As you enter your final years of college or are returning for your post-graduate degree, the things you seek in an apartment have changed. The trappings of quad-style student housing living, overflowing with excited freshmen and sophomores – along with the parties and noise they produce – have been replaced with the desire to lead a quieter, more focused life. For you and your family members or roommates, there are numerous off-campus apartments that could be a perfect fit for you. But how do you choose the one that is right for you? Read the rest of this entry »
‘finding an apartment’ Tag
It’s been a while since you and your partner have been together, and things are going well. Your apartment leases are nearing an end, and you aren’t renewing your current roommate either. You spend a significant amount of time together anyway…why not just move in?
Remember, this is a bold move, but can be the perfect test to see where your relationship is going. It might even allow you to save on rent if you shop for 1 bedroom apartments. But is 1 bedroom or 2 ideal? Consider these factors when shopping for apartments with your significant other. Read the rest of this entry »
Imagine coming home to your apartment to find a piece of paper bearing those three little words every renter fears: “Notice of Eviction.” It can happen for a number of reasons, and while the prospect of eviction is scary, it’s best to know what‘s coming so you can deal with it effectively. Before you start to panic or try to find a new apartment, read up on these apartment eviction basics.
What happens first in the eviction process?
First your landlord must issue a termination notice informing you that you have violated your rental agreement. This might be because you haven’t paid your rent, have violated the terms of your lease by keeping a pet in your apartment, or have damaged the property, to name a few common reasons. If you receive an eviction notice, respond to it right away. The sooner you address the problem, the easier things may be as the process continues.
Will I have to go to court if I am evicted?
You’ll probably have to go to an eviction hearing, where you have the right to make an argument defending yourself in front of a judge.
Can I keep from getting evicted from an apartment?
You may be able to avoid eviction if you reform your behavior right away. For example, paying all your late rent in full plus all late fees can help get your eviction notice rescinded. Talk to your landlord and see if they are willing to work with you (after all, there’s no harm in asking), and consult an attorney if you think you may be able to have your notice rescinded.
Will eviction affect my credit report?
Getting evicted can affect your credit negatively, but your landlord will have to put in some effort to make it happen. Landlords have the right to notify one of the three major credit bureaus if a tenant is evicted, but the process costs time and money, and your landlord might not be willing to go to those lengths. No matter what, you should still keep an eye on your credit throughout the eviction process. Knowing your way around your credit report, especially if you’re renting with bad credit, will make it easier to find an apartment.
Disclaimer: A note to renters: Please keep in mind that this guide is not all-inclusive, and should not be taken as legal advice. Eviction laws are different in every state. If you are facing eviction and want to take legal action, consult a qualified attorney.
Months and years after the journey began; you are finally reaching the end of your college experience. The hours upon hours of studying are finally about to pay off as you walk across the stage and receive your diploma. Congratulations, you’ve done it! You have survived. Now, the next journey begins.
Nobody really wants to move back home. Does the next part of your journey bring you to a new city for work? Are you finding roommates and living in your current town? Maybe you are going to stay the course and continue into grad school. Whatever the next stage is, where you are going to live after student housing is a primary concern.
If you are continuing on in your degree, the time has come for you to move off-campus. Sure, it has been fun living in student housing, but the friendships, the parties, and the excitement don’t have to stop when you move off-campus. There are lots of great apartments within a couple of miles of campus. With all the modern amenities that are offered, your off-campus housing will be the place all your friends wish they lived.
Whether you are moving across town or across the country, your first post-college apartment awaits you. First, you have to ask yourself what is most important to you. Location? Lifestyle? Price? There is an apartment out there to fulfill the desires of any graduate.
Did your internship turn into a job offer across the country? When it comes time to relocate, your company may put you up in a furnished temporary apartment. This allows you the time to find the place that is right for you. Maybe you are staying close to home and moving in with a friend. Splitting the costs of rent, utilities, and furniture can be a great way to combine resources and save a few extra dollars. This is the flexibility that the apartment lifestyle provides.
Whatever your apartment need is after graduation, ApartmentSearch.com has the resources to help. We offer online apartment locating as well as assistance in finding furniture to rent or buy. As an added bonus, when you tell your new apartment community that ApartmentSearch.com sent you, you can qualify for $200 in rewards to help you get started.
Welcome to life after college. Wherever you are going, we can help you find the place that is right for you.
