Archive for the ‘Apartment Living’ Category
Shedding Light on the Role Apartment Finders Play in the Multi-Family Housing Industry
Why should you use an Apartment Locator?
Simple, for the same reason you would use a Real Estate Agent to sell your home and/or find you one. Since your Apartment Finder is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in Texas, serving all Houston, DFW, Austin, and San Antonio, TX metro markets, you are using a knowledgeable professional to do your footwork.
Why re-invent the wheel when your licensed, professional Apartment Locator already knows the answers? She or he has already or will spend countless hours studying the territory where you want to live. Plus, even better than buying or selling a home, your use of this licensed professional will not cost you one, thin, dime.
By Texas law, their commission is paid by the owner of the rental property. In addition, most reliable Apartment Finders will pay you a rebate of anywhere from $75.00 to $150.00 shortly after they receive their commission. The amount of rebate is the primary difference among these service specialists.
Landlords and property management companies appreciate the hard work trustworthy Apartment Locators provide. They know that most people would not even be aware of their existence were it not for these licensed professionals. They realize that the Apartment Finder represents you, the prospective renter, lessee, which makes everyone involved mighty happy.
So, even if you know where you want to live, always secure the services of an Apartment Locator in order to get your rebate and find the place you really want.
Dear Mr. Pickett:
I just wanted to say thanks for sending our rebate check in a timely manner. The agent who assisted me was very personable and helped tremendously in explaining the rebate process and what needed to be completed to obtain the $150 reward.
The locator agent I was assigned to made finding an apartment easy. She was very familiar with the area of town I needed and was able to provide us a tailored list of rentals that would meet our needs and wants. I contacted her as soon as my plane landed (around 5:30 pm). Within 20 minutes she had already e-mailed me an accurate list of properties with confirmed pricing/availability and scheduled appointment to visit them. 24-hours later my wife and I were cooking spaghetti in our new loft apartment. It’s been a pleasure working with you all. Thanks for everything!
[Names have been omitted to protect privacy]
ApartmentNinjas Apartment Finders Video Library
Austin TX Apartments – Video Library
Windsor on the Lake (formerly Legacy on the Lake) - Austin High Rise Apartments
Gables Pressler – Downtown Austin Apartments
Houston TX Apartments – Video Library
3525 Sage Condominiums – Houston High Rise Apartments
3333 Weslayan – Houston Inner Loop Apartments
Texas Apartments Blog
This blog is designed to be a forum about apartments in Texas. The blog is sponsored by Apartment Ninjas (Texas Apartment Finders) and the author of most of the posts is the company’s founder, Rick, and our real estate pro, Ninja Blogga. Our internet marketing professional, Adam Shrum, is also active in the forum. One of the primary goals of the blog is a free flow of information about TX apartment rentals. Useful information pertaining to Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, TX apartments.
Texas Apartment Types Defined
The terminology used to describe available apartment types in Texas various from city to city. While some terms are common sense and used universally, many others are new to the market and uniquely regional. Below is a glossary of terms widely used in the Texas multifamily housing market that should help take some of the enigma out of your apartment hunt.
Studio Apartments/Efficiency Apartment:
- Studio/Efficiency (Bachelor Apartment) – An efficiency (0-1) apartment, also known as a studio apartment rental, is basically a one room apartment layout. It generally includes a kitchen open to the room and a closed-off bathroom. They can range in size drastically, but studio apartments in Texas generally stay int he realm of 350-475 sq. ft.
- Alcove Studio Efficiency – has an alcove, or unique, separate area or nook for dining, sleeping, or studying, and is generally, larger than a normal efficiency apartment rental. Often times, they are configured in an L-shape.
One Bedroom Apartment:
- 1-1 Apartment rental – One bedroom apartments are meant for a single person or couple in which to live. Under Texas State Law only two individuals are allowed per bedroom. So, if you are married and have a child, you will have to lease a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom or 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment floor plan. One bedroom apartments consists of a separate bedroom equipped with a built in closet (many times a spacious walk-in closet), a living/lounge area, kitchen and bathroom.
- Junior 1-1 Apartment - Junior one bedroom apartments for rent vary in both layout and size. In Texas, a junior one bedroom usually implies a small one bedroom apartment with they actual bedroom being quite small, fitting at best a queen-size bed and nightstand. A junior 1-1 apartment home could also be a super large studio efficiency. Junior one bedroom apartments for lease are great for students or for those on a budget.
- 1-1 with Den/Sunroom – Generally garden-style in nature meant for a single person or couple featuring a den or sunroom. One bedroom apartments with den/sunroom are ideal for those renters seeking a little more space than your normal 1-1 apartment floor plan or for those who work from home and can use the extra space as an office or study. Many 1-1 apartments including den or sunroom come complete with built-in computer desk or study nook.
Two and Three Bedroom Apartments:
- 2-2 and 3-2 Apartments – Meaning two bedrooms and two bedrooms or three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This type of living is enticing to students and young professionals on a budget looking to split the cost of rent and utilities.
