The Big Cities With the Most Affordable Rent Prices Are…

You'll be amazed at which fun-filled city is one of the best for renters right now.

Image: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER

The post The Big Cities With the Most Affordable Rent Prices Are… appeared first on Credit.com.

If You’re Having Trouble Finding a Cheap Apartment, Here’s Why

trouble-finding-a-cheap-apartment

Whether you’re browsing the local paper or using one of the many apartment listing apps out there, finding a decent place to hang your hat that’s also in your budget can feel like trying to uncover the the lost city of Atlantis.

Turns out, there’s a reason for that, according to a new analysis conducted by Zillow.

The real estate company used information from their database to analyze median rents in 15 major housing markets in the U.S., as well as the number of apartments built in the past 3 years. From this, they discovered the median rent for the least expensive third of apartments outpaced the overall rental market. Also, most new apartment growth is comprised of luxury units for wealthy renters.

In layman’s terms, there is growing demand for affordable rentals, but instead of meeting that need developers are focusing on adding to the supply of luxury units, pushing apartment rent prices higher across the board.

“We’re simply not building enough at the bottom and middle of the rental market to keep up with demand,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, said in a press release. “As a result, these segments are becoming very competitive, as both new renters look to find their first place and existing renters get shut out of homeownership because of extremely limited for-sale inventory. Apartment construction at the low end needs to start ramping up, and soon, in order to see real improvement.”

By the Numbers

This is playing a major role in property affordability, according to Zillow, and is especially affecting lower-income Americans who are likely to rent. Below are the findings for the 15 cities Zillow analyzed.

ZillowChart

Before Renting Your Apartment

As you search for your next place to call home, it’s important to remember that any potential landlord is probably going to look at a version of your credit report as part of your application. You may want to consider reviewing your credit before you apply so you have an idea of where it currently stands. (You can see your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.) This will help you get a better idea of what terms and conditions you may qualify for on a mortgage, as well as if there’s any credit repair work you may want to do before applying for a new rental.

Image: freemixer

The post If You’re Having Trouble Finding a Cheap Apartment, Here’s Why appeared first on Credit.com.

Apartment Complex Orders Tenants to Like Its Facebook Page, Or Else…

facebook addendum

Leases can be chockful of fine print, but a move by one Salt Lake City apartment complex may have apartment dwellers reading their next one very carefully before signing on the dotted line.

City Park Apartments presented tenants with a “Facebook Addendum” late last week that requires them to like the building on the popular social media site within five days or otherwise be considered in breach of their lease, KSL-TV reports.

The addendum, which was taped to residents’ doors, also reportedly includes a release that would allow the complex to post pictures of tenants and their visitors on their page — and a clause that prevents residents from posting anything negative about the community on any public forums or pages.

It was brought to KSL’s attention by a tenant who considered the addendum “outrageous” and a “violation of my privacy.”

City Park Apartments did not immediately respond to Credit.com’s requests for comment. Its Facebook page, which boosts a 1.1. star rating, is currently riddled with reviews from people calling the complex out on the new policy.

“This is one of the most absurd requirements I have EVER heard,” one Facebook user wrote.

Facebook did not immediately respond to questions about whether it had any policies pertaining to this type of situation.

Attorney Zachary Myers told KSL, however, that the City Park Apartments’ addendum had a few potential broader issues.

“The biggest issue that I have with it is that it seems to be discriminatory against elderly individuals and disabled individuals who are unable to utilize an online presence such as Facebook,” he said.

Attention, Apartment Shoppers

Myers also told KSL that the complex may not be able to require tenants who already signed a lease to put their John Hancock on the add-on. Once you do sign the addendum, however, you could be legally beholden the terms, he said — a comment that underscores the importance of not blindly signing anything your landlord — or companies in general — put in front of you. You’ll want to be aware of any clauses that you may not agree with.

And, of course, if you’re in the market for a new apartment, you should check your credit. Most landlords pull a version of your credit report when deciding who to rent you and you don’t want any errors or surprises to cause you to miss out on a lease that aligns with what you’re looking for in an apartment. (You see where your credit currently stands by pulling your reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.)

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: lechatnoir

The post Apartment Complex Orders Tenants to Like Its Facebook Page, Or Else… appeared first on Credit.com.