Choosing the Best Time to Rent in Large Cities

Finding a rental in large cities can be tough, and the time of year in which you start your search brings along its own set of unique challenges. However, depending on your flexibility, it may be better to wait until a specific time of year that aligns with your needs.

Along with all of the other factors requiring consideration during your search for a new place to live, the time of year in which you choose may also prove to be important. Regardless of what time of year you move, you will always be faced with a set of challenges and inconveniences, but it is during the summer and winter months when renters are traditionally required to make the most sacrifices.

Summer is the time of year with the most rental options hitting the market, and is usually the most desired time for families to move since children are out of school and parents know where they will attend school in the fall. The abundant options do come along with some potentials detractors. The summer also traditionally brings with it much more competition than any other time of the year, potentially higher prices, and less room to negotiate.

Helpful Tips for Renting in the Summer

  • Check for new listings early and often
  • Have your paperwork squared away — bring your checkbook, W2s, paystubs and reference letters to all viewings
  • Be prepared to compete — you may have to put in a higher offer for your dream home
  • Be ready to make concessions — decide on your must haves as very few places offer 100% of your wish list
  • Be realistic about your search — you will likely need to apply to more than one property listing

While there is significantly less inventory available during the winter months, there are several reasons why this time of year may be perfect for you to start looking. During colder months there is far less competition for the available inventory, likely providing more time to make a decision. This is the time of year when you will have the greatest negotiation power with landlords, and may even have access to incentives such as a free month’s rent. On the flipside, landlords like to have lease renewals align with summer months, so they may attempt to have you sign a longer lease.

Helpful Tips for Renting in Winter

  • Avoid the urge to jump at a rental the first time you see it. There’s less competition, so take time to consider all factors.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate! (Be aggressive with what you’re willing to pay; put in a low offer and work up from there; propose a lower broker fee than the typical 15% )
  • Avoid a December 1st or January 1st move-in. (no need to make the Holidays any more stressful!)

Every search for a new home comes with its own unique set of circumstances and challenges, and we hope our tips on the right time of year are able to help you be as informed as possible.

-The Realster team