The geographic size and boundaries of the great state of Texas have not moved an inch in many decades, but that doesn’t mean the Lone Star State isn’t growing especially in terms of Dallas apartments. Interestingly, that nickname wasn’t made official until just a few years ago, but the state has far from one ‘lone star’ of a city. Many of the urban areas are growing, but none quite as much as the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area. Many corporations and companies are either relocating their headquarters here or ramping up their local presence.
That economic growth is also drawing in thousands of new residents consistently, and it means that the local housing market is rushing to keep up. Many choose to live in Dallas apartments rather than homes. Some just don’t have the money to save up for a house yet, whereas others are downsizing and like the simplicity and flexibility. Others just prefer the locations many Dallas apartments have in relation to their jobs.
If you are hunting for the many apartment options in this area, keep reading to learn 20 factors to keep in mind:
1) Renting versus ownership: Even though most apartments in Dallas are going to be available only for renting or leasing, some are going to be on the market for actual ownership. These are likely to be premium properties for high lifestyles, and in prominent locations, such as downtown or great neighborhoods.
2) Amenities: Many residents love apartment living because they can call maintenance when things break down in their homes, they don’t have to keep up with any yard work, and there might be things like fitness centers, swimming pools, and even fitness centers. If you have specifics you’d like to have at your fingertips, then know which properties have them and which ones do not.
3) Location: The location of an apartment property can matter a lot. If it’s right on a major road, you might have easy in and out, should you own a car, but you might also have a lot of noise. Some apartments in less desirable corners of Dallas might be cheaper, but they also might not be as safe. Also look for how much industry, retail, or even other apartments there are around a particular property. Statistics from quite a few cities show that a neighborhood with at least a 30 percent home ownership rate has far lower crime rates, so apartments in areas like that are safer.
4) Access to transit connections and transportation: If you don’t own a car, or you don’t like driving that much, you need some way to get around. Being close to city busing and other means of getting around is a must, particularly if it’s a transit artery that can connect you to the rest of the city.
5) The floor you’ll be on: Being on the ground floor certainly is convenient when you’re bringing groceries home multiple nights a week. However, being higher up means less chance of a unit above you flooding you, as well as less noise and more safety. You might even save a little on your renter’s insurance.
6) Age restrictions: Some communities only allow those 55 and older in age to be residents or even guests, which was a change to federal housing regulations in the 1990s to allow for senior communities. In such environments, older citizens can group together and bond, enjoying their seasoned and golden years. If you or anyone in your family is under that age, you won’t be able to take advantage of such a place though.
7) Security on-site: Even in the nicer sides of town, you can sleep a lot more comfortably knowing there is apartment security on-site or easily summoned. Gated communities with CCTV systems are great, but the actual personnel that can arrive faster than police or for situations that don’t dictate 911 calls is a great benefit. Their mere presence often keeps the calm and quiet.
8) How good the maintenance department is: Given that many leases involve online rent payments these days, you might deal with maintenance more than anyone else while you live in a Dallas apartment. Hopefully, you won’t need them much, but how fast they respond, how quickly they fix things, how well they actually fix things, and what mess they might leave behind all impact the quality of your life in your temporary home. Looking the complaints of previous residents online is a really good idea, considering how impactful this can be on the reputation of a property. Once you sign a lease, you’re stuck there for the duration, as you can’t really withhold rent for failed repairs or lack of response. There are legal avenues for those, but not paying the rent isn’t one of them in most cases.
9) Office hours on the property: Some apartments might be individual units, possibly even in the basement or above the garage of a standalone home. Others might be small buildings run out of a general property office somewhere else in town. Many larger complexes will have on-site offices, and the days and hours they are open can matter a lot. Even though you’ll likely have a mailbox for regular letters, bills, and magazines, any larger packages are likely to be left at the office and not at your doorstep considering how much foot traffic might be coming through. If your schedule of being home doesn’t line up well with being able to pick these up or go talk to them about other things, it can get inconvenient. Just keep in mind that while Saturday and Sunday hours of availability might look convenient, that’s also when many folks are stopping by to find out prices and tour units.
