Reporting Jim Donovan
By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With home buying on hold for lots of Americans, demand for rentals is up, and so are the prices. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has advice to save some cash.
As home prices stay low, rents are climbing along with demand. “You’ve got potential homebuyers shelving their plans because they can’t get the financing or they’ve got bad credit, or they’re shelving their plans to buy simply because they’re waiting for the market to continue to bottom out,” says personal finance expert Vera Gibbons.
The National Association of Realtors projects rents will increase about four percent in 2012, and another 4 percent in 2013.
Whether you’re just moving in, or renegotiating for another year, Gibbons says that if your finances are solid, brag about it. “Your best way to actually bring that rent down is to point to your history. If you have good credit, if you have a solid employment history, if you have good references, you need to mention that, because that makes you a model tenant, and in this environment, model tenants are very hard to come by,” she says.
Other ideas that you may want to explore?
Offer to sign a lease for longer than one year if you can–it can save a landlord cleanup or advertising costs later.
Also, note minor downsides like leaky faucets or street noise for possible discounts.
Finally, if you have skills like construction or landscaping, you may want to barter your expertise in exchange for a lower rent payment. It certainly can’t hurt to ask.