When searching for your perfect home, there are plenty of big decisions to make – and one of those is deciding the kind of space you want. Renting a house isn’t the same as renting an apartment! Leasing a home does have its benefits, but it also has several drawbacks you should consider. Get the big picture by reading our comprehensive guide on the pros and cons of renting a house.
The NFL football season is back and sports fans around the country are celebrating the return to action of their favorite teams and players. When you move into an apartment, you also join a team. A team composed of neighbors as well as the employees that manage your apartment community. As a member of this team, you receive many benefits and lifestyle perks that make every day a victory.
In recent months, exaggerated reports plague the news that living in a house is more affordable than apartment living. These examples are only true in five percent of U.S. markets where the population is living in densely-populated urban cores. Examples of this include San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. In the other 95 percent of housing markets, the apartment lifestyle remains the most affordable option, which takes more into account than mortgage versus rent. The unforeseen maintenance costs and increased utility expenses cost home owners thousands of dollars per year over what renters pay. Read the rest of this entry »
Rent controlled apartments are the four-leaf clovers of apartment life. Hiding among thousands of their fellows, they’re very hard to spot, and the finder of one is considered incredibly lucky. That’s because rent controlled apartments offer rent rate benefits to tenants that other apartments lack. Though the city best known for its rent controlled apartments is New York City, there are rent controlled properties in other U.S. cities like L.A., Washington D.C., and New Jersey.
Confused about rent control rules? Here are the top 4 things that apartment hunters need to know about rent controlled apartment life.
What Is Rent Control, Anyway?
The concept of rent control is the result of a variety of U.S. legislative measures passed between the 1920s and 1970s. Rent control means that rent cannot be raised above the limit that was set when the rent control law went into effect. Thus, it acts as a price ceiling for rental properties to ensure that rates are not being raised unfairly. Sometimes landlords are able to raise the rate and remove the controls once the original tenant moves out, but these rules vary from property to property. Generally, rent controlled apartment prices remain the same indefinitely. Read the rest of this entry »
Choosing between renting and buying is a tough decision, made even more difficult by comparing rent rates, the housing market, lease lengths, neighborhoods, and property taxes, just to name a few. If you’ve been debating whether to rent or buy, you’ve definitely got a lot on your mind. To ease your woes, here are just a few of the pros and cons of renting an apartment vs. buying a home. Read the rest of this entry »
For individuals and families seeking flexibility in a living situation, apartment living is a smart choice. A major perk is that renting can help simplify your finances, and make creating a budget easier. When you know you’ll have to spend a chunk of income on rent each month, it’s useful for all walks of renters to keep tabs on their money and establish parameters for spending and saving.
It doesn’t take expertise or major math skills to draft a budget that will put you in control of your finances as a renter. Start by getting motivated by the idea of organizing your money, which will help scale back stress in many areas of life. Put in a little effort and follow through with plans, and you’ll enjoy apartment living with financial peace of mind.
You’ve probably heard the rule about spending no more than a third of your net income on rent. When searching to find an apartment, compare rent prices and make calculations to ensure you stay within that magic number. Remember that upon signing a lease, there will be major upfront expenses including security deposits, pet fees and your first month’s rent all at once. You may also anticipate shopping for furniture and other household goods during this time. Be prepared for that onslaught of spending, which will of course settle down after the first month.
One of the many benefits of apartment living is the general predictability of monthly expenses. Use budgeting software or a simple spreadsheet to list these expenses (and due dates), and you’ll avoid getting caught by surprise when a bill pops up again. Establish your baseline income and continue to list out all other expenses, including those unrelated to apartments, such as car insurance and cell phone bills.
Establish your discretionary income— what’s left over each month after handling apartment living costs and other expenses. Hopefully you aren’t let down by this figure! If so, consider shuffling your expenses and adjusting spending habits as needed. Come up with a plan and stand by it. Perform a monthly review of your budgeting documentation and update as things change.
If you’re still looking for the perfect home, try our excellent search tool. We boast a huge, easily searchable database of apartments in your city, including Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, Austin apartments, and Seattle apartments.
We’re proud to offer valuable rewards to customers who successfully use our huge database to search apartments and find a new home. Our service is free to use, and we give back up to $200 in rewards to customers who sign a lease at one of our partner properties. Waiting for the catch? There isn’t one! Simply allow us a little time to confirm your move-in. Read on to learn about our excellent rewards program.
