With rates varying by what sometimes seems like the hour, searching for an apartment can be a complex endeavor.
There’s no one best time to rent. It primarily depends on what you are looking for. Do you want a wide range of choices or low costs and more negotiable issues?
A rental broker with Flushinghomes.com, Martin Hess, said he can “attest to the fact that seasonality is a key factor when renting an apartment.”
Each season has it’s own pros and cons.
Nicholas Lee, who works in the Manhattan real estate market, said the end of winter or beginning of summer give renters the best inventory options. There are more places to explore and consider. He also noted choices are slimmest during July, August,January and February.
Derek Handova, an experienced apartment hunter in the San Francisco Bay area,
described lessors during the months right after Thanksgiving or Christmas as “motivated.”
“The reason for this is that the competition is much lighter for potential vacancies and the apartment rental agent or landlord is distracted between trying to find a tenant fast so as not to have opportunity loss in having the unit sit idle any longer than necessary,” Handova said.
During this time, he said landlords are more apt to negotiate on items like security or pet deposits and length of lease. With deposits often reaching up to a full month’s rent and a longer lease than needed potentially costing several thousand in the long run, having a chance to negotiate on these items is a huge perk.
Residential rental agent Anna Dillulio has witnessed the renting seasons changes first hand.
“Most properties that are available in January have been on the market since at least November, as most people won’t move during the holiday season,” she said. “Landlords are more apt to make a deal when they haven’t had a tenant for months.”
Dillulio also noted these months are also the best time to get deals on U-Hauls and moving supplies. A long-distance U-Haul can easily cost $500-$1,000, so the truck’s best negotiation times may also serve as major considerations about when to move.
When it comes to renting, decide on your priorities first, then you can narrow down your best season to rent.