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The successful rental search

Posted by Rona Fischman June 30, 2011 01:57 PM

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I mentioned last week that my nephew, Dan, was in town for a roommate rental hunt. I was pleased that he took my advice and avoided the late July to August rental rush. In an early entry here at BREN, I made fun to the annual scare-the-tenants articles that appeared the last weekend of July or first weekend of August, every year, back when The Boston Globe was still running a full real estate section.

If you are looking for a rental, you are too late by the middle of July. It is a simple supply and demand situation. Because of the huge number of people who live here on an academic schedule, there are large numbers of people leaving town in May and June. There are large numbers of people moving to the area or trading to a better apartment in June, July and August. The biggest supply is in June and early July. The highest demand is in late July and August.

Think about it.

If you live here, the landlords have empty apartments starting in June. You can have your pick if you want something better than you have now. High supply, low demand, a renterís advantage. If you find a better place, you give notice. Then your dump is available for the August apartment hunting sucker. More of the rental supply in August will be rejects of the current residents, like you. More will have already been picked over by the early apartment hunters.

If you donít live here, you can still pick from the freshly repainted apartments vacated at the end of May until they are gone. My rental agent friend says the best ones are gone by early July.

This is where my nephew Dan won brownie points towards the favorite nephew award. He listened to my advice about shopping early. He nailed down his rental in early June and is all set to move in this August.

The same thing is true for roommate rental situations. Typically, roommates know who is going to leave and when. The smart ones plan ahead, so they can choose the right replacement without time pressure. In Danís case, he had no problem finding rooms that were renting for late August, even though he was looking in June. He saw 4 or 5 places and had an apartment by early the next week.

What month did you apartment or roommate shop? Did you rent on an academic calendar?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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