Questions to Ponder Before Renewing Your Lease

There are several questions to ask yourself before signing on the dotted line, especially during the COVID-19 era, with the first of which relates to your current financial situation. What are your chances of being laid off or having your pay lowered? Whether it has already happened or you fear it might, it may be time to consider downsizing to a less expensive rental or negotiating with your current landlord for a rent reduction.

Believe it or not, landlords are pretty accommodating these days. Buch cites a veteran property manager who says,” Landlords are in serious competition for quality renters now. With millions unemployed, the pool of qualified renters has shrunk, which may give you the ability to negotiate.”

Before you do, however, have a basis for asking. “Tenants should only renegotiate their rates after finding another comparable, but cheaper unit,” says another apartment rental manager from Los Angeles. “It’s a good strategy for the renters who want to lock in a low rate before the economy picks back up.” If you hear crickets after making this request, you may just want to move to less expensive digs.

This begs the question: should you negotiate for a lower lease amount even if you don’t need to? You actually have nothing to lose by trying. “Even if your finances aren’t in jeopardy, negotiating for lower rent is still a smart option if you feel there are better deals to be had out there—or if you’re no longer able to use many of the amenities you once enjoyed, like the building gym or community swimming pool,” says Buch.

Back in the day, when homeowners struggled to make ends meet, they took on boarders. So why not consider taking on a roommate, even if it’s for the short term? “If you’re dogged by financial concerns, one of the easiest ways to control monthly expenses is by splitting them,” says Buch. “Unless there’s a significant other in the picture, you may want to consider finding a trustworthy roommate or two. They can help you make ends meet, and provide some company in these isolating times.” But be sure to clear such a change in your living arrangements with your landlord, so this can be reflected in your new lease.

“Rent versus buy” has always been an equation as well as a personal decision. However, with interest rates hovering at all-time lows, renters may be surprised to find out they can often save money in the long run if they buy. How does it hurt to call a mortgage consultant to review your current situation? Buch quotes a Realtor from New York saying,” If you are at least four to six months from when your lease expires, and you have the means to buy, consider if you want to continue to dump thousands of dollars into rent when you could be investing in yourself. Despite every crisis in the past 30 or 40 years, home prices on average always rise. You have to play the long game.”

Source: Realtor | TBWS

 

Karen Jones, a Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer (NMLS 307015), is located in Phoenix and has been serving Arizona with their home lending needs for over 40 years.  As a Certified Mortgage Advisor, Karen is dedicated in ensuring that her clients are well educated and prepared for their new home purchase.   AmeriFirst Financial, Inc. located in Phoenix, Arizona.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Karen Jones does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision.  Karen Jones will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein. 

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