We've compiled this list of Denver house hunting tips that'll help you get what you want without going bankrupt.
Denver rent prices are higher than the dude who works at your Jimmy John's but also has a Land Rover. In a few short years, we could all be paying $1,800 a month to live in the closest of someone else’s studio apartment, or worse. Good thing for you, we've compiled this list of Denver apartment-hunting tips that'll help you get what you want without going bankrupt.
1. Exploit your social network
Housing websites are great, but a lot of killer deals you can’t find anywhere else are going to come from people you know. Tell everyone you know you’re looking for somewhere to live. Maybe one of your family members knows a friend who owns a building who will give you a discount. Maybe one your friends can talk to his landlord and get you in the same building for cheap. Maybe your dog knows of a low-cost apartment next to where he buried his bone?
2. Know which neighborhoods are for rich people and which are for you
We know you want to live in the hippest neighborhood where all the hip-hips are hipping. But we’re telling you, it’s not worth the extra few hundred bucks a month. There are plenty of great neighborhoods in Denver that are close to nightlife and cool shops that won’t make your wallet cry. Instead of trying to live downtown or in the middle of Capitol Hill, try looking in neighborhoods around places like Congress Park, Five Points, Speer Blvd, and RiNo. Why would you pay $1,200 a month when you could pay $750 to live down the street from Congress Park or even $375 to live outside, but still close to RiNo?
3. Take the smaller room or basement lair and pay less
Lots of houses and apartments have bigger sized rooms for the 1 percent, and smaller sized rooms for you. Others have living rooms you could inhabit if your roommates are cool with walking in on you masturbating literally every time they come home. If you’re going to live with roommates, look for people who will pay more to live in the bigger room so you can cut your costs and live in the smaller room/other less desirable part of the house. If you REALLY want to live in that hip hippest neighborhood, taking the smaller room for a smaller price might be the only way to do it.
4. Double-check what's included in your rent
You found a place you can live for $600 bucks a month! Great! But wait. That doesn’t include utilities, internet, laundry, and in some cases, paying for a parking space. Those little costs add up. Your rent may be $600, but when you add all the costs, it’s more like $700 or far beyond. Just make sure you take those smaller costs into consideration before signing a lease.
5. Ask if you can get a discount for signing a longer lease
When you sign a longer lease, your landlord has less to worry about. They don’t want to have to advertise the space, clean it, and give showings again in 6 months. They’d rather have your ass in that apartment now, even if they’re making a little less each month. Plus, if you don't feel like living there for the duration of your 35 year lease you just agreed on, sublet, sublet and sublet. Nothing is permanent, especially your obligation to stay in a place.
As Jesus once said, “Ask for thy discount and thou shalt receive.”
6. Make the landlord your bitch
If you want to negotiate price with the landlord, get them to like you first.
When you show up to see an apartment or a house, be on time. If you’re late, that’s a bad first impression. It’s also important to put on your Sunday’s best and a goddamn smile. How you dress affects how the landlord will judge your character. Your landlord is not just looking for any tenant, they’re looking for someone they can trust. Someone who is not going to grow weed in their basement (You can totally grow weed in the basement later, but for now look like a person who wouldn’t).
Finally, bring a list of references with you to the showing. Right off the bat you’re telling the landlord that you’ve been a good tenant in the past. If you do all these simple things, they’re going to be more willing to drop the price.
7. Don't rent from property management companies … find an old geezer instead
Ugh, property management companies. These mutha-fuckas have tons of applicants for a limited number of spaces and they’re going to be less willing to negotiate price. If you pick the big corporate company, or the even the young, economically minded finance bro as your landlord, they’re going to milk you for every dollar you have because they stay up on housing trends and read The Economist.
What you want is a landlord who is a little behind on rent rates in Denver (often it can be someone older). It make take a little bit of hunting, but if you find that landlord, you could save hundreds of dollars every month. One time, a friend of ours rented a one bedroom with a washer/dryer in it right next to Washington Park for $400 because the landlord was 82 and that was a lot of money in his day.
Think about it …