of people, but finding a lot of utilities-included apartments for rent is another story. Due to the highly appealing financial benefits that come with these types of apartment leases, people tend to hold on to them for a long time, causing a very limited availability in the housing market. The best thing you can do, is prepare—in every way. For example, do your research, target a list of desired apartments with utilities included and talk to property managers informing them of your interest so they can keep you on the radar. Have your application ready, enough saved for a deposit and a copy of your credit report. Once a long-standing tenant’s lease end, this preparation opens the door for yours to begin.
A Financially Sustainable Way of Renting
If the financial aspect of renting an apartment with utilities included would result in a more economically sound living situation, go for the gold. Do your due diligence while looking at options and be proactive and persistent in the competitive market. You’ll reap the perks and be grateful for the all-in route of utilities-included renting.
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Read more renter-related tips and tricks
While living in a rental can limit some of the measures that can be taken to save money on utilities, like replacing a furnace or kitchen appliances, there are a lot of small things you can do that will add up to significant savings over time.
A good way to lower your spending is to pay attention to your electricity use – often, there are ways to easily decrease your monthly energy bill while also providing benefits to the environment!