Taking Advantage of Move-in Specials

by CSA Staff on March 25th, 2021 in Apartments

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Moving comes with plenty of its own challenges, but you know what can make help minimize the stress of moving to a new space? Move-in specials. While not every housing opportunity comes with a perfectly packaged move-in special to help you save during your big move, you can take some steps to ensure that you are actively looking out for move-in specials. Keep reading for the low-down on move-in specials and how you can take advantage of them.


via Pexels

What are typical move-in specials? 

Move-in specials are common with properties looking to increase the number of applicants, and getting available units filled as quickly as possible with great tenants.

New properties often come with move-in specials for many reasons. For one, as they are new units, they don't come with a reputation of great property management or ideal living. Instead, they are more likely to attract tenants with tantalizing move-in specials to get their first round of tenants. New properties do not have the benefit of word-of-mouth advertising, so move-in specials can help boost advertising for them. While newer units are typically more pricey, the move-in specials could be the thing that makes signing the lease worth it.

One of the most common move-in specials is a waived application fee, which usually costs between $50 to $75. It may not seem like much of a benefit, but if you are applying to multiple properties, saving that small amount for another application fee can help you plenty and help more in the long run. Another discount that may be offered as a move-in special is a reduced security deposit or your first month of rent free.

If you aren't new to renting, you know how pricey security deposits can be as they typically are one to three months' worth of rent, so getting a discount on your security deposit can help reduce the amount of money you are paying up front dramatically. Or, your move-in special could be a reduced amount in your first month of rent or have it be entirely free, which doesn't need an explanation as to why it's such a great deal.

Another move-in special you may encounter is a deal on longer lease lengths. Typically, you are going to be paying a higher price for month-to-month leases or shorter leases. Property managers want long-term tenants -- it is more security for them financially and they are less likely to worry about a higher turnover rate. With that being said, you may get a move-in special if you are signing a longer lease, such as one that is longer than a year. As mentioned previously, this can be a reduced security deposit or reduced monthly rent.

Pay attention to timing 

If you have been looking to move for a while, you may notice that move-in specials are more likely to be available during certain times of the year than others. While it may sound less than ideal to move in the middle of a busy holiday season, like fall through winter, you may be more likely to find move-in specials during the holidays. Property management recognizes when they are well past their normal busy leasing season and are more willing to offer move-in specials while they get fewer and fewer applicants during the slow parts of the year.

Speaking of timing, you also want to make sure you aren't spending too much time lingering on a move-in special. Think about that one time you were eyeing something that went on sale, waiting for the price to lower down or for something better to come along, only to find the item sold out before you could actually buy it. The same thing goes for great move-in specials. If you think it is too good to be true, others are also thinking it's an amazing deal and are more than willing to take advantage. If you are applying for a competitive unit, be quick to take advantage of move-in specials while you can...they may not be around for long.

Don't be afraid to take initiative

Maybe you are looking at a rental and there's no move-in special on the table, or one being openly advertised. Do not be afraid to take initiative and ask if there's a move-in special available. If the property management is looking to fill units as quickly as possible or like you as a potential tenant, you never know what they may be willing to offer to get you fully committed and signing a leasing agreement. It can be something as simple as waived application fees to something more beneficial like reduced rent.

Worst case scenario, they say there's no additional move-in special available and you will get the same deal initially offered. You will never know what opportunities are available until you ask, so why not take that shot if you can?

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