5 Ways to Handle Big City Rents

If you can't resist the lure of big city living, but hate the impact it would have on your pocketbook, you might be wondering if there's any way you can actually afford such a move. In some ways, living in the city can be worth the costs — the convenience, the night life, and plentiful job prospects are just a few perks of living in a bustling metropolis.

While you don't want to overextend yourself, there may be a way to make your big city dreams come true. Here are some tips that can help you handle big city rents.

1. Don't look at apartments outside your budget

This sounds obvious, but it can be easy to get carried away when you see the "perfect" place. Different landlords and management companies will have varying requirements around income and credit, but it's important to avoid busting your budget despite their thresholds. Before you even begin touring apartments, consider the financials first. Figure out a comfortable amount of rent that would fit your budget. Limit your search to places that stay within that dollar amount. (See also: Here's How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You)

2. Keep it compact

If you really want to save on high rents, you'll probably have to consider a much smaller place than you would living in a suburb. Maybe you really wanted a two or three-bedroom apartment to accommodate your home office and occasional overnight visitors, but it causes the rent to skyrocket. Making some concessions on your "must-haves" could save you a lot of money living in the big city.

3. Look for a sublet

Someone else's inconvenience could be very convenient for you. At times, people need to move before their lease is up and there's not much they can do about it. Rather than break the lease and incur the associated fees, they choose to sublease their place for slightly less than market value.

If you can find someone who needs to unload their rental via subletting, it could easily save you a few hundred bucks a month. There are a few legal nuances that could make this arrangement complicated, so make sure you know your rights and clear the subletting agreement with the landlord before agreeing to anything. (See also: 10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap)

4. Consider up and coming neighborhoods

You might want to be at the epicenter of the local club scene or famous block of hipster dive bars. The only problem is that these trendy places could cost a fortune in rents. Would you be open to living somewhere that isn't quite yet at the center of all the action?

Think about places that are safe but still on the verge of becoming a preferred neighborhood. Rents in these trendy urban outposts can be surprisingly low. The bonus here is that you could get a great place with lower expenses and beat out neighbors who'll discover the area at higher rent prices later down the line.

5. Get a roommate

If you've found a big-city apartment, but can't seem to make ends meet, it might be time to get a roommate. The good news is this should be pretty easy to do, especially in a city. There are tons of apps, services, and websites where you can start your roommate search full-force. Some popular ones include Craigslist, Facebook, Silvernest (for baby boomers and empty nesters), and Roomster. (See also: Avoid These 7 Things When Living With Roommates)

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5 Ways to Handle Big City Rents

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