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10 Must-Haves for Your 2018 Austin Apartment Search

Austin Craft Realty apartment locator Rebecca West expertly details the 10 Must-Have factors that you ought to consider when hunting for your next apartment. Your time is valuable, so scope this list and give Rebecca a shout to leverage her experience and market knowledge.

Moving can get messy and keeping up with the changes can be a challenge. But the important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll eventually find a place, and we can help!

Before you start your search, it’s important to determine which apartment amenities are need-to-haves and which conveniences you can live without. The list may change as you start to do your search, but zone in on just a few and prioritize by importance.

Because we show and sign leases on the regular, we’ve identified the top 10 non-negotiables you need in your next new place:

  1. Convenience

Each Austin neighborhood has its own personality and set of pros and cons. Most apartment seekers are much more willing to compromise on other comforts if they are in an area that fits their lifestyle. Ask yourself what you need to keep close to avoid hardships. Map out major highways and a few of your routine routes. Even the coolest apartment loses a little of its luster after a 40-minute commute to work or play.

Look for a complex with a comfortable Walk Score and at least a handful of nearby entertainment options. Scoping out the area will help differentiate your next new apartment from the competition.

Helpful Hint: If you’re not as nearby local grocers & watering holes as you’d like to be, seek out alternatives. Determine your delivery zone or run a quick search to discover the vendors and restaurants that deliver the goods to your door.

  1. Parking

It’s easy to assume that conditions during your visit are the way things are 24/7. That’s not always the case, particularly when it comes to parking. Securing a spot during peak hours might get difficult, leaving those without assigned slots left to play parking roulette. Inquire about your options, and don’t forget about your guests. There’s nothing worse than your Bumble date walking a mile to their car or discovering that it’s been ticketed or towed.

Helpful Hint: Be sure to scope out the neighboring streets to see if there is room for spill over!

  1. Alternative Transportation

Back to the towed car scenario. If you have somewhere you need to be and a wrench has been thrown in your getting there accommodations, living on a bus route or a having a backup bike in storage can save your day.

Tragedy doesn’t exactly give you a heads up before it strikes, so you always need to be aware of your alternatives. Our public transit system has some maturing to do, but Austin has stepped up in other ways by offering rideshares and bike rentals to get around town. A select number of apartments even host Smart Car stations on site for resident use.

However you plan on getting from Point A to Point B, make sure you have a secondary solution.

  1. Comfortable Temperatures

Texas is the absolute hottest, and its residents don’t just endure the heat, they survive it. Sure, many parts of the country have it rough, but with record breaking Texas temps year round, centralized air and ceiling fans can make or break a living space.

But renters don’t want to deal with one extreme to another during a shift in seasons. They want temperatures. Both hot and cold. Ask for heating clarification and keep your eyes peeled for pools and fire pits to fill in the gaps.

Helpful Hint: Just because you want your unit to resemble an ice box, doesn’t mean you have to compromise your wallet or environmental beliefs. Older complexes tend to have a more traditional approach to temperature, but we can point you towards the communities that offer green energy solutions to staying chill as well.

  1. Waste Removal and Recycling

It’s easy to get all fired up over a great apartment. But if you put down a nonrefundable deposit without identifying the amenities that could impact your quality of life, you may end up wanting to back out before move in. Determine the distance between you and the closest trash chute. See if your spot offers a way to recycle or a valet service for your disposables.

  1. Security

As a renter, your security concerns are unique and it’s important to consider safety before landing on a new crash pad. Take in the general look and feel of your potential new place. If the landlord can't take care of basic maintenance, he or she probably isn't concerned with general security.

Large properties equal heavy foot traffic, meaning your apartment may have an increased risk of intrusion and burglary. Evaluate the access points. Take note if common areas or certain doors require special keys. Consider the crime rate. Do a late night drive by to gauge the level of light and the number of officers on patrol. Play it safe and find out about any troubling activities in the area before committing to a lease. Safety first ya’ll.

  1. Storage

Since space is generally more limited in an apartment than in a home, it’s important to survey the amount of storage you’re tied to in advance. Sift through cabinets and closets. Evaluate if your hanging space can handle both your summer and winter wardrobes. Study the shelving. Study it all.

Helpful Hint: Let space for your stuff fall lower on the list. You always have the option to outsource extra room elsewhere.

  1. Cell Service and Wifi

So, you’ve looked at the pool and checked out the fitness center, but if you haven’t tested the cell service yet, you still have some work to do. Especially if you plan to work from home often, you need to ensure a strong signal lives. Check the number of bars and search for black spots as you step from room to room. Quiz the onsite agent about cable and internet providers and if common areas administer free access. Spotty service can become increasingly annoying over time. Pick the place that lets you peep your feed with ease.

  1. Laundry

In-unit laundry is the ultimate rental luxury, but you can still curate your perfect setup if the wash room is a close proximity to your place. Most properties provide washers and dryers on-site if the duo doesn’t already come with or can’t be connected to your unit. Put weekly pilgrimages to the laundromat and pockets full of quarters behind you.Helpful Hint: For next level laundry, prospect properties with dry cleaning and door to door services.  

  1. Payment Ease

At this point you probably have a good idea of what you’re looking for, but it’s easy to forget to ask the right questions when you’re at your viewing. Don’t slip up and fail to find out how they expect you to make your monthly payments. Money orders and extra trips are a total turnoff. Go over online portals and other options, and whether fees are associated with each option.Helpful Hint: Uncover if you have the option to pay with a credit card. This not only provides convenience to you as the renter, but also rewards!

Here to Help:

Apartment features vary from building to building, but Austin Craft Realty can connect you to the ones you need, while staying within your budget.

As you evaluate various apartment living possibilities, pay attention to your instincts and remember non-negotiables. Keep in mind that while you’re apartment hunting, so are many others and the first person to put a deposit down wins.

Happy hunting.

These are a lot of things to remember! For a savvy guide to assist you in your Austin apartment hunt, call up the Austin apartment experts at Austin Craft Realty. 

about the author

Rebecca West

Licensed Apartment Locator

Rebecca prides herself on her mastery of both apartment locating and the Austin area. Having recently been through the apartment hunting process in Central Texas, Rebecca understands firsthand the stress associated with moving and the endless options of areas and amenities. She strives to alleviate pain-points and consolidate options that best fit individual client’s needs.

Shortly after moving to Austin, Rebecca picked up writing and she currently contributes to a handful of local publications with a focus on ATX real estate, local business, and vintage art & furnishings. During her own apartment hunt and article research around Austin, Rebecca decided to shift her passion for the real estate industry from a hobby to a career so she can help ease the transition for others.

As a Florida native, former New Yorker, and now Austinite, it’s no question Rebecca has the ability to balance all personalities and preferences. Whether you’re new to town or a long-time local looking to mix things up, Rebecca makes it her sole mission to exceed client’s expectations and find the best place for them.

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