By the time your lease renewal comes in the mail, you’ve probably already started thinking about whether or not you want to stick around your current place. Before you make any big decisions, though, be sure to think about some of these questions.
What is the rental market like out there? The grass often seems greener in everyone else’s rental situation which makes you think you should look around but you should find out for sure whether that’s really the case. It may be difficult to replicate the pricing and quality that others have because rental markets and pricing can fluctuate very quickly. Take a look around different listings well in advance of when you actually need to so that you get an idea of what’s available at what price. If you signed your lease a few years back when demand wasn’t as strong, you may actually be getting a great deal in your current place.
How will my costs change by moving? Make sure you do a full cost analysis of moving, including how long you think you’ll be in your new place. Remember to include future rent increases, moving costs, new vs. old transportation costs and anything else that will come into play so that you fully understand how much a new place will cost you. You may save money or you may end up paying a lot more but, either way, it rarely comes down to just the difference in rent – there are a lot of other things to take into account!
Will moving improve my quality of life? The cost of rent is not the only thing to consider when moving. If you have a long commute to work and you think moving closer to your office could literally add hours to your day, it may be a trade-off well worth making. Or, if living in the city where you are constantly lugging around groceries and struggling to find parking is grating on you, a move to a less crowded area may leave you feeling better about your living situation.