Do I save by moving into my apartment in the winter rather than the summer?
September 20, 2012 4:05 PM Subscribe
Apartment lease economics: I'm planning to move to a new apartment. I'm considering waiting until winter to move in, because leases are cheaper in the off season. But will my rate just go up when it's time to renew a year later?
posted by lunchbox to Work & Money (3 answers total)
In my city, apartment prices are seasonal: they peak in the summer & early fall because of high demand, and then in the winter, they drop since not as many people want to move in, and landlords don't want vacancies. So, instead of moving into my new apartment now, I'm thinking of waiting until the winter, when I'll be able to score a cheaper lease.
For example, if I get an apartment in September, I might get offered an annual lease at $1400/month, but if I wait until December, that could drop to $1300/month, yielding a $1200 savings over 12 months.
That part is straightforward to me. But it seems the savings might actually extend beyond the first year, because landlords are telling me that my lease price for the second year is based on market prices at the time of renewal.
Assuming I'm on an annual cycle, it seems like it would be extremely advantageous to start my initial lease during the winter, because every time my annual renewal comes around, it'll be off season again, and I'll once again reap the benefits.
Continuing the example above, this would be like the following (for the sake of simplicity, assume everything stays constant from year to year):
December 2012: $1300/mo
December 2013: $1300/mo
December 2014: $1300/mo
Sept 2012: $1400/mo
Sept 2013: $1400/mo
Sept 2014: $1400/mo
Am I correct in perceiving a long-term advantage to moving in the winter?