If you could afford to move to any other city or state, you would probably be tempted to rent or buy a place in California. Maybe you’d do it to fulfill a childhood fantasy, get the job of your dreams or profit from amazing weather and some of the most spectacular beaches in the United States. Either way, you should know that buying a place in California is a serious matter that involves a high level of commitment and a significant amount of money.
Should You Rent or Buy a Place in Southern California?
In 2015, the housing market in Southern California is gradually awakening from a nap, as its home prices are rising after remaining flat for almost one year. As LA Times points out, the short supply and the improving economy are two of the main factors responsible for this growth. Moreover, according to the same source, job growth is another element that is giving people courage to discover the perks of homeownership in Southern California. In this context, it becomes obvious that the competition for affordable slices of real estate in this part of the country is fierce.
If you can’t afford to contract a loan and make a down payment, or simply feel that owning a house would limit your options and stand in the way of your future plans, you may want to try your luck as a tenant in California. While contemplating your options, you might be wondering: from this perspective, what kind of compromises should you make to ensure your happiness? First of all, you should probably learn and assimilate the most effective lease negotiation tactics and master the art of communicating and compromising.
This will help you profit from move-in-ready space, minimize your expenses and even get flexible lease terms that could come in handy in a number of situations. For instance, at some point you may want to cut down costs by downsizing; in which case you may need your landlord’s permission to sublease. At the same time, landlords have all the reasons in the world to stay on the same page with tenants with good credit, who pay rent on time, do not complain about other tenants or housing in general and do not demand extravagant improvements. In most cases, an honest discussion with your landlord will help you set realistic expectations and negotiate an equitable lease. Once you’ve managed to reduce your rent or obtain other advantages, should you hope (and ask) for more or should you settle with the rental property that you have already chosen?
5 Compromises That You Should Consider Making as a Tenant in California
Even if affordable rentals are in high demand in California, and real bargains don’t last for more than a few seconds on local real estate markets, you should always research your options very carefully before signing on the dotted line. If you want to play all your cards right to reduce your costs and maximize your satisfaction, you should know that you can make other compromises on four key aspects related to your apartment renting experience: remodeling work, location, improvements and amenities. Here are a few suggestions that you may find helpful during this process.
Avoid the Headache of Costly, Unnecessary Remodeling Work. Every for rent property is a blank canvas that you can color and personalize as you see fit. But since you don’t own the place and you’re probably not going to spend more than a few months or years in the same spot, try to curb your own enthusiasm and do the math twice before pouring money in any type of remodeling work. Unfortunately, even the smallest adjustments can exceed your allocated budget, leave you high and dry and make you put more important projects on hold. For instance, a kitchen transformation implying basic upgrades could trigger costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, according to a Forbes article; so keep this price tag in mind before choosing new fixtures, paint and countertops for your rental. Moreover, do keep in mind that you will always need to get your landlord’s approval for any major changes that you may have in mind before giving the green light to an extreme makeover.
Remember That Location Is a Key Factor That Could Up Your Costs. While you can alter the appearance and vibe your house in countless different ways, you can’t actually change its location. Therefore, establish your priorities before making a final call. If you want to avoid long commutes and shady neighborhoods, consider spending a bit more on a rental that is located in an area with a low crime rate, in the proximity of your home and/or office.
Focus on Necessary Tenant Improvements. How much should you compromise when it comes to bringing tenant improvements into discussion? Here’s how it works: landlords will always try to minimize the positive changes that must be implemented to improve a living space. At the same time, the tenant will highlight the most impactful potential adjustments and suggest cost-effective ways in which these modifications can be made. You can employ a similar strategy to present these aspects to your landlord as a part of an ampler and more complex lease negotiation plan. Just make sure you develop realistic expectations and find the best way to let your landlord know why you (and other tenants) need and want these changes.
Evaluate the Available Amenities. Should you really judge a rental based on the amenities that it offers? Yes and no. Yes, you should probably avoid cheap rental properties that do not come with the basic amenities that guarantee your safety and comfort, but at the same time, you shouldn’t overspend on rent, especially if the apartment that you’re daydreaming about offers features and amenities that you don’t actually need and wouldn’t get to use very often. An onsite gym is nice, but how often do you actually work out? An indoor pool sounds like our version of heaven on earth, but it if you’re always at the office and never have time for a swim, this luxurious amenity will only inflate your monthly bills, without actually improving your quality of life in any way.
If you don’t feel ready to compromise, then maybe you just haven’t found the right place for you yet. In this case, choose to continue your apartment search and use the listings offered by Apartment Hunterz to find the most appealing rentals matching your location, preferences and budget. Choose wisely, master the art of compromising and discover the ideal for rent property in only a few days with California’s number one apartment finding service.