How to Find An Affordable Apartment

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In this day and age, knowing how to find an affordable apartment is important. Costs on everything from food to medical costs are increasing.

If you can find a way to reduce your rent costs, you may just be able to better balance your budget. Read on for ideas on how to make apartment living affordable. 

Tips on How to Find an Affordable Apartment

According to this report from Credit Karma, rent prices for one and two-bedroom apartments rose an average of 24.2% from 2021 to 2022. 

With those types of financial crunches, finding affordable apartments is more important than ever before. The ideas listed here can help you do just that. 

1. Look on Facebook Marketplace

There are plenty of ways to make money with Facebook, but did you know Facebook Marketplace can be a great place to find an affordable apartment?

Just login to your Facebook account and go to Marketplace. Next, hit the “Property Rentals” tab to browse available rentals. You can sort by price, number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms, type of rental and more. 

And you can choose the radius you want to search in by choosing the city you prefer and how many miles outside the city you want to search.

You can also add minimum and maximum price points. Choose whether you only want to see rentals listed by individuals.

That last filter is important for those who want to avoid large apartment complex rentals. 

For those of you with pets, there is no filter for pets allowed. This will be an additional step you will need to ask.

2. Check out Zillow

Zillow is another great site for finding affordable apartments. Just go to the Zillow website. Then click on “Rent” in the upper left-hand corner. 

From there, you’ll be able to filter from categories such as price, location, and number of beds and baths.

You’ll be able to choose your housing type, number of stories in the rental building and desired amenities such as a pool.

Bonus: You’ll also be able to choose a filter that includes rentals that allow cats, small dogs and large dogs. 

This is a really nice bonus for those who love–and don’t love–animals. One difference between Facebook Marketplace and Zillow is that Facebook Marketplace gives you a link to a rental owner’s/manager’s Facebook page.

Conversely, Zillow gives you very little information about the property owner. And you can only contact the property owner through Zillow. 

There are no fees to use Zillow to find an apartment.

3. Search was designed for the purpose of helping people find rentals that fit their needs. 

When you visit the website, start by entering the name of the city you want to rent your apartment in.

From there, you can narrow your search using filters such as price, number of bedrooms and lifestyles. Examples include Senior housing, student housing or short-term housing. 

As with Zillow, you won’t be able to contact rental managers/owners directly. Instead, you’ll have to contact them through

And just like Zillow, there’s no cost to use this service to find an apartment. 

4. Get a Roommate or Two

How about getting a roommate or two to help reduce your rent costs? Getting a roommate is one of many great money making ideas

You can find a roommate by asking family members or friends if they want to rent with you.

Or you can advertise for a roommate at places you frequent, such as your place of employment, your college or your favorite coffee shop.

Note that many rentals require you to have roommates listed on the rental applications and/or lease. 

For this reason, you’ll want to be sure to start your roommate search before you find an apartment. 

If you’ve already found your apartment, be sure to ask if they allow additional people on the lease. 

Pro tip: When choosing a roommate or two, be sure to choose people with similar interests and personalities so that everyone in your rental gets along well. 

And decide how payments for rent, utilities, food and more will be divided ahead of time so that there’s no conflicts in this area. 

5. Work at a Remote Job

How can working at a remote job help you find a more affordable apartment? Well, working in big cities where many employers are located tends to mean rentals are more expensive in those areas.

If you find work at a remote job, you can live further out from your employer’s location. You won’t have to drive an hour or more to work and spend money on transportation.

Instead, you get the benefit of living further out where rents are often cheaper. And since you work from home you won’t need to worry about hefty transportation costs. 

Just be sure your cheaper apartment has quality internet access or any other tools you might need to work from home effectively. 

6. Rent a Basement in a Home

I have some friends who used to rent their finished basement out to college kids. The goal was to help college kids have a place to rent outside of the dorms, and to bring in some extra cash.

My friends were able to pay off their mortgage fast with that extra cash. In addition, the renters got an affordable place to live.

Renting a finished basement can sometimes be cheap–especially if you’re renting from a family with kids. 

The prices may be lower because you’re sharing a family’s home and not an apartment that comes with so many rules for tenants. 

If you’re searching to find an affordable apartment, talk to friends, family members and acquaintances about renting their finished basement. 

Or ask if they know anyone who might be willing to rent out a basement area. Whether you’re renting an entire finished basement space or just a bedroom and bathroom, you may be able to find affordable housing with a finished space. 

7. Find a Work-for Rent Situation

Finding a work-for-rent situation may be a doable way to find an affordable apartment as well. 

For instance, you may be able to find a homeowner that will allow you to live in their home in exchange for light handiwork duties. 

Or, you may be able to live with a family who gives you babysitting duties for their children. 

Hint: Check out listings on to find live-in nanny jobs. 

Farm owners often supply rent-free rooms in exchange for help with farm chores. You might be required to muck stalls, work in gardens or tend to fences. 

In order to find a work-for-rent situation, you may need to do some research. Another idea is to post in the housing wanted/room wanted sections of Craigslist. 

If you do advertise for rooms and housing wanted, be sure to specify:

  • What area you want to live in
  • Exactly what you’re looking for (and not looking for)
  • What type of work you’re willing to do (and not do)
  • Whether or not you will pay rent in addition to your work trade

Of course, you’ll want to vet potential landlords and see the house/apartment in advance to be sure the offer is right for you. 

8. Search on Walk Score

Walk Score specializes in helping you find walkable places to live. They score available rentals in a number of ways, one of which is walkability. 

In other words, can you walk to get your groceries, go to work, go to the post office, pharmacy and other places from the apartment’s location? 

Rentals are rated from 0 to 100 based on how car-dependent the property is. The higher the score, the more “walkable” the apartment is.

The site also has a bike score as well that tells you how “bikeable” the apartment is. Once you’ve determined which area you want to live in, Walk Score will take you to their apartment search partner’s website; Redfin.  

9. Rent Your Apartment Out on Airbnb

You may be able to reduce your rent by renting out your apartment–or a bedroom in your apartment–on Airbnb

For example, you could rent out a spare bedroom in your apartment and make it available for tourists or business travelers. 

Or you could rent out your entire apartment, on weekends for instance, if you have somewhere else you can stay. 

It’s possible to make a lot of cash per month with Airbnb, depending on your situation.

One thing you’ll want to do before you use this option to lower your rent expenses is to check the terms of your rental contract. 

Be sure there’s no verbiage in the contract that forbids you to rent out or sublet your apartment or rooms in it. 

Use current and similar Airbnb (or VRBO) listings to determine how much you’ll charge to rent your space out. 

10. Sign on to Be a Building Manager

Many apartment building owners will offer rent free living to those who sign on to be a building  caretaker/manager. 

As a building manager for an apartment building, you’ll have some responsibilities. You will be the go-to person to take phone calls from tenants.

Your tenants may call you if there’s a mechanical problem with their apartment such as a leaky faucet or if the heat isn’t working. 

Or they may call you if they are having a problem with another tenant. Sometimes building managers are responsible for collecting rents as well.

Depending on the setup, you may also be responsible for shoveling snow, mowing the lawn and keeping common areas clean. 

You may also be responsible for calling a repair person if a common-use washer or dryer goes out as well. 

Each apartment complex has different rules for building managers. But accepting a position as apartment building manager can mean reduced or free rent for you.

Additionally, you may also get a paid hourly wage with the position. 

Search “apartment caretaker” or “apartment maintenance” in the jobs section of Craigslist to find these positions.   


Learning how to find an affordable apartment may seem like a daunting task. This is especially true in this age of such high rent prices. 

Use the information above to find the right way for you to get an affordable apartment.