10) Lease lengths: Options will vary on the property, but they could run from three months to a year and a half. You’ll usually have multiple options though, and locking in a longer deal usually means savings over time. If you find a property you like that doesn’t have a lease option matching the length of time you want to stay though, don’t be afraid to ask about something custom. Many large properties like to stagger lease endings so they don’t have too many units empty out in one month, as that hits their cash flow and makes maintenance too busy, but they might can work with you.
11) Entry-level specials: Many places love running low prices for new residents to draw them in. You might get preferred employer discounts based on your job, or particular fees waived, such application fees or first month pet fees. They might also waive deposits or discount your first month rent.
12) How much leases go up at renewal: This can be really hard to figure out, but if you look at their numbers long enough from one daily special to the next, you’ll see the patterns. Reading previous tenant feedback can be telling, but only to a point. Anyone happy with their renewal options is likely still there and not venting online about how they had to move to save money.
13) Renewal options: On top of the rates of your renewal options, you should also ask in advance about what the common renewal options are. For instance, if you’re looking for a place for two years, but they only offer a maximum of 18 months, you might be able to do a six-month run followed by that 18 months to get your two years. Of course a pair of 12-month leases would do it. Getting the 18 months done first though might make more sense, though, given that your initial lease is likely to be your cheapest.
14) Lease termination notice: A lot of places might require 60 days notice prior to you vacating the unit, so it is possible the end of your lease could be coming up, and if you didn’t extend it, you can’t just leave if you didn’t give notice. You either have to extend the lease, pay a monthly rate through your notice, or just pay for an apartment you’re not using after you move out. Just remember to solidify your plans roughly 90 days before the end of a lease, and you should avoid this quite easily.
15) Month-to-month rates: Sometimes, you might actually want the flexibility of a monthly rate, especially if you’re waiting to move into a home you’re about to finish buying or have built. The monthly rates are going to be the highest possible rent you face, but you’re also not locked into anything long term.
16) Square footage: The actual size of the apartment often defines the rental rate, but it’s also the space you’ve got to live with, not only for you, but all your stuff and anyone else living with you. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay property taxes on any of this.
17) Age and condition of the building: Not all Dallas apartments are going to be brand new. If you can afford one and desire to live there, more power to you, as they usually mean pretty high-scale living with modern technology. However, older apartments can have their charm. In fact, if they’ve had renovations and modern appliances put in, you can live quite comfortably at quite a reasonable monthly rent. It shouldn’t take much to see for your own eyes during a tour of a demo unit, but walking around the rest of the property, if that’s allowed, is also a great thing to do if you can possibly chat up a resident or two and find out on your own.
18) Appliances and fixtures: If you move into luxury Dallas apartments, you are likely to immediately notice the oven, microwave, fridge and freezer, and any furnished laundry units. What you aren’t going to notice right away might be the heating, water heater, and air conditioner. Finding out the age and condition of those is pretty smart to do. That’s especially true for the air conditioner, which you just aren’t going to live without in a place like Texas. History proved that the invention of air conditioning mattered a lot, since it triggered population migrations from northern states to the Sunbelt, of which Texas is a part of.
19) The number of bedrooms: The total number of bedrooms you need depends on who else is living with you and just how much more space you might want. Studio and one-bedrooms are often available, but most apartments are going to be two-bedroom units. That might make sense for a family with a kid, or someone that wants to split a place with a roommate, but some families might want a three-bedroom unit. That’s more space for kids, a guest room, or even an office area. Three-bedroom units also mean splitting bills three ways if you have two roommates you can trust and like that much.
20) Laundry options: Many complexes have their own laundry center. Even better is a unit that has its own laundry connections where you can put in your own washer and dryer. Of course luxury apartments that have included washer and dryers make for the best living. Just in case, it’s useful to see what laundromat options there might be in the area. They’re often cheaper than complex options, and they might have video games and people to talk to you don’t see every day as it is. If you do hook up your own machines, just make sure maintenance knows and checks the connections.
These 20 things to consider when hunting for Dallas apartments for your next residence might seem like a lot, but there are even more factors to possibly consider, including what school zones properties are in, response times for fire, EMS, and police, and even what complaint power you might have over annoying neighbors and other residents. Your own individual life circumstances might also mean further factors you need to consider when looking into various Dallas apartments, but with enough persistence, you can find the right place to live.
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