Monday, October 22, 2012

Estimating Apartment Utility Costs

When you’re searching for a new rental, utility costs aren’t always the first thing that comes to mind when configuring your financing.  You’re aware you need to plan for them, but the costs aren’t always clear, so before you sign the lease, be sure to account for extra rental expenses. During the winter months, you can expect to pay between $30-50 a month for electricity, largely depending on how much you’re at home, how careful you are about turning off the lights, and how energy efficient your appliances are.
Photo Courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
If you live in a multi-unit building, there is a chance there will be no extra costs for heat, and the Landlord will have added the additional costs for heat into the cost of rent. If you’re renting a house, and have gas or forced air heating you could be paying at least $100 a month in the winter time, but the best way to determine the costs would be to ask the landlord or a previous tenant. If you don’t want to spend time trying to connect to your neighbor’s Internet for free, you’ll need to plan for $30-45 a month for Internet costs, which can be cheaper if you’re bundling with cable or a phone line. It’s also never a bad idea to look into getting renter’s insurance, especially if you’re a first time renter. You never know what can happen, and planning ahead to be safe is actually very affordable, sometimes around $150 a year. For a general rule of thumb if you leave out the cable, you can expect to pay roughly 20% of your rent in utilities if you live alone, and 10% if you’re living with a roommate.


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