In most cases, renters will receive $200 in rewards, consisting of $100 in CORT Bucks and up to a $100 VISA Gift Card. CORT Bucks are perfect when you’ve recently moved apartments and need to stock up on high-quality furniture and accessories for your new home. They are redeemable at any CORT Showroom or Clearance Center nationwide, so you can save significantly on rental or retail clearance furniture. VISA Gift Cards are especially exciting, because you can use them absolutely anywhere VISA is accepted. The options are extensive! Spend these renters rewards dollars on anything that makes you happy, from clothes to groceries.
We will send your VISA Gift Card as soon as we receive our referral fee from your property management, so all you have to do is let them know we helped you find an apartment. This is the most crucial part of the process, so remember to notate on your application that you were referred by ApartmentSearch.com. Also be sure to print out the ApartmentSearch.com Guest Card from our website, so you may provide it to your new apartment complex when you turn in the application.
The next step is simply letting us know that of all the apartments you looked through on our website, you ended up with the perfect place. We’ll be glad to hear the news, and we can go ahead and get your rewards process moving. As soon as we’ve confirmed that you signed the lease, we will send the $100 CORT Bucks right away, within 3-10 business days. Then simply allow a few weeks for us to receive that referral fee from your apartment management, and we’ll get your VISA Gift Card right to you.
Ready to get rewards? Find an apartment online today! We have a great selection of Dallas apartments, Phoenix apartments, Austin apartments, and Seattle apartments in these great cities and plenty more nationwide.
Apartments in Dallas In Demand
The Dallas apartment market is the hottest it’s been in two years, says a new report from MPF Research Inc. Dallas apartment occupancy spiked by 6,520 units, and the increase in renting activity leads many to believe that the economy is starting to pick up in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
In the Dallas apartment market, the most active regions were West Plano-Frisco, Lewisville and South Arlington.
And Now the Other Side of the Coin
However, the news comes with some caveats. Average Dallas apartment rents are down 4.7 percent in the last year. Obviously, landlords and apartment managers are discounting their properties to keep Dallas apartment occupancies high. More than 60 percent of Dallas apartment landlords are offering incentives like free rent for the first month or even two.
MDF puts Dallas-Fort Worth vacancy rates at a bit over 10 percent, and in some Dallas-area neighborhoods, new construction has bumped up the surplus of housing, with 2,933 new units landing on the market in the first three months of 2010 and 9,000 in the works.
Rent a Dallas Apartment
However, after those units open, the Dallas apartment market will tighten for awhile. Combined with North Texas’ population growth – which led the nation in the last census – Dallas apartments might be a seller’s market in the next few years. If you’re looking for a Dallas apartment for rent, you might want to lock up a good deal while you can still find one.
If Dallas isn’t your town, you can also search for a Seattle apartment, a Phoenix apartment, an Austin apartment, or find an apartment anywhere in the country using our simple apartment-finding tools! In fact, finding an apartment with ApartmentSearch can earn you up to $200 in renter rewards. Try a search now and see where you could be living tomorrow!
Late on rent? You’ll want to pay up as quickly as possible and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Although being late on rent most likely won’t result in the loss of your apartment, you definitely don’t want to make it a habit. It could result in late fees, a very upset landlord, and at worst, eviction. Here are some tips to help you out if you’re late on rent.
Check Your Apartment Lease
Every apartment lease will have a section about late rent. When you find an apartment, it’s a good idea to ask questions about the lease and go over the sections, not forgetting the one about late rent. The lease should clearly state any late fees and on what past-due date they will be charged. These late fees are there for a reason: to motivate residents to pay rent on time. Every lease is different, but sometimes apartments will only charge late fees after the rent is a certain amount of days late. Still, don’t let this make you think you have a few extra days past the due date to pay — rent is due on or before that due date, which is typically the first of the month.
If you’re not paying on time, it’s late — and your landlord could start taking steps to evict you. If necessary, you may want to consider legal assistance in this situation.
