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House Hunting 101: How Much Rent Can I Afford?

Budget Planning for Your New Pocatello Rental SearchAs a renter, it is imperative to comprehend how much rent you can afford before you begin your rental home search. The best way to know exactly how much rent you can afford is to start by taking a closer look at your household budget. By acquiring accurate income and expense numbers, you can better search for a rental home that meets agreeably within both your chosen lifestyle and your paycheck. Nevertheless, different Pocatello property management companies look for certain things, so it’s good to remain flexible and keep your options open throughout your rental home search.

Customarily, rental experts advise that you should be spending merely 30% of your gross income on rent annually. That is your gross income, or your income before taxes and other deductions, not your take-home pay. So, for example, if you make $40,000 per year from all sources of income, your ideal maximum rent amount is $1,000 per month. Undoubtedly, this is a fairly plausible strategy to comprehending how much rent you can pay. There are oftentimes other expenses that need to be anticipated.

For instance, if you have lots of debt or have any kind of large monthly payments that you cannot change or reduce, these expenses should be included in your calculations. Apart from that, your budget should involve an inventory of two types of expenses: fixed and variable. Food, transportation, medicine, utilities, and other necessary expenses should be added up in the “fixed expenses” category. Entertainment, vacation travel, and so on would go on the “variable” (a.k.a. optional) list. Once you realize how much you’re spending, you can more readily come to a realistic estimate of how much rent you can afford. In areas where rents are very high, it may be difficult to stick to the 30% rule. This may require reducing some of your other expenses so you can better afford your rent.

Of course, how much you think you can afford to pay is only one half of the equation. When asking for a rental home, many property management companies and landlords may have different ideas about what is a desirable tenant. Even if you can establish that you can afford the advertised rental rate, some property managers or landlords may still hesitate to offer you a lease for other reasons. Qualification criteria may include things such as past credit history, and whether or not you own pets.

For the best result, do your best to be frank with the property manager or landlord and provide all requested information promptly and in full. It doesn’t hurt to make it a habit to arrive precisely on time to all activities and to dress up a little, as well. These may appear like small things, but a decent first impression could help you sway a property manager that you will be a responsible and conscientious tenant.

Obviously, besides your best efforts, now and then, the rental house you wish is offered to somebody else. If that happens, try to stay positive and to do what you can to maintain or improve your financial situation. You may not understand why the property manager or landlord didn’t pick you, and it may not mean that you are not a solid candidate for another property. As long as you are applying for rental homes that fall within your range of affordability, the right one for you should come along soon.

Are you in the market for a new rental home? If so, please check out our available listings and contact us if you find something that piques your interest.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.