A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage may be the American dream, but sometimes dreams are just that.
A new study says a full quarter of Americans will never own their own homes -- they will always be renters.
So much for the car in your garage.
But you can still have the chicken if you work our renter's agreement wisely.
1. Shop For Utilities Included By What You Use The Most. What utilities are included in the rent varies widely from place to place -- so figure out where you end up using the most, and try to find a deal with that built in. So if you love long, luxurious showers, unlimited water isn't a want -- it's a need.
2. Work It Off. If you're handy, turn yourself into cheap labor -- and ask your landlord for a break in the bill. Remember, there doesn't have to be something broken; it could be as simple as volunteering to be the one to shovel the sidewalk when it snows.
3. Scout the Location. Crappy neighborhoods usually come with cheaper rents, but you're a little scared? Visit the potential apartment at night, when things are at their diciest and see how bad it really is. Ask the neighbors. You might find it doesn't live up (or shall we say down) to the hype, and you can comfortably save.
4. Follow a Coworker. Heart set on the burbs but afraid you'll be spending too much to get to work? Find a coworker who is looking to carpool and rent near them to cut your commuting costs.
5. Plan Long Term. It costs a landlord a lot of money to prep an apartment between tenants. If you're planning on sticking around a long time, ask for a discount. If they hem and haw, remind them the cost of re-carpeting and painting the place. Or offer to paint the place before you DO leave.
Are you renting?
Image via csc4u/Flickr