Pay Your Rent
You should pay your rent on or before its due date. Keep in mind that your landlord is probably just like you: He or she has bills to pay and needs to pay them on time. Receiving late rent could cause them to be late on their mortgage or other bills, thus incurring late fees. If you’ve been late on rent to the point that you’ve incurred fees, don’t forget to pay those on time, too.
Pay Your Rent On Time Every Time
Take steps to make sure you’ll be able to pay your rent on time every time. You’ll have to examine your budget and your own situation, but some ideas to help you could include setting reminders on a calendar, or even getting a roommate to help cover costs.
Late Rent: A Disclaimer
This article is just meant to make our readers aware of some things that come along with being late on rent — we are not lawyers, and laws regarding tenants and leases vary from state to state. We stress always paying rent on time, and seek legal advice if needed. You can also use the government’s Housing and Urban Development website to research your situation.
Save with Rental Furniture
There’s a lot to think about and square away when you rent an apartment: setting up utilities, changing your address and deciding just how you’re going to furnish the place. That last part can either be really fun or really stressful — if you already have furniture and decor, you’re set, but what if you don’t? Consider getting rental furniture.
You might be wondering, why wouldn’t I just buy furniture for my new place? Well, depending on your situation, getting rental furniture might just be the easiest, most convenient and most cost-effective decision.
The cost of furnishing an entire home can add up quickly. Buying a new bed, a couch and couple of chairs could set you back more than $1,000. With having to pay a deposit and first month’s rent — and possibly last month’s rent as well — up front, you may be strapped for cash once you get to the point of furnishing your home.
If You’re Temporary, Consider Renting
Another reason to consider rental furniture is if you’re not going to be staying in the apartment for very long. Whether you’re working in another country, just in town for a corporate relocation assignment or you are living somewhere temporarily for some other reason, it might not be ideal to purchase furniture to use only for a short amount of time.
Rental furniture is all about convenience. Typically, the rental furniture company will deliver your stuff, taking the hassle out of you having to rent a truck and do it yourself. This is especially convenient when you’re busy with getting your new apartment set up. Plus, it could help you save on moving expenses.
The bottom line is that rental furniture is worth checking out. Convenient, flexible and easy, it might just be the perfect way to furnish your home.
Apartment Noise: What a Racket!
Windows facing a busy street, a close proximity to a bus or train stop, loud air conditioners and heaters, noisy neighbors who love to party — any of these things can make for a serious apartment noise. While apartment noise issues are certainly something you want to watch out for when you’re looking to rent an apartment, sometimes it’s worth dealing with apartment noise when the place is just plain awesome and you don’t want to pass it up. Other times, in cases of noisy air conditioners, appliances and rowdy neighbors, it’s a not-so-pleasant surprise when you move in.
Apartment Noise Abatement
So how do you go about reducing apartment noise? Wearing earplugs is one idea, though not everyone is a fan of wearing them when they go to bed or are at home. But there are some things you can do to reduce annoying apartment noise.
- If you’re not keen on hearing cars and buses drive by your apartment at all hours of the day and night, or if there’s a bar or restaurant close by that stays open late, consider putting up heavy drapes to help absorb the noise. Window treatments to reduce apartment noise – like heavy drapes, which can be paired with noise reduction shades for an even more effective result – can be a big help.
- Rugs are another idea, and like drapes, perform double-duty as decor and a way to reduce apartment noise.
- Line the walls with sound-absorbing material like eggcrate-shaped Styrofoam. With the right decor, this can actually look stylishly modern and minimalist.
- Is your air conditioner, heater or another appliance the source of the apartment noise? Call up your landlord or apartment management office and let them know that there’s an issue. In some cases, they may be willing to move you into a different, less-noisy unit, or they might just send a repairman out to take care of the problem.
- Get an air filter. For $75-$150, these machines not only clean and filter the air in a room, but they produce white noise that might help you sleep better.
- If the problem is noisy neighbors, try politely asking them to keep it down. If they don’t respond, speak with your apartment manager about it. They’ll likely be able to improve the situation.
If That Fails…
If you’ve tried everything to reduce apartment noise and you’re still not happy, just remember that you don’t have to stay there forever. Take a look at your lease, find out when you’re able to move out, and find an apartment for rent that’s as quiet as possible. Remember, it’s always easier to ask tenants about problems at a new apartment before moving in rather than finding out about apartment noise problems afterwards.