If you are looking for a new place to live right now, I have two words for you, “I’m sorry.”
Not only are rentals higher than ever before but they are also few and far between. Don’t even think about taking out a mortgage and buying, you will certainly commit financial suicide. So what options do you have in the here and now? You will need to be creative but it is achievable.
My biggest and best advice, search affordable housing first and do everything possible to qualify. Do not take on a roommate, do not couch surf, do not move in with your girlfriend to save money; all of the above will undoubtedly cost you so much more in the long-run. Not to mention, these are uncomfortable, temporary remedies which you may be stuck with for longer than expected.
While affordable or low-income housing may require a compromise with your ego, it is likely your best option. I have found that often times, affordable housing is better in quality and location compared to non-affordable housing. Furthermore, when you account for the rise in rents and home prices against the decline of wages and salaries, you will see, you are not to blame for needing the help just like most everyone else and that is precisely why affordable housing is in existence and soon to be the only option for most.
One hard lesson I have learned since living in affordable housing is the stigma that comes with it. It is such a shame to see these new apartments with all modern conveniences run down with trash and pet waste. It really comes down to a simple paradigm shift – low income does not equal low class. While it seems rather systemic, I do hope this false narrative will change. Not to mention, rents are still high right now for even affordable units. Why not take pride in your home and do your best for your community no matter what?
If you do not qualify for affordable housing, well, go for the gold. I believe you will likely spend every last penny on the cost of living but at least you will be living well. If you have the big bucks though and are being forced to start a new lease right now, get everything you want and do not compromise. I have found there is very little wiggle room in regards to need a lot of work apartments and brand-new state-of-the-art everything, listings. Why that is boggles my mind but that is the way it is.
If you are searching for a new rental home right now, I do wish you the best on your search and keep in mind, this too shall pass. It is just a matter of getting by comfortably until that time.