Ellen Sirull
how renters feel about finding a place to live

When you're looking for a new apartment or rental home, there's a lot to consider. Apartment Guide recently surveyed consumers to learn a little more about what's on their minds. Here are some key learnings you can use if you're one of the many Americans on the lookout for a new rental.

Compromises are just a part of renting

It's rare when you're renting or buying a new place to find a home with everything on your wish list that also fits your budget. When surveyed, 74 percent of renters either agreed or strongly agreed that they had to make a sacrifice in order to make their rental stay within their budget.

A very small amount of those surveyed (only 12 percent) strongly disagreed or disagreed that they had to compromise on things. Renters are least likely to compromise on housing type, price and location, yet some amenities and features may get cut in order to afford a home.


When you're starting your search, it's a good idea to make your list of “must haves" and “nice to haves" so you can easily call out along the way what you may need to scratch off your wish list.

See also: How to know if an apartment is the right one for you.

Renters want their home to reflect their style

Even though it's not a place they'll permanently live, the majority of renters want their space to feel like their own. When surveyed, 74 percent of renters agreed or strongly agreed that their space should express their personal style.

Apartment hunters with a higher income ($100,000 or more) are more likely to place more importance on showcasing their style, strongly agreeing with this statement that: “A space should express my personal style."


Keep in mind that you can add things to make an apartment reflect your style after you move in so it may not be necessarily something you have to find in the unit or as an amenity or feature.

Location is key

Over half of renters surveyed indicated location is critical, as 54 percent of those surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that the location of a property matters more than the unit itself.

This is no surprise since proximity to work and school is often important components of deciding on where to live. Having a specific location is more important to renters who are married and have children living with them.


Looks matter

What other components are big parts of the rental conversation? Nearly half of American renters also indicated that aesthetics are important (48 percent of those surveyed said that they agreed or strongly agreed that aesthetics are more important than things like updated appliances).

Also, almost half of renters are fine keeping things simple, which can be key in helping keep costs down. When asked if the most basic property works for them, 47 percent agreed or strongly agreed that it does, although men are more likely to strongly agree.

Survey methodology

This blind online survey conducted by RentPath Research from October 8 to 10, 2018, is based on 1,044 consumers who have searched online for a place to rent as their primary residence. The national sample was sized proportionally by gender, age and ethnicity to align with the U.S. Census.



About The Author

Ellen Sirull

Ellen Sirull has been a writer for 15 years, covering topics from personal finance to identity protection to professional development. Her work has been featured on CNBC, New York Daily News, Fox News, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, Experian and the Identity Theft Resource Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.