Spruce Up Your Rental Home for Cheap

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Spruce Up Your Rental Home for Cheap
Living in a rental home can be frustrating when it comes to home improvements. You want to dress up the place, but it's technically not yours, so you fear you'll lose your security deposit down the line if you make any big changes. Luckily, there are a few ways to spruce things up without breaking the bank, or your contract.

If you want to add some budget-friendly flair to your kitchen, try swapping out your old cabinet handles with some newer, more stylish hardware. On sites like Anthropologie, you can find tons of options on snazzy cabinet knobs and handles some for as low as $8. Switching out your doorknobs, light switches, even your kitchen faucets can help you rejuvenate your space without the pricey renovations.

Next, removable wallpaper is an easy way to give your old walls a touch-up without the permanence of paint. You can find some online for as little as $25 for 56 square feet. If you're just looking to add a little burst of color without covering your whole wall, Target also offers vinyl wall decals for as low as $10 per set. Not only are these easy to apply, you can peel them right off and use them over and over again.

Finally, if you want to add some life to your old floors, try using modular carpet tiles. These require no adhesive to assemble, and you can find them on sites like Home Depot for as little as $1 per square foot.

Just because you don't own your home doesn't mean you can't customize it. Give these quick, low-cost improvements a try and you can jazz your place up, while keeping your costs down.

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Spruce Up Your Rental Home for Cheap -- Savings Experiment
Can't afford to buy or borrow? These 20 metropolitan areas -- all with populations greater than 1 million -- are bucking the trend of fast-rising rental rates.

Sources: Global Real Analytics, rental data; U.S. Census Bureau, population and income. Average rent is for 1,000 sq.-ft. apartment. Population data based on 2005 estimates. Median income is for past 12 months by 2005 inflation-adjusted dollars.

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Population: 1,156,812
Average household income: $22,924
Average rent for class A apartments: $723
Average rent for class B apartments: $612
One-year change in class A apartment rent: +6.1%

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Population: 1,090,126
Average household income: $23,315
Average rent for class A apartments: $738
Average rent for class B apartments: $606
One-year change in class A apartment rent: +4.9%

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Population: 1,260,905
Average household income: $23,178
Average rent for class A apartments: $761
Average rent for class B apartments: $618
One-year change in class A apartment rent: +4.6%

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Population: 1,640,591
Average household income: $27,131
Average rent for class A apartments: $763
Average rent for class B apartments: $588
One-year change in class A apartment rent: +3.6%

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Population: 1,708,625
Average household income: $27,321
Average rent for class A apartments: $769
Average rent for class B apartments: $611
One-year change in class A apartment rent: +3.2%

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