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Move In Special Apartments: How to Find the Best Deals

Even in the midst of a pandemic, summer remains the peak season for apartment hunting. Whether you're seeking a change of scenery or planning a cross-country move, now is the time to find the perfect...

Even in the midst of a pandemic, summer remains the peak season for apartment hunting. Whether you're seeking a change of scenery or planning a cross-country move, now is the time to find the perfect rental. And the good news is that more property managers are offering move in specials, even in luxury complexes with top-notch amenities.

Finding Move In Special Apartments

Move in specials are a common strategy used by property managers to increase demand and attract new renters. These offers are typically limited-time deals, available during the first month of your lease. Some renters may be skeptical, thinking that a move in special is too good to be true. However, during periods of low demand, such as the current situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, move in specials become more prevalent. Landlords use these deals to entice high-quality tenants and fill their vacancies.

What Are Move In Specials?

Move in specials can vary depending on your city, the apartment complex, and the state of the market. Here are a few types of move in specials you may encounter while apartment-hunting:

1. Waived Application Fees

Application fees can quickly add up, especially if you're applying for multiple apartments in a competitive market. Waiving the application fees is a common move in special. While it may not be the most significant savings, it's a good starting point. To make the most informed decision, especially if you're new to renting, learn about the apartment application process and associated fees.

Average Application Fees Image: Average Application Fees

2. Reduced or Waived Security Deposit

Security deposits can be a considerable expense during your apartment search. While a fully waived security deposit is rare, you might come across half-off options or other discounted security deposit deals. Some apartment complexes even substitute a security deposit with a smaller one-time fee.

3. First Month Free

Imagine getting discounted rent with a move in special. Keep an eye out for apartments that offer six weeks to two months of free rent. Depending on the area, you may find even larger discounts. It's tempting to use the savings to upgrade to a more expensive apartment, but it's essential to only rent within your long-term budget. Remember that the discount will usually be prorated over the length of your lease.

4. Look-and-Lease Deals

During slow rental markets, landlords are eager to secure tenants quickly. You may come across discounts on rent or other specials when you tour and lease an apartment on the same day. While the deal may be tempting, make sure you have all your bases covered by asking the crucial questions before signing a lease.

5. Deals on Longer Lease Lengths

Landlords prefer long-term tenants as they provide security and ease of management. Signing a longer lease can usually lead to a reduction in monthly rent. On the other hand, month-to-month or short-term leases tend to be more expensive.

How Are Move In Specials Factored Into Your Rent?

While the idea of eight weeks of free rent may sound fantastic, it's important to understand that you're not actually living rent-free for two months. Move in specials are usually prorated into your overall monthly rent. For example, if you sign a 12-month lease for an apartment that costs $1,500 per month and receive two months of free rent, $3,000 will be deducted from your lease. This will bring your new monthly rent rate down to $1,250. Any move in special that significantly reduces your rent can provide you with more financial flexibility for savings, groceries, and utility bills.

When Do Apartments Have Move In Specials?

Apartments commonly offer move in specials during periods of lower demand, such as the winter months. However, move in specials can be available throughout the year. The rental market is seasonal, with higher demand in the summer and lower demand in the winter.

How to Find Move In Specials Near You

Finding move in specials online may not always be straightforward. Luckily, Apartment List makes it easy to find move in specials near you. Take our simple quiz to find matches that fit your budget, preferred locations, and desired amenities. Once you're matched, keep an eye out for units with red move-in special alerts as you scroll through the options.

Move in Specials Image: Move in Specials

Tips for Finding the Best Move In Special Apartments

Apartment List offers various ways to help you identify the best move in special deals. Our Net Effective Rent feature allows you to search specifically for move in specials and see their true value. By calculating the total rent you'd pay over the term of your lease (subtracting specials), we provide an average estimated monthly figure that allows for easy comparison between different properties. Keeping track of apartments is also made simple with our tagging system, which allows you to mark places you "Love" or "maybe" want to revisit. This feature makes it quick to compare rates and deals across your shortlisted apartments.

Lease Savings and Rent Savings Image: Lease Savings and Rent Savings

Ready to Move?

Moving can be a daunting task, but finding a move in special can make it all the more rewarding by saving you a substantial amount of money. From months of free rent to look-and-lease deals, choose the move in special that best fits your situation and start packing for your dream apartment.

Move in Special Apartments FAQs

Q: What is the hardest month to rent an apartment? A: Apartments are most in-demand during the summer months from June to August. The weather is generally more favorable for moving, and students often seek new accommodations outside of the school year.

Q: What month do most leases end? A: Most people sign 12-month leases from June to August, meaning these months are also when most leases are likely to end. While there may be more availability during the summer, keep in mind that it is also the busiest time for apartment hunting.

Q: What time of the month is rent the cheapest? A: The winter months usually offer the best deals on rent, including move in specials. People tend to move less frequently in the middle of the school year and during periods of inclement weather.

Q: What are some red flags to watch out for with move in special apartments? A: Move in specials that are actually rental scams often share common features, such as offers that sound too good to be true, frequent misspellings or errors in the listings, a leasing agent declining your request to tour the property, the agent requesting money upfront (other than an application fee), or the property being untraceable in online searches or maps.