When searching for a home to rent, whether it’s an apartment or a townhome, how much you spend on your monthly rent is likely going to be one of the largest factors in your decision. For first time renters, the number of bills that can stack up—from things like utilities, phone bills, internet bills, and other monthly necessities—makes it unclear how much you should be spending on rent. If you’re unsure of how much you can afford on rent, read on to find out a few tips as well as online tools that you can take advantage of to better understand how much you should be spending on rent to otherwise live comfortably and budget properly.
Gross and Net Income Explained
If you’ve looked closely at your paycheck before, you may have some familiarity with the terms gross and net income. Gross income constitutes your entire working wage—basically, a raw number that isn’t impacted by any outside factors. Net income is what you actually see pop into your bank account and accounts for things like taxes or any other deductions that may come out of your pay. When you look at your pay info, you should be able to see how much money gets taken out and how much you’re actually getting paid. This is an important distinction because some landlords will look at your gross income when deciding whether or not to approve your application, but as a renter, you should be looking at your net income to decide whether or not you can really afford a monthly cost or not.
Splitting Your Rent
If you’re planning on living with a roommate or a significant other, this can have some pretty dramatic impacts on what your rent will be. In some instances, people may be willing to split the rent evenly, which makes for easy math and few complications. There may be cases where one person makes significantly more money or has a larger room, which could be an indicator that you and your cohabitator decide to split rent unevenly. Of course, this is ultimately up to the two of you, but the general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be spending more than 30% of your net income on your rent.
Using a Rent Calculator
A quick online search will tell you that there are a number of online rent calculators out there, most of which are free and fairly easy to operate. This can be a big help in determining how much you should be spending per month. Zillow has a Rent Affordability Calculator, which is great because you can include the total of other expenses like loans or car payments. This helps you gather a better understanding of how much money you can spend on your apartment or townhouse while also comfortably paying all of your other bills.
The Apartments of Wildewood have a friendly community that’s waiting to welcome you!
At The Apartments of Wildewood, located in beautiful in St. Mary’s Maryland, we offer homes with access to pools, an on-site gym, and maintenance whenever you need it – and have access to all the information you need to affordably rent an apartment in St. Mary’s. To set up an appointment to check out an apartment or townhouse rental from The Apartments at Wildewood, call us at 301.737.0737 or visit the website!