There are a plethora of Austin apartments available so choosing the right one can seem nearly impossible. Whether you’re a student, young professional, or busy parent, living close to good public transportation might be a deciding factor in your apartment search. If so, you’re in luck. The city is home to an expanding network of mass transit options.
Austin’s Capital MetroRail commuter train travels a total of 31 miles, stopping at 9 different stations between Leander and Austin all day long, Monday through Saturday. This past year, Capital Metro upgraded a large portion of their MetroBuses, and added multiple handicap-accessible bus stops. They have also created bus-only lanes on streets that have high traffic around the downtown and University of Texas campus area.
If you’re looking for a well-connected neighborhood, one of these could be just right for you:
Downtown is the place to be in Austin if you love being in the middle of everything. This area tends to be a bit pricey, but that’s the trade-off for living in the heart of the city. You’ll have unlimited access to great food, culture, boutique shopping, live music, and trendy bars any time you please. Between the various MetroBus routes and 4th St. MetroRail Station, this location is as good as it gets for reaching any part of the city on public transit.
West Campus is the answer if you are a student of the University of Texas. This area is lively and offers apartments in a range of prices. Living in West Campus is a good choice if you are a college student because you’re not only in close proximity to your classes, but you’re also right by “The Drag” (aka Guadalupe St.), which is lined with cute boutiques and restaurants. You can also easily take a number of buses downtown or to one of the MetroRail Stations around the area.
East Austin is a newly trendy area to live. In fact, the area has made it onto the Forbes’ list of Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods. By living here you’ll have complete access to a number of eclectic coffee shops, farmers’ markets, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Throughout East Austin you will find multiple running, walking and biking trails, as well as a large number of bus routes that can to take you wherever you need to go.
Not exactly what you were looking for? Browse Austin apartments on ApartmentSearch.com then use our Map & Commute feature to figure out your commute time by public transit and more.
Spring Break is just a few days away. After a bitterly cold winter and an epic start to the school year, college students from around the U.S. are making plans and deciding where they want to visit. Finally, you get a chance to relax and unwind. Where will you go as you join the estimated 1.5 Million spring breakers, traveling to places like Panama City, Cancun, the Jersey Shore, and New Orleans?
As you sit on the beach or stroll the streets of your lovely destination, a quiet concern may be starting to grow in the back of your head. Sure, now is not the time you are focused on it – but it should be! And when the time comes, if you are not prepared, you could be stuck in a situation worse than the hardest exam you had this term. We are talking about the major challenge of where you are going to live this summer.
Whether you are a Summer Job Sophomore or an Entering the Workforce Senior, summer will be here before you know it and now is the time to decide where you are going to live. Do you really want to have to go back and live at home? While at college, you have had freedom and the opportunity to develop your own lifestyle. Parents can sure be a dampener on your lifestyle.
The challenge is even greater for graduating Seniors. The need to find a job, find your first apartment, and start your post-grad life can sometimes be overwhelming. “How much rent can I afford? How close can I live to work and the things I love to do? Do I still need a roommate?” All of these questions can leave you yearning for the simpler days of college life.
By starting the search now, you can find an apartment and even save a load of cash by reserving it in advance. If you are going to live locally, you probably have a few ideas of apartment communities where you would like to live. But if you don’t know a great place locally, or if you are going to move elsewhere, ApartmentSearch can take the challenges out of your apartment finding. Not only can you find your apartment for free using our extensive online database, we will even give you $200 in rewards just for mentioning to your leasing staff that we helped you out. In addition, we have links to a variety of other services such as furniture rental, to help your move go easier and help you enjoy the apartment lifestyle.
So, take some time on Spring Break to find where you are going to live this summer. Not only will it make the start of your summer better, it could earn you a little extra cash when you use ApartmentSearch.com.
An apartment search is a tricky task with the albatross of bad credit hanging around your neck. But take heart, apartment-searcher: your credit score is not beyond repair. Whether you’re in the throes of an apartment search or you just want to get your credit score back on the right track, there’s hope for you yet.
The truth is that the best thing you can do for your credit score (and your apartment search) is establish good habits when it comes to keeping track of your finances. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry—let’s break it down. Here are 5 ways to get a better credit score and get on with your apartment search.
1. Keep up with Your Credit Score
The first step to a having a better credit score is knowing your current credit score. As we mentioned in Apartment Credit Scores 101, you can actually order a free copy of your credit score once per year from each of the 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Report any mistakes you find, and evaluate which areas need improvement. If you want more information or recurring updates on your credit score, sign up for a service that sends you regular reports.
