class, conservative neighborhoods, such as
Oak Hill and Circle C Ranch.
East Austin: East Austin is the epitome of
Austin eclecticism. Although it used to be
considered the poorest part of the city, the
area is now mostly a hipster neighborhood.
Old houses and funky remodels sit next to
sleek, modern developments. Southeast
Austin is home to a lot of University of Texas
students, likely because of the large numbers
of apartments and other rental properties in
HOW TO FIND AN APARTMENT
With such a competitive market, and the
variety of neighborhoods in an ever more
eclectic Austin, how do you find a great
Austin apartment? Like anywhere in the U.S.,
there is always Craigslist and newspaper listings. If you already live in Austin, you could
also drive around the part of town you think
you might want to live in. With demand so
high, many apartment managers just put
up signs in front of the building. If you live
across the country, however, finding a great
Austin apartment can be more difficult.
There are a lot of things that can complicate
an apartment hunt, like a limited budget or
having pets. Austin is a very pet-friendly city.
For example, there are over 200 restaurants
in Austin that allow leashed dogs in their
outdoor or patio seating areas. That’s not to
say, however, that every apartment complex
will allow pets. Pets often mean more liability
for a landlord, and some complex-owners
choose to avoid problems by simply not
allowing pets. Overall, however, quite a few
places in Austin are pet-friendly. Some places
have restrictions on species, size, and breed.
Breeds that are considered aggressive, like pit
bulls, for example, are restricted from many
otherwise pet-friendly buildings. If you come
across an apartment that does not allow pets,
try offering to get pet liability insurance. The
landlord may change his or her mind.
Having a restricted budget can also make
an apartment search difficult, particularly in
a market with as much demand as Austin.
You may be tempted to rush into a commitment to secure a great deal before someone
else snatches it up. As anyone who has surfed
Craigslist apartment listings in any city will
know, deals that are too good to be true,
usually are. The fastest, easiest, and safest way
to find the perfect apartment in your budget is
to get help from a local — and Austin has a
lot of apartment locating resources.
Many apartment hunters from other cities
don’t think they need an apartment locator
to help them find a great place. The Austin
market is a very different beast, however.
While new apartment buildings seem to pop
up daily, there’s also a lot of demand for
them. Somewhere between 94% and 98%
of Austin apartments are occupied at any
given time, so finding an open place is tough.
“What you look at today will probably be
gone within 24 hours,” says Reeh.
AND TENANT RIGHTS
While finding an apartment in Austin may
be difficult, actually securing it can be even
harder. Once you’ve found the perfect apartment, you’ll want to snatch it up. It’s a
renter’s market, here in Austin, so taking a lot
of time to haggle over price or look at renter’s
insurance before signing a contract might be
a huge mistake. Be prepared to take the next
step by understanding Austin’s housing regulations, renters insurance options, and your
rights as a tenant — before your hunt for the
perfect apartment even starts.
Renter’s Insurance: All landlords are required
by the city of Austin to have insurance for
their building. This won’t however, protect
your personal items in the event that they
are stolen or damaged. In Austin, housing
laws allow landlords to require tenants to get
renters insurance, and a landlord can specify
a minimum limit for your policy. It’s a good
idea to speak with an insurance agent before
even beginning apartment hunting, to speed
up the renting process. Create a list of what
you own and each item’s value, and make
sure you buy enough to cover it all.
In addition to covering your personal property, renters insurance can cover loss of use
and personal liability. Loss of use insurance
covers living expenses, such as food and
rent, if you need to temporarily move out of
your apartment. Personal liability insurance
protects you against personal injury claims or
Photo courtesy of Greystar featuring Groves South Lamar
Photo courtesy of Greystar featuring Platform