Do you wish you could wave a magic wand and your most perfect Austin apartment would effortlessly appear before you? Ah, well…an expert REALTOR® who knows the Austin apartment scene can get you as close to that as possible. Knowing what you want, what you can afford and what you need access to, plus a few tips, and voila! It’s good to begin with realistic expectations when on the hunt for your Austin apartment.
Location, Location, Location! You know the saying. It applies not only to buying property but also to renting – apartments, houses, duplexes, and condos! Where you live can affect much in your life and even your cost of living. Drive, bike or walk around the area you might want to live. Do these neighborhoods feel like home? Is it near the grocery stores and other places you frequent? Is it close to any public transportation you might need? What is the drive-time to work or school and other important activities? Make sure to try out your commute during the times you will actually be commuting, so you can account for traffic.
Congratulations if you can afford exactly what you want. For many of us, our imagination is bigger than our bank account. Think about what your top priorities are in a living situation.
Austin apartment pricing varies based on age, location, size, amenities, quality, upgrades and features. Real estate agents, who know the Austin apartment market, know where specials are being offered on rents, security deposits, application fees, administrative fees, etc.
Rents at Austin apartments can also vary based on timing. Yes, you may contact an Austin apartment complex in the morning and be quoted one price, then by the time you decide to lease it later that day, the price has increased. That’s what happens in a hot, hot, hot market such as Austin’s.
Summer, with so many residents moving, typically presents the highest demand and the highest rental prices for an Austin apartment. Moving during the fall or spring can help, if possible. Although there is a lower supply, there’s typically less demand and thus lower prices.
Most Austin apartments have application fees, administrative fees, security, and pet deposits. They typically require that you have good credit, good rental references, local, verifiable employment and gross, verifiable income equal to at least three times the rent.
Do you want a pool, workout room, community exercise activities, community parties and mixers, a washer and dryer or connections, vaulted ceilings, no one above you, a corner unit, etc.? There’s an Austin apartment out there for just about anyone’s needs and desires.
Do Some Investigating
Real estate agents who are well-versed in the Austin apartment market will show you the best options within your budget that meet your criteria. They have an extensive database to find you exactly what you’re looking for. Read online reviews of Austin apartments with caution…often it’s the tenant who fails to report a problem that is complaining because things didn’t get fixed, when the management never knew about the issue, or the applicant who gets rejected because of demerits in their credit or background, yet they choose to blame the property for their rejection.
TV, Internet, Cell Phone
No matter how lovely your desired Austin apartment, we are all reliant on digital technology these days; and yet, these considerations are sometimes the last on our minds. Or maybe not a thought at all. Find out as much as you can up front.
Try out your cell phone at the Austin apartment you are considering. Coverage varies, particularly in the rolling hills of our lovely city, and you don’t want to be stuck in a place where you will have to seriously consider changing carriers just to be able to reach out to your friends.
Regarding TV and Internet, some Austin apartment complexes have contracts with certain providers. In Austin, it could be AT&T/U-Verse, Time Warner Cable, Grande Communications, or now Google Fiber. Sometimes the tenant has the option of choosing from a few of these providers and sometimes not.
Landlords vary in their willingness to accommodate Dish or Direct TV Services. If that is the service you are seeking, make sure your apartment faces the correct direction. They cannot prohibit you from using a dish, but they can make it inconvenient for you. They may require a deposit, rental insurance, or merely that the equipment not be attached to any part of their property.
As cute and lovable as your little fur baby or your slithery companion is to you, not every Austin apartment allows pets. Many do, but some have restrictions on species, breed, and size. As predicted, breeds that have a reputation for being aggressive are sometimes restricted. Negotiation is always a potential avenue. Liability insurance could alleviate some of your landlord’s concerns. Also ask about the deposit amount for pets, which can range from about $300-$800 per pet. Some Austin apartments also charge a monthly pet fee.
Using a REALTOR® to Locate Your Perfect Austin Apartment
One of the best ways to get help with your search for the right Austin apartment is to find an Austin REALTOR®, who specializes in that market. Habitat Hunters is one of the only Austin REALTORS® with a specialized team handling Austin apartment rentals. A local, experienced real estate agent will know the neighborhoods you are interested in and be able to match the perfect apartment with your desires and needs. Be sure to tell them all of what you hope to find, and ask them to show you apartments you located on your own. Trust their advice and guidance; when an apartment or price is too good to be true, it often is.