Renting is an attractive option for those who either cannot afford to buy, or find owning a home a commitment they presently cannot handle. As of the time of this publication, 35 percent of Americans are renters. As for women, 30 percent of single women in America rent homes, as opposed to the 54 percent who own a home and 10 percent who live with friends or family rent free, CBS Money Watch said. If you are a renter, or you are thinking about renting an apartment, condo or townhouse, it is a good idea not only to find the place that best fits your needs, but also to find the best time of year to move into your rental place.
Finding Your Ideal Place
Everyone has different individual preferences, especially when it comes to what a great rental apartment, condo or townhouse looks like. Some people want to be close to nightlife, while others are looking for good schools or a more family-friendly atmosphere. The amount of time you plan on living in your rental property largely impacts your renting decisions as well. A few years from now, your career and family situations may change. If you are the type who likes to plan ahead and prepare for such potential change, go ahead and spring for that extra bedroom, just in case you need it. If you are more the "live for the moment type," you may want to find a place that suits your current situation, then you can move later, if needed. Landlords and property managers have an impact on how enjoyable your renting experience is as well. Maybe you want a landlord that lets you paint the walls and maintain the property yourself? Or are you looking for someone who promptly fixes problems and completes routine inspections? After you get an idea of what you're looking for, you can then decide when to go after it.
The months of May, June, July, August and September are the prime months for renting. During this time of the year, there is warm weather, students graduating from college and obtaining new career positions, and younger school-age children off of school and on summer break. For these reasons, this is the time of year when most Americans move. Therefore, you'll notice a high degree of turnover among rental property units, as well as a larger selection of properties from which to choose. Along with this variety in selection may come higher costs. Principles of supply and demand dictate that higher pricing is a result of this peak time.
During the remaining months, October through April, fewer Americans are moving into rental properties. You'll notice many apartment complex vacancies, condo vacancies and townhouses already filled with renters during the peak months, so you may not see as much variety during this time span. On the other hand, a landlord may be inclined to charge a lower price for a rental unit during this time so that she may fill up a vacancy, Rent.com says.
As of the time of this publication, more than half of Americans spend at least 30 percent of their incomes on a monthly rent payment, website Next City said. Of those renters, a great deal of them spend more than 50 percent of their income on monthly rent. This is termed a "severe rent burden," and during a recent 10-year period, the number of Americans experiencing a severe rent burden rose from 20 to 27 percent, Next City reports. Considering many people choose to rent for cost-associated reasons, the statistics are all the more relevant.
If cost is your primary concern in determining when to move into your rental home, the off-peak months of October through April are an ideal time period for you to move. However, if cost is not a primary concern for you and you are looking for a property that is "just right," the peak months may serve you better.
E.M. Rawes is a professional writer specializing in business, finance, mathematical and social sciences topics. She completed her studies at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Science. During her time working in workforce management and as a financial analyst, she reinforced her business and financial know-how.