Factors to Consider in Choosing Boston Rentals

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Being one of the most populous cities in the United States, it is not surprising that it can be very challenging to find the ideal rental in Boston. It is considered one of the most economically powerful cities in the world. Reputable colleges and universities abound. The city's culture is rich by virtue of its history. Food options are many.

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All these make it easy to understand why competition among renters is stiff. According to recent research by Zumper, 66% of occupied housing units in Boston are renter-occupied as compared to 35% owner-occupied households.  This clearly shows just how many renters are competing over choice properties.
So what are the factors to consider in choosing Boston rentals? Here are the most important:
1. Timing of Search
When it comes to finding the right apartment in Boston, doing an early search is essential. This means starting your search several months before the target date of occupancy. Vacancy rate of properties for rent is very low so starting early provides more choices. January is the best time to start a lease in Boston while September is the worst because of the high number of students starting theirs.
Moving slowly in closing the rental deal may mean having to settle for less than your first priority because another renter beat you to it. It is common for renters to end up paying a higher rent because of so-called bidding wars. Using an online rental platform for your search gives you an advantage.

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2. Charges and Fees
Getting complete information about charges and fees is critical. It is obviously the first thing that you need to hurdle before the actual lease period starts. By law, owners can charge the first and last month's rent, security deposit equal to one month's rent, and a fee to buy and install new locks. 
Make sure to check the physical condition of the property so you don't end up having your security deposit forfeited for damages which are not your doing. Renter's insurance can provide coverage for accidents and natural disasters. Don't forget to ask about the inclusions of the rental rate such as utilities,storage, and parking.
3. Accessibility
Whether you are transferring to Boston to study or work, accessibility is a major issue. Traffic and long commutes can easily offset whatever advantage you first saw in your rented property. In the long run, this might even be the reason for you not to finish a lease agreement which will definitely cost you.
It would be ideal to view the property in person to have a first hand experience of traveling to the place. If this is not possible, requesting someone you trust in the area to check it for you is highly recommended. If still impossible, research can come in handy.
If you are to stay in Boston for quite some time, make sure you have considered the factors mentioned above before you sign on that dotted line. 

5 Budgeting Strategies You Should Consider

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Daily household budgeting is almost like a test of mental acumen that challenges not only the homemaker but the whole family as well. Aside from food, there are other needs that have to be provided for. The cooperation of each member is needed to make any budget work.

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Here are 5 Budgeting Strategies you should consider:

Outline Income and Expenses

The key to winning any battle is to know what you have and what you need to prepare for. It's the same with budgeting. You have to know how much money is coming in and how much money goes to necessary regular expenses. 

The focus on necessary expenses at this point cannot be overemphasized. It has to be said that needs take priority over wants. These are expenses that you cannot do away with to live with dignity.

Set Aside Savings

This is where many people commit a mistake. Many think that savings is that amount that is left after payments to needs and wants are satisfied. Guess what? Nothing remains if this is how you do it.

It is critical to set aside a specific amount regularly for savings before you start ticking off your wants. Wants are endless. Being able to set aside a certain amount every month from your salary or business shows that you are preparing for any eventuality or future plan.

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Be Conscious of Food Costs

The total food costs of a household may not be readily evident. Aside from the weekly grocery or market shopping, there will always be other incidental food expenses. Life happens, so there may be a need to order food sometimes, there may be a craving that needs to be satisfied, or unplanned celebrations that cannot wait. 

Any unplanned expense will definitely wreck havoc on a budget precisely because they were not taken into account when the budget was being considered. Since food is a daily need, it can easily escalate when we relax our guard too much. Make sure not to deprive yourself and your family the simple pleasure of enjoying good food without breaking the bank.

Pay Off Debts

Debts come with interests and penalties,not to mention possible legal issues. The longer they remain unpaid, the higher the costs incurred. Imagine having a huge chunk of your income just going to payment of penalties instead of the principal. 

It is to your best interest to pay on time to avoid the burden of unpaid loans increasing rather than decreasing through time. Paying off debts in time allow you to move on to your next plans especially those that require funds. Debt payment should always be included in the budget.

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Set Up Realistic Goals

A budget that has been set up so strictly to the point of being unrealistic will surely result to failure. If you have considered all of the above, you have a pretty good idea of your financial options. Work within your means while always striving to improve your financial capability.

Look for additional income. Remove unnecessary expenses that are making you miserable after because you don't have the means to pay. Set aside some money to ease your worries about the future. Honor your financial commitments and establish a reputation that lenders love to cater to. Strategize the budget with your household members so everybody will be in sync with the goal.