- Lofts in Texas – There are two primary types of loft apartments in Texas: hard lofts (also known as historic or industrial-style lofts) and soft lofts (also known as newly built lofts).
- Hard Lofts in Texas – Offer an authentic “true loft” feel. Residents see value in the history and uniqueness of the building. They appreciate the rough, open feel to the units. Hard renovated unites are characterized by original concrete floors, exposed building support beams, exposed duct work, and open floor plan layouts. Visit our Houston lofts page and check out Post Rice Lofts for a great example of a traditional hard style loft apartment.
- Soft Lofts in Texas – Soft units are built more in an apartment style and feature polished concrete or hardwood flooring, granite counters, over-sized garden bathtubs, and track lighting. Soft lofts apartments provide the savvy renter amenities and features of a luxury, newly constructed apartment community and offer a more refined, upscale living experience. Visit our Austin lofts page and check out Greystar SoCo Lofts for a prime example of soft-style loft living in Texas.
- Corporate Housing Apartments in Texas – refer to any type of apartment rental offering short term leasing for business purposes. Often times, corporate housing apartments will offer residents a “preferred employee” discount to counter the high price rate of renting short term.
- Short Term Lease Apartments – refers to apartments offering lease terms under 6 months, generally 3 months and under. Some apartment communities will even allow month-to-month lease agreements.
- Student Housing Apartments – Offers university and college students a like a nice place to live at discounted rates. Student apartments are generally newer, offer amenities and features that cater to student life such as built-in study nooks, sand volleyball, complimentary on-site tanning booths, and putting greens. In most cases, student housing apartments are located near a particular university or college, but not always. When the distance between apartment and university/college is lengthy, a shuttle bus to campus will be provided outside of the communities entrance. Visit our Austin West Campus apartments page and check out Texan Pearl for a prime example of student housing in Austin, TX.
Work Studio Rental:
- Work Studio Rental (live/work apartment) – refers to a commercial building where some residential tenancy is accepted. A live/work studio rental has a kitchen and full bathroom with shower. Work studio rentals are popular among artists in Austin, Texas seeking a small space to work near downtown. Browse our Downtown Austin apartments page for a few prime examples of these types of Texas rentals.
- Penthouse Apartments in Texas – A penthouse is an apartment on the top floor of an apartment building, condominium, or high-rise, usually with an extra private balcony/patio or a roof top terrace. These types of apartments in Texas are considered to be top of the line in apartment renting today, offering only the most luxurious amenities and features. Penthouse apartments tend to be located in the most desirable neighborhoods, such as downtown. Visit our Houston Galleria apartments page and check out 1200 Post Oak for a prime example of these prestigious apartment types.
Pet Friendly Apartments for Rent
Large Dog Friendly Apartments
Your pet is your best friend, almost like a sibling in some cases. People should never have to drop their pet off somewhere else, or give them up completely to move to a new apartment home. As a large dog pet owner I can tell you first hand that you will eventually have to deal with this problem if you lease an apartment. Whether you are a student, young professional, or non-home owner in general you will eventually need to move at some point for a job situation, university transfer, etc. When you’re in the market for a new place, you’ll have to decide what to do with little Neiman the over-weight pug.
Locating a large dog friendly apartment or pet friendly apartment can be difficult to do if you go at it alone. Most apartment communities simply do not accept pets, but it’s changing because more complexes are realizing people love their pets. If prospects cannot keep their pets then the apartments won’t make money on loyal pet owners because they won’t lease. You can always hide your pet when you fill out an apartment leasing application, but eventually management or a leasing agent will see your pet when it goes out to take a dump. At this point, you’ll be evicted or have to pay a hefty fine on top of having to give up your pet in order to continue living there. Take a look at our selection of apartments in Arlington TX, this area has a variety of large pet friendly apartments available.
All of this can be avoided by contacting our Texas apartment locators or by simply browsing our searchable database of TX apartment rentals online. Apartment ninjas are pros at putting together accurate property lists for clients based on specific search criteria. Our apartment finders have access to every apartment community in the state of Texas. Our real estate ninjas can pin-point the perfect apartment residence for you and your pet with a click of a button. An accurate list of rentals will be sent to you within minutes. Hope this helps.
By Your Mother
Top 5 Apartment Amenities
Apartment Amenities that Matter – Best Amenities
It’s always good to make a checklist of what amenities you must have in your new apartment home before searching. I’ve decided to compile a list of the top five amenities I hear requested when assisting clients with their search. Nearly all Houston Apartments have one or more of these features.
The following should be of some help in creating a list and narrowing down your options:
1. Washer and Dryer Connections (Full Size W/D Included) – I’m a firm believer that having in unit washer/dryer connections play an important role in your quality of life. Having to use on-site facilities or worse yet a laundromat, brings a certain feeling of dread. The task begins with scrounging for quarters followed by lugging a giant pile of dirty clothes down stairs that you hope you don’t get tripped up on. Then, once you get the load into the machines you can’t leave. If you do leave somebody could come by and take your clothes out if they need the machine, or they might even steal your clothes! Avoid wrinkles in your clothes and your life by renting an apartment with washer/dryer included. I recommend Broadstone West Eighteenth, apartments in Houston Heights, because they have top of line washer and dryers.
