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7 Tips for Finding Affordable Housing

You may have heard the term “affordable housing,” but what does it really mean? According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, affordable housing is defined as housing where the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing costs. 

But, does affordable housing really exist in a housing market like today? Of course, it does! In this blog, we will share the top tips for finding affordable housing and making the right housing choices for you and your lifestyle. 


How to Find Affordable Housing


1. Talk to a HUD-approved housing counseling agency

Seek expert guidance! What does it mean to be HUD-approved? Agencies that are HUD-approved are trained and certified by the government to help access your housing needs. This means they can assess your financial situation, evaluate your options, and guide you through your mortgage loans. 

Specifically, at Rockland Housing Action Coalition, it means we are committed to expertise, professionalism, and upholding high standards in assisting individuals and families with their housing needs. When you choose RHAC, you are working with a team dedicated to providing reliable guidance and access to valuable resources.

Whether you’re interested in buying or renting, our housing counselors are here to help. Learn more about our services

2. Define your budget ahead of time

Before you start your housing search, it’s important to determine your budget ahead of time. Consider your income, savings, and expenses when assessing your financial situation. Use this information to create a budget to determine how much you can pay for a mortgage or rent. This can help you narrow down your search and focus on areas or properties that for your budget.

If you are unsure of how much you can spend, reach out to an expert for help. 

3. Consider alternative housing options

Are you interested in buying or renting? Both offer unique pros and cons to consider. While buying a home provides stability and the potential for long-term investment, renting offers flexibility and lower initial costs. It’s important to weigh these factors against your budget, lifestyle preferences, and long-term goals to make an informed decision that best suits your needs. 

4. Find roommates

Have you ever considered roommates? Having a roommate or co-borrower can drastically reduce the burden of housing expenses. Consider a roommate who shares similar lifestyle preferences, such as cleanliness standards, social habits, and daily routines. This compatibility can significantly enhance the living experience and foster a sense of camaraderie within the household. 

Additionally, having a roommate or co-borrower can provide added financial stability by splitting rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and other household expenses.

5. Check online listings and apps

Do your research! Online listings are a great source to find out what is out there. Utilize websites to aid your search, such as Zillow or apartments.com. These websites allow you to customize your search to help you find the perfect homes for you.

Joining online housing groups can help you find the perfect living situation. These groups are valuable resources, offering specialized local advice that you might not find elsewhere. Whether you’re searching for rental accommodations, looking to buy a home, or seeking advice on property management, these online communities provide a platform for individuals to share their experiences, insights, and recommendations.  

Social media can also be a great tool in the house-hunting journey. It can be the perfect way to find a new roommate. 

6. Consider different areas

Be flexible about location, its the key to finding the perfect home in your budget. Specific neighborhoods or cities have a higher cost of living, while others offer more affordable housing options. 

Whether you’re considering different neighborhoods within the same city or exploring housing markets in neighboring towns, keeping an open mind can lead you to discover affordable housing solutions that meet your needs and preferences.

7. Look for subsidized options

Subsidized housing can be a great option for those seeking affordable living. These programs, offered by cities and states, provide assistance in reducing rent costs for low-income individuals and families. Contact your local housing authority to learn about available programs.

As you begin the search for a home, consider these 7 tips as guiding principles to navigate the complex housing market and make informed decisions. By leveraging these insights, you can empower yourself to find an affordable housing option that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle preferences, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to your new home.

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