2. Pay Your Bills on Time
Late fees and missed payments look bad on a credit report, and repeated fees and payments look even worse. In fact, bill-paying makes up about 35% of your credit score. Paying your bills on time helps you establish good credit and a positive payment history so your apartment search won’t be quite as tough. Here are 3 ways to get started:
- Receive and pay your bills online. Gone are the days when paper statements and stamps were your only option. If you’ve been known to neglect your snail mail box, get your statements sent to you via email. You’ll never have to buy stamps again, and it’s easy to click from your inbox directly to online payments.
- Set up automated payments. Lots of services, whether apartment-related or otherwise, allow you to set up automated payments that withdraw money directly from your bank account when collection day comes around. If this idea makes you nervous, start by automating smaller bills.
- Set reminders for yourself. In an age of smartphones and online planning tools, a helping digital hand is never out of reach. If you have trouble accounting for your bills, utilize online calendar alerts, sites like Bill Tracker Online or Mint.com, or even reminder apps like BillMinder and BillTracker to stay on top of your payments.
3. If You Have to Miss a Payment…
If you know that you’re going to be late on a payment, call the lender ahead of time, explain the situation, and see if you can set up a payment plan. You may be able to avoid a negative hit to your credit report.
4. Be Careful about Opening New Credit Cards
When you open a new card, you get a “hard inquiry” (or “hard pull”) on your credit report. This kind of inquiry indicates that you are applying to receive a loan or line of credit. Too many of these hard inquiries on a report can negatively affect your score. Don’t open more cards than you have to. Likewise, if you are opening a secured card, make sure there aren’t enormous fees attached.
5. Be Smart about Your Old Cards
What if you already have lots of cards open, but want to scale back? You’re on the right track, so go ahead and limit the number of cards you use, but don’t cut up the old cards just yet. Put them in the back of your wallet and only use them every few months or so, then pay off the balance immediately when you do. This looks good in the eyes of credit scoring companies, which value an account that has a lot of credit available but only a little of that credit in use.
Starting an apartment search with credit on your mind? ApartmentSearch.com has some excellent resources. Our Moving Center is full of ways to get a handle on your credit, and the Apartment Life blog is full of more great posts that can help. Start by reading about how to rent with bad credit and what your rental history means for your credit. Keep an eye on the ApartmentSearch.com blog this month for more tips about renting with credit.
As your long and possibly arduous apartment search comes to a close, it comes time to submit your applications and begin the wait for approval. One critical element of the rental application is your rental history, which could mean good or bad things for you. Your rental history is significant to your potential new landlords, as it is essentially a record of your prior rental experiences. Landlords will want to know what kind of tenant you were in the past, so they can minimize the risk of renting to someone with, for example, a history of consistently being late on rent. While late rent payments do not directly affect your credit score, landlords requesting credit checks may also request data on your rental history from those credit agencies. Although late rent payments don’t affect your credit score the way a late mortgage payment would, late rent payments in your rental history will raise a red flag to prospective landlords.
What hurts your rental history?
When requesting a rental history for a potential renter, landlords will be provided with all kinds of information about you. Among the negative things they could learn about you are events such as bounced checks or late rent payments. Even worse, unpaid housing debts, eviction proceedings, and breaches of lease terms can also be reported to credit agencies for distribution to landlords. Financial irresponsibility aside, rental histories may also report on complaints about you or significant damages to your past apartments. All of these are huge red flags to potential landlords and probably weigh heavily in their decision to rent to you. Whether you’ve squared away your debts and kept your apartment in good shape are also factors in getting your deposit back.
What helps your rental history?
On the flip side, maintaining a good rental history and credit score is the best way to show potential landlords that you’re a good fit and a low-risk renter. Being a model tenant isn’t hard – so long as you pay rent on time, be a considerate neighbor, and take good care of your apartment. With no judgments or evictions against you, landlords can feel good about renting to you – possibly even at a lower deposit amount.
Trying to find an apartment is hard enough without the burden of bad credit slowing you down. Because landlords will, more often than not, run a credit check on potential renters, your credit score may play a big part in whether or not your application is accepted.
So what do you do if your credit isn’t stellar? Can you still find an apartment that will rent to you? Don’t worry. It is possible to rent with bad credit. Here is a step-by-step guide to finding and renting an apartment despite a less-than-perfect credit score.
Step 1: Get all the facts.
