How to Figure Out Your Luxury Apartment Rent Budget 

Crunch the Numbers Like a Pro to Dial in Your Ideal Budget for an Upscale Rental

Rent prices for high-end apartments aren’t the same across the board. In fact, from Houston and Austin to San Antonio, Dallas, and beyond, luxury apartment rent prices can vary widely — and knowing your budget can go a long way toward helping you zero in on your best options.

To help determine your budget and what you can really afford in monthly rent costs, this 3-minute guide on luxury apartment rent budgets walks you through:

If you know your budget and/or you’re ready for a curated list of apartment listings perfectly tailored to your needs and budget, simply contact Apartment Gurus. We offer 100% FREE apartment locator services, cash back when you sign a lease, and some of the most experienced apartment locators in the business.

What to Factor into Your Luxury Apartment Rent Budget  

What rent price ranges can help you narrow down your next search for an ultra-upscale apartment? 

Don’t pick numbers out of thin air to answer that question. Instead, get a realistic answer by looking at your: 

Luxury Apartment Rent Budget
  • Income: What do you bring home every month after taxes? Add up all of your routine, recurring earnings, including paychecks and any other incoming revenue you have each month. This total will be a “starting point” for budget calculations. It’s also a good number to keep in mind when it comes to the rules of thumb for calculating monthly rent (more on this below).
  • Expenses: How much are your monthly bills? Total up all of your expenses, including living expenses, automatic payments, and recurring expenditures from month to month. Subtract your expenses from your income to get one step closer to calculating your luxury apartment rent budget.
  • Plans: Do your plans for the future depend on you having more in your savings (because, for instance, you’re looking to buy a home or a car)? Do you plan to travel or even move in with a significant other? Whatever your plans look like, it’s smart to consider them as you figure out your high-end rental budget. If you do, you can avoid overbudgeting, forgetting about key expenditures, or overlooking what you actually need in your next luxury apartment.

These may not be the only factors to consider when you’re figuring out your budget for an upscale apartment. Once you know these details, however, they can be a great starting point for taking the next steps.

3 Steps to Calculate Your Upscale Apartment Rent Budget

Your income, expenses, and plans can all serve as a foundation for budgeting for rent costs. With that (and a little more), here’s a simple process for dialing in that budget, so you can get it defined by a realistic dollar range that truly makes sense for you.

Income & Luxury Apartment Rent Costs

1. Take a critical look at your monthly income.

Pinpointing your monthly income is helpful, but it may be more complicated than just looking at last month’s pay stub for some renters. In fact, whether you work on commission or tips — or you’ve recently changed jobs or roles — it can be more helpful to:

  • Average your income over the past year.
  • Reference this year’s and last year’s tax statements.
  • Err on the side of caution and round down to keep your estimates on the “safer” side.

 2. Determine what you’re spending — and what you need to spend — each month.

As you add up your monthly expenses, be sure to account for: 

  • Living expenses, like utilities and internet
  • Monthly bills, such as student loan payments, credit card bills, and/or cell phone bills
  • Monthly memberships, like mail-order subscriptions and/or streaming services
  • Other expenditures, such as the average monthly costs for dining out, entertainment, travel, and other discretionary (“fun”) expenses
  • Any routine “investments,” like retirement contributions

Don’t forget to also think about monthly costs that could disappear when you move into a super-high-end rental. For instance, you could say “goodbye” to your monthly gym membership after you move into a luxury apartment because you’ll now have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center with new workout equipment, a yoga room, and so much more.

3. Use a couple of “rules” to come up with your luxury apartment rent budget.

There’s no universal rent “formula” that works 100% of the time for every renter. That’s because everyone’s situation is unique, and one equation can’t solve the budget question all by itself.

Instead, it’s usually better to apply these rules of thumb, using your income and expense numbers from the two steps above: 

Rules to Calculate Luxury Apartment Rent Budget
  • The 30% Rent Rule: Your rent payments shouldn’t exceed 30% of your gross income each month (i.e., income before taxes), according to this rule. Developed in the early ‘80s and criticized for its limited view, this rule can be helpful for quick estimates. Industry experts advise against using this rule as the sole way of figuring out rent budgets, however, because it leaves out so many key financial factors, like taxes and other expenses. 
  • The 40 Multiple Rent Rule: Affordable rent, according to this rule, is calculated based on the total annual income for a household. If that income is less than 40 times the monthly rental costs (i.e., 40 x the cost of month per rent), the rental costs are not considered to be affordable, per this rule. Like the 30% Rent Rule, the 40-Multiple Rent Rule offers a pigeonhole view of rent affordability, leaving out some key factors to shake out some fast-and-less-precise answers.
  • The 50-30-20 Rent Rule: Your total living expenses, including rent and utilities, should be less than 50% of your net income each month (i.e., income after taxes), according to this rule. This one also stipulates that 30% of your income should go to discretionary spending while 20% should go into savings, including retirement and emergency savings accounts. Far more detailed than the 30% Rent Rule and the 40 Multiple Rent Rule, the 50-30-20 Rent Rule can be a helpful way to balance out more financial needs and obligations when figuring out what you can afford in monthly rent costs.

What Type of Luxury Apartment Can I Afford?

You could afford more than you think, especially if you: 

  • Take advantage of move-in deals and special offers: Many luxury apartments offer exclusive discounts to new residents, like a month or more of free rent. Others may offer gift cards. These specials tend to vary by season and across different luxury apartment communities, so it’s generally best to look around and ask leasing agents about any available move-in deals.
  • Work with a FREE apartment locator and get CASH BACK: The apartment locators at Apartment Gurus work with renters for FREE, sending the curated listings right to their inbox and making it easy to find the ideal luxury apartment, based on their needs and budget. We also share our commissions (paid by property management companies) with renters when they sign a lease. That can put money in renters’ pockets to cover security deposits, moving costs, and so much more.

When it’s time to fast-track your high-end rental search with some of the most experienced apartment locators in Texas, it’s time to contact Apartment Gurus of Gurus Realty.

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