When you’re hunting for an apartment, it’s the nice, but cheap apartments that are the prize. They’re also the ones that are hard to find. If a cheap price is your main criteria, these are easy enough to locate. However, cheap rental apartments generally carry some undesirable ‘features’, such as a marginal location, a distance from public transportation, or being poorly maintained.

Most people don’t want to live in a dangerous or noisy area, in a building with peeling paint and an apartment stove with three operating burners. So how do you go about finding a cheap apartment that you can afford, while enjoying a nice living environment? Housing is costly, any way you look at it. Square footage is the name of the game – the larger the apartment, the more you’re going to pay.

So, to begin with, you want to look for a smaller apartment than you might like. If you’re a single person, looking for a 1 bedroom apartment, think it through and see if a studio apartment might suit your needs. You’ll get a much nicer apartment, albeit smaller. You might also look for an apartment in a private home with a separate entry.

This sort of situation gets you a cheap apartment with more amenities than you’ll ever find in the 1 bedroom apartment at the same price in a comparable neighborhood. So you need to decide how much a separate bedroom is worth. Go shop the used furniture stores and see how much a sofa bed runs.

It’s likely that you’ll save at least $100-$200 a month by making up your bed each night, but in exchange for the inconvenience, enjoy a dishwasher in the kitchen and a spacious shower. If you’re willing to take some time in finding that ideal, cheap apartment, you might also want to look into sublets. Lots of people, through various circumstances, have an apartment that they want to hang on to while they’re on an extended vacation or business trip.

They don’t want to have to pay the rent while they’re gone and are willing to sublet for a period of time, at a reasonable price. This is profitable in other ways, such as having an occupant to avoid that vacated look that might attract burglars. Another option in cheap apartments rentals hunting is the house sitting situation. You may have to spend some time tracking down these opportunities, but among the cheap apartment options, this can be one of the best.

Here, the owner or renter will be traveling for a period of time, but need someone to maintain the yard or feed and walk pets. In this scenario, the apartment or house sitter is offered free room and board in exchange for looking after the apartment or home. Just like the sublet, this isn’t a permanent situation, but the price can’t be beat. During the tenure of the sublet or house sitting, you have plenty of time to find that ideal, cheap apartment.

During your apartment search, do the networking thing. Let everyone in your social and work network know that you’re looking and the price range you’ve got in mind. This can be one of the easiest ways to find the nice, cheap apartment of your dreams. With a good plan and some diligence, there’s no need to settle for a place in which you’d rather not live. Moving is expensive!

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