A variety of factors must be considered when choosing the best time to rent an apartment. Ideally, to get the best options, a potential renter should have sufficient cash flow and savings. But by being savvy, renters can get great deals by waiting to rent at a time when rental rates are lowest.

Inventory is Highest in the Summer

The busiest rental-moving period is between the months of May and September because a number of life changes tend to occur in these months. For example, many high school graduates are leaving home, and college graduates are seeking real estate close to where they will start their careers. Also, warmer weather makes for more convenient loading and unloading of furniture.

These life and weather changes during the summer season mean a much higher turnover rate. Thus, finding an apartment is easier, and there is a wider selection of apartments to choose from. However, precisely because the summer season sees the highest levels of rental activity, demand for rental space is extremely high. This boosts the cost of rental fees, sometimes up to double what might be negotiated during the off-peak seasons of winter and fall. Also, with the additional demand, the quest for the perfect apartment leads to higher-than-normal competition for the same space and forces individuals to act fast to lock in an apartment.

Winter is Best for Savings

The lowest rental rates are found during the winter season, particularly right after the Christmas-New Year's holiday season. Demand is typically at its lowest at this time of the year, when fewer renters are interested in moving. Individuals renting between the months of January and March typically find the best rental bargains. However, low levels of moving activity and turnover typically means that it is more difficult to find exactly the type of apartment you would like at this time.

How to Apartment Hunt

Once a target moving season has been determined, narrow the choice down to a specific month. For example, consider that the target move month is August. The ideal time to begin the search for an appropriate apartment is at the end of the month prior to the target move month; so, in this example, begin the apartment hunt during the last two weeks of July.

While this tactic may seem somewhat last minute, it is optimal because the majority of renters have leases that expire at the end of a month or within the first few days of the next month. Renters that are about to leave vacancies will have given, or will be giving, their 30-day notices during this time, and individuals are apt to get first choice of available space if they begin their apartment search within that time frame.

Individuals willing to take a gamble or who have the flexibility to move on a moment’s notice could employ a different apartment-hunting approach. Waiting until the second week of the month to move can prove lucrative as landlords trying to fill vacancies become more eager to secure new renters.

The Bottom Line

The best time to rent depends largely on an individual's circumstances with respect to desired housing, price and moving flexibility. Individuals most concerned about having the best options in apartment living should target May through September while individuals focused primarily on price should target October through April.

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There are a wide variety of markets in which one can invest money. The main markets are stocks (equities), bonds, forex (currency), options and derivatives, and physical assets. Furthermore, within each of these types of markets, there can be even more specialty markets.

Stocks

The market that is most familiar to the average investor is the stock market. This market allows investors to buy and sell shares of ownership in publicly traded companies. Money is made in this market in two main ways.

The first is through capital gains, in which the value of each share increases in value. The second is through dividends, in which companies pass on income to investors.

Bonds

The debt market is used by governments, companies, and financial intermediaries to issue debt instruments to raise capital. The debt issuers then make regular payments to debt holders in the form of coupon payments and, once the debt matures, pay back the principal on the debt.

The most common type of financial instruments issued in this market are bonds, bills, notes, and certificates of deposit. There are also more exotic types of debt including mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO).

Foreign Exchange (Forex)

The forex market allows investors to speculate on changes in the exchange rates between currencies. Investors will purchase one currency by selling another in the hope that the currency they purchased goes up in value compared to the one they sold.

In this market, because the moves between currencies are generally small and investments are shorter term, a lot of leverage is used. Some forex brokers allow leverage as high as 500:1, which means that you can control $500 for every $1 you invest.

Physical Assets

The investment in physical assets is essentially the purchase of assets such as metals, jewelry, real estate, cattle, and much more. In this market, investors hope that the price for which they can sell an asset is more than what they paid for it. The risks and costs associated with this type of investment will differ with each type of physical asset. For example, there can be holding fees on gold, and if you own cattle, the cost of caring for them is considerable.

Derivatives

The last major type of investment is an expansion of all of the above types of markets. Derivatives are securities that derive their value from an underlying asset such as a stock, interest rate, currency, or physical asset.

Investors in these types of securities can go long or short on the underlying asset and can purchase either the right or obligation to purchase or sell it. As the value of the underlying asset changes, the value of the derivative changes as well. The major types of derivatives are options, futures, or forwards