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House Hunting 101: How Much Rent Can I Afford?

Budget Planning for Your New Burbank Rental SearchAs a renter, it is paramount to realize how much rent you can afford before you commence 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 getting accurate income and expense numbers, you can more assuredly search for a rental home that meets both your chosen lifestyle and your paycheck. However, different Burbank property management companies search for assorted features, so it’s impeccable to remain flexible and keep your options open on your rental home search.

Usually, rental experts advocate that you must be spending not greater than 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. Definitely, this is a relatively superficial way to figure out how much rent you can provide. There are normally other expenses that should be taken into account.

For instance, if you have debt or have any kind of large monthly payments that you cannot change or reduce, these expenses should be included in your calculations. Beyond that, your budget should consist 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’ve figured out how much you’re spending and where you can more simply approach a realistic estimate of how much rent you can actually afford. In parts where rents are very overpriced, it may be difficult to stick to the 30% rule. This may involve monitoring 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 looking for a rental home, various property management companies and landlords may have different ideas on what a desirable tenant should be. Even if you are able to show 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, be truthful with the property manager or landlord and provide all requested information promptly and in full. It doesn’t bother to ensure that you come early to all of your meetings and to dress up a little, too. It may seem like a trivial thing, but a pleasant first impression could help you influence a property manager that you will be a responsible and conscientious tenant.

Indeed, even with your best efforts, occasionally the rental house you desire is given to someone else. If that ensues, try to stay positive and to undertake what you can to maintain or improve your financial situation. You may not learn why the property manager or landlord didn’t choose you, and it may not mean that you are not an excellent applicant 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.