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ArlingtonReal EstateSurvey: Renters stressed as housing search gets more complicated

Survey: Renters stressed as housing search gets more complicated

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Finding and landing a rental is stressing people out.

The typical monthly rent in the U.S. has soared to a record high of $2,031, and a new Zillow survey shows how tired and burnt out Americans are as they search for new homes and apartments. Two in five recent renters said they lost sleep during their search, with many fretting about cost, communication and competition.

Not being able to find an affordable rental is the most common stressor, with 38 percent of renters noting it as one of the most stressful parts of their search, which coincides with rents jumping 24 percent in just the past two years.

In addition to stress caused by runaway prices, 26 percent of renters said keeping track of emails or messages from landlords they contacted was a concern. And 22 percent reported the same of having to compete against other renters.

Renters are making tradeoffs to land a new home in a high-stakes search environment. According to Zillow’s survey, 77 percent said they made compromises to afford their most recent rental, with the most common being settling for a place that didn’t have all of the features they wanted, such as new appliances, A/C or a balcony. Just under a third of recent renters (30%) said they ended up renting a smaller property than they had planned.

“Rising rents are only adding to the pressure renters feel during what is already an emotional and challenging process,” said Zillow home-trends expert Amanda Pendleton. “Renters are often staring down a deadline to leave their current rental, and with competition so intense, they need to make decisions quickly. This survey shows even if renters are making compromises to land an apartment, many are still suffering emotional and physical strain.”

Peak rental season is here, and many renters are just starting their search. Zillow’s survey found 76 percent of renters said they would have done at least one thing differently in their most recent rental search.

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