Top 10 Tips for Apartment Hunting
Are you looking to move into your first apartment, but are unsure where to start or what to look for in a place?
For some people, apartment hunting is fun and exciting, but for most, the task can be daunting and tiring. We have experts living in North Austin, South Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and McKinney that have helped us create this list to help you find a great space for your first apartment in our great state of Texas!
10 Best Tips for First Time Apartment Hunting in Texas
- Find the right neighborhood: The first rule of real estate, apartments included, is to find a spot near the center of the action. What is the “center of the action” to you? Is it a neighborhood close to work or downtown? Is it a neighborhood that has great restaurants or entertainment? Can you find amenities like grocery stores and banks close by? You have to think about the factors that are most important to you and find the neighborhoods that checks all (or at least most) of those boxes.
- Make a list of your must-haves: An apartment isn’t everyone’s dream home, so you need to make a list of the things that are essential for your place. Some examples we’ve come across are air conditioning, granite counters, a good view, free cable, in-suite laundry, etc. Depending on whether you’re buying or renting, we recommend contacting landlords to ask if you’ll be able to paint or hang pictures in your new apartment. This is an important must-have for a lot of people we’ve helped move in the past. Making a place your own is important!
- Consider the ease of your move: Moving from your mom’s place to a ninth-floor apartment might not be a great idea if you have to move yourself! If hiring apartment movers isn’t in your budget, make sure to pay attention to what moving into a new place would look like in terms of packing, moving, and unpacking all your belongings.
- Establish your budget: Start by knowing how much money you make and what you can spend on a new apartment. What is your income after paying your current bills? Can you afford the rent for a certain apartment or neighborhood? A good rule of thumb is to only spend around 25% of your income on housing.
- Don’t forget to shop around: Do your research and take note of all the different apartments in your neighborhood of choice. Spend time in the neighborhood to get a better feel for the day and nightlife. You may be surprised to find nightlife is too noisy around one apartment, or the bus stop you need is too far.
- Consider the amount of storage you’ll need: Look for a place that has closets and cabinets or units that maximize their limited space. Wasted space is dead space and is not worth paying for. For example, if you’re someone who loves to fish or golf you’re going to need that extra storage space. There’s nothing worse than having to get rid of things you don’t necessarily want to get rid of just because you don’t have enough space. Make note of your inventory and as you look at apartments imagine where you’ll put all your stuff.
- Watch for health and safety hazards: We’re not just referring to safety measures put in place for COVID-19, we’re also referring to water damage, mold, pests, or worse, a combination of all three! A landlord is legally responsible for dealing with health and safety issues, so if they haven’t already, they most likely never will. A good tip is to check out the online reviews for an apartment. Pest problems or maintenance issues are usually the first things people will complain about in a review!
- Prepare all of your documents: Rental applications can be daunting, especially when you’re competing with a bunch of other potential tenants for a great apartment! Make sure to have all of your documents ready before meeting with your potential new landlord. This includes documents like past pay stubs, letters of reference, and possibly a bio so they can get to know you a little better. Landlords want to know that you’re responsible to not only pay the rent on time but that you can keep the place clean and are respectful of your neighbors.
- Save for the first month’s rent and security deposit: Without money for either of these expenses, you will not be able to find an apartment. Start saving early so you can lock in a place once you fall in love with it!
- Consider professional apartment movers: Finding a place can be stressful and an experienced apartment mover is worth the money. Make sure you budget for them and choose Einstein Moving Company if you are looking for a dependable and professional mover in either North Austin, South Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or McKinney!
Let us help you with your next apartment move — if you have any questions about your next move, don’t be afraid to ask!