When Is the Best Time to Rent an Apartment?

A big red "for rent" sign in front of a building

You need to consider many factors when renting or buying an apartment. The best time to rent an apartment depends on what your priorities are at the time of looking. Some renters need an apartment as soon as possible, while others are looking for the best deal. In addition to that, the criteria will be different for families with children from the singles and couples. Whatever your case is, take into account that you will need to arm yourself with patience, expert help, and plenty of planning.

Seasonal shifts

Apartment renting is a very competitive market, especially if you plan to rent in a bigger city. Believe it or not, this industry has seasonal shifts that depend on a variety of factors. There are certain months in a year that are more popular for moving and renting, whereas other months are almost completely quiet. Based on your particular needs and priorities, you can make an informed decision on when best to dive in.

The best time to rent an apartment on a budget

If you are on a tighter budget, your options will naturally be limited. But that does not necessarily mean that the available options will not fit your needs. In the best-case scenario, you would have time to wait for the perfect opportunity. If you do not need to book movers urgently, the selection will be much better for you. Start looking for apartments early and keep an eye on those that you genuinely like.

a big apartment with the colorful furniture

You can get notifications on apartment availability, and in case the rent goes down. You would be surprised by how many landlords are forced to lower their prices during the winter months. So if you are looking for the best deal, be patient and start getting seriously active between October and May. The prices during this off-season can almost get cut in half. This way, you would be able to get the dream apartment that you may not have been able to afford just a few months before.

The best time for the biggest selection

Although the winter months may be a good option for those on a budget, it is not a particularly popular time of the year for rental offers. If you are looking for variety and a more extensive selection on the market, summertime is your best bet. The period between May and September is the peak season for real estate in general.

  • School breaks: This is when most kids are out of school and consequently when most parents take time off work. It makes it much easier to move house with that free time.
  • Downsizing:  Many students change locations as they go off to college. As a result, some families resort to downsizing, therefore looking to move immediately.
  • Convenience: It is much easier and more convenient to move during mild and sunny weather than freezing cold and snowy conditions. This inspires many renters to choose this time of the year.

Renting an apartment in Manhattan

For those who want to live in the epicenter of culture, art, fashion, and business,  Manhattan is a common choice. Although New York City has other boroughs like Queens and Staten Island that might have lower rent prices, nothing beats Manhattan. This also means that the demand is high and very competitive. Do not think that high prices reflect quality, though. Especially if you come from a smaller city, you might be surprised. Even though the asking rent may be steep, the quality you get for it may not be even close to what you would expect. There are several justifiable reasons for this. Since this borough is so popular and heavily populated, the demand might be higher than the supply. This is only one of the reasons the rent is so unreasonable in Manhattan. Some other causes of high rents:

  • Very high prices of property
  • Zoning laws
  • Various steep taxes
  • Home insurance premiums
  • Many city regulations
A view of Manhattan tall buildings and green trees

If your heart is set on Manhattan, the rent is an insignificantly small price to pay to live in one of the greatest cities in the world.  It is a good idea to hire experts to help you in this search. You might get overwhelmed with all the information and options if you go through the process alone. You also do not want to accept an offer without details about the actual apartment value and the pros and cons of a particular neighborhood. If it so happens that you have found your dream apartment, do not wait. Call the agency or go there in person as soon as possible. The apartment might be snatched away from you in a minute.

Preparing for the move

Once that decision has been made and the apartment rented, you can finally relax. Oh, wait, not so fast. You have a big move ahead of you. Whether you are moving all your belongings from one apartment to another or moving some of them to a storage unit, the packing process is unavoidable and inevitably grueling. If you are planning to hire professionals, it is good to know when to book the movers before you move. It can be very awkward and uncomfortable once the moving date approaches and all the movers are booked and unavailable. In order for the panic not to set in, plan well ahead of time. Research moving companies several months before the big date and get quotes before making the final decision.

A couple holding a door key, representing the best time to rent an apartment

Ultimately, the best time to rent an apartment for you may not fit into any of the typical molds. What matters is that you find it manageable and attainable. The seasonal cycles are there as general guidelines. However, your specific needs could be something completely different. If you are in a rush, you may not be able to wait for those affordable deals, but you never know; the perfect apartment may be waiting for you despite those common trends.

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