Lately, finding a good apartment in Texas has become a bit of a challenge. It’s definitely not as daunting as in New York or California, but it’s still, you may come across a few obstacles, especially if this is your first apartment hunting experience. But don’t worry, you won’t end up homeless if you rely on these tips. Follow this little guide and you will find an apartment in the great state of Texas in no time!
Establish your budget
For starters, study how much money you make and what part of that you can afford to spend on rent. After you pay all your current expenses, what is your income? Can you make the rent for a neighborhood you like? Usually, Texans spend a max of 25% of their income on accommodation, so calculate wisely.
If you see that your budget is not satisfactory for a new place, start saving. Without money to meet expenses, you won’t get an apartment. But, with some money saved up, you can sign your contract as soon as you see something that fits your standards.
Prepare your documents
Rental applications can be very annoying, especially if other renters also want the unit you’re interested in. To get everything going quickly, make sure to have all the documentation ready when meeting the landlord. Prepare your pay stubs, reference letters, and even your biography so that your landlord can get to know you a bit better. It’s important to show that you’re responsible and able to pay the rent, keep the place clean and be cordial with the neighbors.
Choose the right location
Now it’s time to actually go searching for your Texas haven. The first rule you need to keep in mind is to find a spot that’s near the center of the action for you. If you want to move to Abilene, check the map and see where are all the offices, schools and entertainment buildings. When searching for Abilene apartments, you’ll notice a bunch of units that might fit your description, so study them and pick a few you would want to see. After you arrive for the inspection, ask about smaller amenities like grocery stores, ATMs and bus stops in the vicinity. If the location checks most of the boxes, you can continue your inspection.
Write a list of necessities
Everyone has a few essentials they can’t live without. Some need air conditioning while others don’t mind the heat as long as there are good views and a nice balcony for plants. If the apartment is missing one or two of your must-haves, ask the landlord whether you can make any changes to the place. It’s important to feel at home in your potential apartment.
Watch out for hazards
Of course, make sure that the building or complex has good COVID-19 measures in place, but that’s not all that should concern you. Look out for water damage, mold, and pests. If you notice any health and safety issues around, it’s best to keep walking (landlords are legally obliged to fix them, so if they are still standing, don’t expect any improvements in the future). Check the reviews for your potential apartment or building—pest and maintenance problems will be right up there if any.
Know what you owe
If an apartment matches your wishes and needs, make sure to study your contracts well. Many first-time renters think they only need to make rent once a month, but it’s not that simple. Sure, you owe a rental check, but you also might need to pay your electric, water and other utility bills. There are certain insurance and maintenance costs you may also need to pay for, so take a good look at your budget.
Document the condition of the unit
If you want to get your security deposit back 100%, make sure to document the condition of the unit when you first move in and leave. It’s important to do this before you sign the lease agreement. Take photos of the unit and make sure they are tagged with the date and location. If your phone or camera doesn’t offer that option, you can put a newspaper with the date in the photo.
Get renters insurance
Once you’re ready to move to your new place, there’s only one more thing to handle—renters insurance. Many property owners in Texas require that you carry renters insurance before you take possession of the rental. Usually, renters insurance is there to help you handle the risks associated with the property, and it contains property coverage and liability coverage. The first one helps you with repairs and replacement of your own items and the second one helps you in case a guest gets injured on the property. If you cause property damage to a third party, insurance might also come in handy.
Now that you have everything covered, it’s time to move. Since Texas is absolutely huge, moving might be an issue, so set some money aside for professional movers. When everything is settled and all the documents are signed, you can start your new life in the state of Texas.