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7 Ways to Effectively Negotiate for a Lower Rent

7 Ways to Effectively Negotiate for a Lower Rent

Getting a decent accommodation these days is not a piece of cake at all. Although, there are many owners that are more than happy to rent out their place, but skyrocketing rents prevent many people to move into a comfortable apartment. Apart from that, the present economic status of most individuals also imposes limitations on the options. Knowing the right ways to successfully negotiate for a lower rent will determine the success of the transaction.

In few tight markets, where there are more renters than apartments, it’s very unlikely that you will get a decent deal. A bit smarter way while negotiating a deal is to find a way to gain upper hand by using some out of box strategies. However, you must do your homework before negotiating a deal with your landlord.

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1. Sign up for a long term lease:

When a landlord has to rent out a vacant apartment, he loses a lot in broker fees, cleaning costs, and transaction costs. All that can be recovered if you can convince him that you will be staying for more than couple of years. Highlight these points while making a deal with the landlord.

2. Get ready to pay several months in advance:

Some landlords prefer to receive large sums of money and may be willing to provide discount, if you can pay a couple of months of rent in advance. He can use that money on several things that he may have delayed due to insufficient funds. From a landlord’s perspective, it is better to rent an apartment as he may be losing out money by keeping it vacant.

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3. Let your landlord know about your available options:

Just like an offer in hand that can help you to ask for a better pay packet from your current employer, it may be much easier to negotiate with landlords when you have some options in hand. Use this strategy as leverage to build a strong case in front of your landlord. If the apartment has been vacant for a long time, then make your landlord realize that it would be fruitful to negotiate a deal, else it will be an additional cost on his part.

4. Do more research:

You can go online and check if there is any better deal available on any rental website. Check out what other landlords are charging for the same space. This information is available free of cost on a number of websites. A quick Google search will let you know about various sites depending upon your current location. Talk to others in the apartment building to find out what they pay per month. You can then use this comparison chart to avail some reasonable discount from your landlord.

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5. Be ready to carry on small repairs:

Tell your landlord that you can pay for minor repairs from your own pocket and won’t bother him for such issues. This tip may come in handy as most of the landlords find it pretty frustrating when their tenants come on their doors every month with the request to carry on some small repairs.

A better idea is to make a list of minor repairs that you can carry on your own in order to avoid any last minute hassles. While negotiating for an extension of lease, you can point out the repairs that you carried out even though the contract states that it is their responsibility.

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6. Show your positive characteristics:

Every landlord would like to have a tenant who is courteous, polite, reliable and trustworthy. No one wants to sign a deal with a tenant who cannot afford to make payment on time, proves to be a nuisance to neighbors, keep the noise levels up and starts fighting over minor issues. If you can portray some positive characteristics by providing some referrals of your previous landlords, this might help you to save few dollars in your pocket every month.

7. Provide some referrals:

You can offer your landlord some referrals in case if he has some vacant units that could be rented out. After all, an empty unit might put extra burden on the pocket of the landlord. You could also use social media to spread a word among your peers about the vacant apartment. This can help you to strike a better deal with your landlord.

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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