For those looking to rent in San Francisco, there are ways to snag a downtown apartment, but often sacrifices must be made. Most importantly, consumers must avoid getting in over their head financially by taking on a rent that is well beyond their means.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 16, 2014
The cost of renting has risen dramatically across the U.S., specifically in rapidly growing cities such as San Francisco where inventory is low and competition is high. The post-recession climate is now saturated with prospective renters rather than buyers. American Consumer Credit Counseling is helping potential and current renters in the Bay Area make monthly costs and rent more affordable with rental savings tips.
“Affordable rent is becoming harder to find, especially for those who are middle to low income,” stated Steve Trumble, president and CEO of ACCC. “San Francisco has one of the most expensive rental markets due to the concentration of tech companies and startups in the area. The rising cost of rent is becoming a nationwide problem that needs to be addressed. ACCC can advise consumers on alternative budgeting options and money-saving strategies to be able to afford to live in high-cost places like California.”
The gap between minimum wage and the cost of renting continues to grow. According to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in order to afford a small one bedroom apartment in the Bay Area, one would need to earn $29.83 per hour or $62,046 a year – more than three times California’s average minimum wage. To rent a two bedroom apartment, one would need to make $37.62 per hour or $78,249 a year. Although most people earn more than the average minimum wage, the cost of rent has surpassed the range of affordability even for the middle class in the Bay Area.
San Francisco has one of the highest median rent prices among large cities according to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, which has been attributed to the tech boom in the hub of the Bay Area and the subsequent influx of tech professionals. The demand for rental apartments is much higher than the supply, causing landlords to double the rent as more jobs are created in the area.
“For those looking to rent in San Francisco, there are ways to snag a downtown apartment, but often sacrifices must be made such as, living with a roommate or cutting back on utilities like cable,” said Trumble. “At the end of the day, you need to identify your must haves and decide what, if anything, you are willing to give up. Most importantly, consumers must avoid getting in over their head financially by taking on a rent that is well beyond their means.”
- Roommates – Having a roommate allows you to split the cost of rent, utilities, and other expenses that come along with renting an apartment. When renting your first apartment, the more roommates you have, the lower the living expenses will be.
- Rent-Controlled Apartments – Rent in only rent-controlled apartments, non-rent-controlled apartments are not regulated and landlords can raise the rent at any time and by as much as they choose. Most apartments are rent controlled however any apartment older than 1979 is not covered under this ordinance. Look for older apartments and simply ask or take it upon yourself to look the property information up. http://www.forrent.com is a good site to use and it provides detailed information about the property such as whether or not the apartment falls under rent control.
- Negotiate Rent – Don’t be afraid to negotiate on rent. For existing renters, try working with your landlord to extend the lease, pay early, or work with the management company to discount the rent or avoid a rent increase.
- Cut Other Expenses and Reduce Monthly Utilities – Reduce nonessential living expenses to accommodate the cost of the apartment. The easiest expenses to cut are cable and car expenses if you live in the city and are able to use public transportation and, instead, opt for public transportation and sharing wi-fi or using public wi-fi at a coffee shop or library. Also, lower monthly utility costs by turning off the lights when not home or when out of the room, and minimize the use air conditioning and heating.
- Know Your Rights as a Renter – Understanding your financial rights as a renter upfront can save time and money in the long-run. For instance, expect a landlord to request income and/or credit score or credit report information as part of the screening process, but know that while it’s legal to use income and credit requirements to screen potential tenants, it is illegal to re-screen existing tenants.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- Local San Francisco # 415-655-6601 or call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.