10 Clever Ways To Reduce Housing Expenses
Whether you’re renting or thinking about buying a home, the rising cost of living affects us all.
Everybody needs a home — but that doesn’t mean you need to spend half of your income on rent.
Learn how to reduce housing costs and improve your life:
1. Consider renting with flatmates
By renting an apartment with other people, Millennials can save on the cost of the rent, as well as utilities and even groceries (if that’s what you agree).
Flatsharing will improve the quality of your life by having more money to invest, save for property and enjoy holidays/time off.
2. Rent or buy in an up-and-coming area
Instead of living bang in the middle of all the buzz, move to a more affordable area somewhere close to where you like. This way, you’ll find cheaper rent or real estate prices and reduce your costs of living.
3. Live close to your work
When you live where you work, you don’t have to spend money on petrol or public transport, and walk or bike instead.
Nothing ever beat living within walking distance to work, because it means more free time, more sleep, and a better mood.
Live closer to work and you could drastically lower your housing costs while improving your quality of life.
4. Buy a fixer-upper
A fixer-upper is a property that will require repair, though it usually can be lived in or used as it is. They are popular with buyers who wish to raise the property’s potential value to get a return on their investment, or as a starter home for buyers on a budget.
Fixer-uppers are people or property investors who are looking for motivated sellers who are willing to sell the properties at below-market prices.
Did you know that in the US you can get tax advantages in real estate for making some improvements on the property? In addition, you may also get other benefits such as free utilities.
5. Rent out a spare bedroom
If you have a spare bedroom, you can turn that extra space into extra money. You can use a service like Airbnb for short-term rentals or rent long-term, whichever you prefer.
Renting out extra bedrooms will boost your monthly income and ultimately help you save money on housing.
6. Get a job that offers housing benefits
Some jobs in the US offer housing benefits to their employees.
This allows you to save and invest every penny you’d otherwise spend on housing.
In addition, you may also be able to get other benefits such as free utilities and furniture.
7. Look for cheap rental deals and negotiate
Many people assume that rents are firm, but that’s not always the case. Research prices in your area and see if you can talk your future landlord down.
You can almost always negotiate the price if you are willing to live in a less popular area and you’ve been a model tenant.
8. Move to a smaller home
Moving to a smaller apartment can help you save money on rent or mortgage.
A smaller house is generally a cheaper house to purchase and maintain. Less square footage usually means lower insurance costs, property taxes, and utility bills.
By buying a smaller home, you won’t have psychological pressure to fill the space with “stuff.” A bigger home means more furniture, more decorations, etc.
If you’re a first-time buyer, a smaller starter home might be the best option. Your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home.
9. Think about buying a duplex or multi-family home
Another great way to reduce housing expenses is to buy a duplex or multifamily home. This means you live in one unit and rent out other units.
Renting out parts of your home will help you cover the cost of the mortgage (and possibly make some profit).
Many people buy duplex homes to bring in more in rent than their expenses.
10. Learn basic home maintenance skills
Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities. While certain repairs like electrical work, deep plumbing, and anything to do with a septic tank require a professional, many maintenance jobs can be handled by yourself.
Most repairs aren’t so complicated or require such specialised tools that the average person can’t figure out. Sites like YouTube, and WikiHow provide step-by-step tutorials on common home problems.
Learn basic DIY skills like fixing toilet leaks, stopping the drips, pest control, painting, drilling holes to put up shelves, etc.
Knowing how to take care of things yourself will give you self-assurance and a greater sense of ownership over your home. It also saves you lots of money.