Tough rental market? Fix it with a roommate
Yes, you should use your roommate for your own benefit.
The rental market in most American cities is starting to look a bit ridiculous. In areas where multifamily housing is in short supply, rent rates have skyrocketed. Savvy investors have turned single family homes into rentals and now there is a shortage there, too, in some cities. In the end, high demand and limited supply leads to sky-high rent rates that many of us simply cannot afford. (Particularly not renters who are underemployed or unemployed. But that’s another post.)
How do you make the best of the madness that’s happening? Winning the lottery would help, of course. Or you could join forces with another renter and tackle this beast of a market together.
Good luck finding an affordable, safe studio or one bedroom apartment in any major city these days. What you will find are single family homes for rent and a few larger apartments with multiple rooms. These price tags are often too high to face alone, which is why it’s a good idea to grab a roommate. Your pool of options expands when there is someone to split the bill with and you won’t necessarily pay more per month than if you were living alone.
Another benefit to having a roommate is that you’ve got someone to help you conduct the search. Two pairs of eyes filtering through listings are better than one. You’ve also got a buddy who can attend an open house or jump on a good deal when you’re not available (particularly helpful for folks who work odd hours.)
Tag Team Negotiating
In a tight rental market, making an excellent first impression matters. Face time matters. Being in the right place at the right time matters. Good negotiating skills matter. Good credit can really matter. If you are deficient in any of those areas, having a companion may improve your chances of getting a good deal.
Now, find a roommate.