Before you even start to try to find an apartment, find out exactly what your credit score is. Order a free copy of your credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Once you know your score, you’ll be able to narrow down your options during your apartment search and find an apartment more easily.
Step 2: Work with landlords one-on-one.
When trying to find an apartment, try working directly with the property owner rather than through a larger landlord. Discussing your situation one-on-one with a landlord or leasing agent can really help.
Step 3: Be honest about your situation.
Even though it may be the last thing you want to do, tell landlord or leasing agent right away about the state of your credit. Honesty, in this situation, can actually be the best policy. Be clear about the reasons for your poor credit, and outline the things you are doing to repair your credit.
Step 4: Provide the landlord with your credit score up front.
Because having your credit score pulled multiple times by a variety of landlords during your apartment search can further lower your credit score, consider including a copy of your credit report yourself with your application.
Step 5: Prove your reliability.
When talking with the landlord about your situation, offer proof of your responsibility. Part of the reason landlords run a credit check is to determine whether or not you will be a reliable, responsible renter. Provide letters of recommendation from your employer and/or previous landlords, and ask the landlord what they require from renters for proof of stability.
Step 6: Get a co-signer.
For renters who have poor credit or a limited credit history, try opting for a cosigner. This solution is a good one if you have a relative or friend willing to vouch for your credibility.
Step 7: Offer to pay in advance.
This solution is a little less than desirable, since it might take a considerable chunk of cash. However, it is a good option if you have the means, especially if you find an apartment that you really love. If you are able, offer to pay the first 3-6 months’ rent in advance or offer to pay a larger security deposit. Some apartments are more flexible than others, and if you can find an apartment that is willing to work with you, you may be more likely to secure a lease, even with bad credit.
For more tools to learn about your credit score as a renter, you can visit our Moving Center page. For more in our series on how to find an apartment and navigate your credit score, check out last week’s post, Apartment Credit Scores 101; and stay tuned for next week’s post about how to improve your credit!
In major metropolitan areas and small cities across the U.S., there is a high demand for apartment living. One of the areas of greatest needs is currently in the biggest oil and gas-producing regions of the country. Recent oil and natural gas booms in some cities have resulted in a shortage of housing for thousands of workers – both those who work directly in the oilfields as well as the thousands of support workers. In these regions, apartments have come to the rescue of the workers in need.
Take Midland, Texas, in the heart of the Permian Basin, which accounts for 14 percent of the nation’s oil production. Population there swelled by 8 percent from 2010 to 2012, surpassing 145,000 in 2013.
Likewise, in Williston, N.D., more than 30,000 live in the small city and another 50,000 are being served by its infrastructure, thanks to the oil boom from the Bakken shale formation. Compare that to the 14,700 residents who lived there in 2010.
The flood of workers to the region in such a short time period has led to a housing shortage and Williston apartments sport the highest rents in the nation – even higher than New York City. The average 700-square-foot, one bedroom apartment is renting for around $2,400.
In addition to quickly building apartment communities in Williston and Midland, multifamily housing providers are adding apartments in other up-and-coming cities in the various oil-producing regions of the U.S. For example, the discovery that Colorado’s Niobrara shale was oil-rich and easy-to-drill fueled nearly $4 billion in spending in 2013 by top oil companies, which say they have plans to drill even more in 2014.
As a result, Greeley’s 1.3 percent apartment vacancy rate is the lowest it has been in nearly 20 years, and apartment builders are working quickly to fill demand throughout Colorado.
It is clear that apartment homes are the best way to house those who work directly in the oilfields and their families. “Man camps” and temporary housing do the job for a limited period of time, for single individuals who move to these oil-producing regions and can’t find another place to live. However, this is not the long-term lifestyle that anyone wants.
It is apartment communities that are quickly coming to the rescue of these workers, who have moved to new cities from all over the U.S. and the world. They are the ones providing a safe, warm place for individuals and families to create a home for themselves. They now have a place to cook dinner for themselves. They now have a place to bring their families to, instead of being forced to leave their families back home.
Still, because housing is in such high demand in these oil-rich regions of the U.S., it is imperative for oil companies and their workers to be able to find the right apartments quickly. That is where apartment-locating services such as ApartmentSearch come in. ApartmentSearch’s knowledgeable staff takes the guesswork out of finding housing and employee relocation. ApartmentSearch’s comprehensive database of available apartments in every state lets businesses and individuals in need know about new communities coming online as well as existing available apartments available.