In an earlier post, we told those of you thinking about making the leap to the Bay Area that while there is a lot to make your heartstrings zing here, come with your checkbook. Bay Area rents picked up steam in 2018, according to RealPage, a real estate analytics firm.
Although rents are expected to grow more slowly in 2019 thanks to new construction, the Bay Area remains one of the most competitive rental markets in the country. As you might suspect, expensive cities come with high credit standards. A study by RentGrow confirms that Bay Area housing providers have a high bar when evaluating creditworthiness for the purpose of comparing your overall risk profile to other rental applicants. Scores north of 700 are ideal, according to those who follow the metrics of renters in the Bay Area.
Caring for your credit score will surely pay off when it comes to finding a place to live, and so Bay Property Group recommends you find out where you stand and how you can improve, keeping tabs over time.
You can ignore your credit, but your credit won’t ignore you
As a starting point, check your credit report before you begin the apartment shopping process and dispute any errors that can be dragging down your score. There are several opportunities to build, improve and maintain your credit to minimize risk for landlords, and Credit Karma offers some tips.
- Do pay your bills on time
- Do pay down your debt
- Do diversify your credit mix
- Don’t open too many new credit cards at the same time
- Don’t close old credit cards
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest nonprofit dedicated to improving financial well-being and has a wealth of other tips and resources.
Credit score not a utopia – other factors come into play
A credit score is a simple concept: A hard and fast number based on the information within your credit report. It helps lenders determine how likely you are to pay back your loans and helps landlords gauge your ability to pay your rent on time. Yet the actual score is not the only barometer. Rental property owners will probably also put a finger on an applicant’s income, with many applying a standard that income should exceed the rent by three times.
We’re in this together
In parting thoughts, Bay Property Group recommends you take charge of your finances to secure your dream apartment. No matter what your financial picture is, we look forward to embarking on the journey – contact our office today.