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Orlando, coined ‘The City Beautiful', is one of Florida's most popular destinations for its unique blend of business, entertainment, and balmy weather. A desirable spot among renters, Orlando and its neighboring communities have seen significant increases in apartment prices over the past couple of years.
The reasoning behind why apartments in Orlando are so expensive could be explained by your high school economics professor, it's a simple equation of supply and demand. The Orlando job market is thriving, and the demand of renters looking for apartments in Orlando is high while supply has not yet caught up to meet the demand. This results in higher prices for apartments across Orlando. You've probably noticed the construction as tons of new apartments are being built in Orlando to help meet the demand.
Orlando Weekly covered the topic in August 2018 noting that apartment prices in Orlando increased by 7.7% from 2017 to 2018. The Orlando Sentinel also reported that apartment rents in 2019 are up by as much as 20-35% in some suburbs of Orlando when comparing pricing from 2014 to 2019. This trend seems to be continuing into 2019. Lendkey recommends spending about 30% of your gross income on rent. This is a great rule of thumb for setting your budget.
So, what can you do to find an apartment in Orlando you can afford? Here are some tips:
7 Tips for Finding An Apartment You Can Actually Afford in Orlando
- Create a list of your must-have features and stick to it. Apartments with more amenities tend to charge more, so narrowing down the features and amenities you need most could save you money each month. For example, if you realistically don't see yourself using the apartment swimming pool try looking at options that don't include this feature.
- Think of location trade-offs. You might be able to save $100-$200 per month on rent by choosing an apartment that is farther away from your place of work, but at what cost? Do the math and consider your personal commute time, gas, vehicle depreciation, and tolls. You might find that it's worth paying a bit more for an apartment within walking distance of your office (and better for the environment too!). Try searching for apartments near the 408 or apartments near the 429 to make your commute easier.
- Consider how amenities might save you money each month. Does your prospective new Orlando apartment have a 24-hour fitness center with the same equipment as the gym you pay for a membership at? Cancel that membership and save yourself some money each month! Additionally, if the apartment offers amenities you could see yourself using on the weekends such as a pool with grilling stations, you might save money that you would have otherwise spent going out that day.
- Ask good questions about what is NOT included in the monthly rental rate. Things like pet rent, valet trash fees, premiums for pool or water views, and parking fees can quickly add up. When comparing prices for your favorite prospective apartment options, be sure to take these things into account.
- Ask good questions about what is included in the rent. Some apartments in Orlando have value built into the monthly rent with items that other apartment communities charge for. For example, some apartments include a washer and dryer in each unit while others only provide connections and you will be expected to purchase or rent your own washer and dryer. Additionally, some apartments in Orlando have cable and internet packages with a lower negotiated rate for their residents, while others require that you go through the cable provider directly and pay the typical price.
- Watch for good deals. Some apartments in Orlando will run promotions when they have extra vacancy they need to fill. Look for deals like waived application and leasing fees and even one-month free promotions to help save you some cash!
- Consider getting a roommate. If your monthly budget just isn't working out, you might consider living with a roommate to help keep costs low. We recommend choosing a larger 2-bedroom floor plan with a split setup so that your bedrooms are separated by the living room and kitchen. Keep in mind, when you share an apartment with a roommate, you're not just splitting the cost of the monthly rent! This roommate will also pay half of the monthly bills, including water, electricity, cable, and internet – greatly reducing your monthly costs.