2. Garden Tubs (and/or Walk-in Showers) – Bubble baths are fun. If you think garden tubs are fruity, which they are…Adam, then make sure your unit comes with a walk-in shower. If you don’t enjoy a bubble bath every now and then, you’re not living life. If you’re tall like me a regular sized tub just won’t cut the mustard for bath purposes. A garden tub a.k.a. DEEP DISH tub will leave you with ample room for all your bathing needs. Some garden tubs now have jacuzzi jets in them which massage you and provide a more relaxing experience. Whether you’re looking to recreate the Pee-Wee and Francis bath scene or just need extra ledges for your shampoo collection, you’re sure to enjoy a great big garden tub in your apartment.
3. Resort-Style Pool – There are all types of swimming pools at apartment communities – Olympic, European saltwater, infinity, rooftop, hot tubs, etc. As long as the complex has some type of pool you should be good. If an apartment community doesn’t have a pool it usually means they are not too concerned with hosting resident meet up activities. I think it’s important to mix and mingle with the people who live around you because that’s the easiest way to make new friends. The Trails at Rock Creek apartments in Northwest Houston have a lazy river that you can tube around while meeting your neighbors.
4. Gated Access – Feeling safe is the concern I hear most often when finding apartments for people. For some, gated access is enough, but others want a gate security officer, 24 hr. patrol, and in-home alarm system. Personally, I feel that the gate itself is probably enough to deter criminals away from Apartments in Houston. When shopping for an apartment with a gate make sure there is a camera system in place as well. If someone does break into your apartment, capturing their license plate on tape may be the best way to catch the crook.
5. Non-Carpet Flooring (Stained Concrete or Hardwood Floors, Preferably) – There are three main types of non-carpet flooring – wood, laminate, and stained concrete. If you have a dog, finding an apartment with non-carpet flooring is almost a no-brainer. Keep in mind that wood and laminate scratch easily, so if you’re dog is large – 50 lbs. or more – there’s a good chance the floor is going to get scratched up. I’ve heard of property management keeping entire deposits for scratched floors, so do yourself a favor and find a unit with stained concrete if you have a big dog. Other advantages of non-carpet flooring are that it’s easier to clean, better for people with allergies (dust gets trapped in carpet), and when shined they make your pad look baller.
By Adam Shrum
Compulsive Apartment Hoarders
Hoarding Syndrome in Apartments
Apartment hoarding has been a well known issue within the property rental community for years. The popular television series, “Hoarders” on A&E has shed a lot of light on this topic recently. The show follows the lives of individuals who engage in compulsive hoarding and films the personal crisis they have to deal with as a result.
What is hoarding? Hoarding a.k.a. disposophobia, is a mental disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to discard or use a significant number of possessions even if they have no worth, are unsanitary, or hazardous. The keeping of these possessions becomes an obsession for these people and a hole that can’t be dug out of. Here is a prime example of a Houston Apartment Hoarder who loves Whataburger. You can see from the images in the prior link that hoarding can turn into a health concern if it gets out of hand. Those funny smells coming from your neighbor’s apartment might not be their cooking.
The mess that accumulates from hoarding in apartments can be a nightmare for property managers. Whether it’s piles of books blocking the fire exits or stinky old food seeping into the walls, the acts of these pack rats can lead to big problems in terms of safety or being able to lease out a unit to the next tenant. I have heard horror stories from leasing agents at Houston Apartments who have literally gagged from the smell when investigating a complaint of a suspected hoarder. Some of the more sanitary apartment hoarders who collect clothes and paper items wouldn’t stand a chance if a fire broke out.
Everyone’ s heard of the crazy cat lady in Unit B right? Animal Hoarding in apartments is a specific type of hoarding that is often joked about, but really is a serious matter. Typically, apartments in Houston have restrictions on how many pets you’re allowed to have. Some apartments, like Hogg Palace Lofts apartments in Downtown Houston, don’t allow any pets. Regardless of the rules on pets some people still decide to house 20 cats or 10 dogs. In my opinion, this is worse than hoarding simple material possessions or trash. If you can’t take care of an animal you shouldn’t own one, period. Apartment renters who have an exorbitant number of pets truly need to take a step back and ask themselves if they really can afford the time and money involved in taking care of additional pets.
In summation, hoarding really is a debilitating mental disease. For those that suffer from this disease, an enormous amount of stress is experienced in their lives and the lives of people close to them. Unfortunately, pathological hoarding is one of the hardest diseases to manage because it’s actually a hardwired way of thinking in the brain. If you know someone who hoards be patient with them and offer them help before it gets out of control. For more information on compulsive hoarding see the International OCD Foundation.
By Adam Shrum
Breaking an Apartment Lease
Legally Breaking a Lease
Always consult a lawyer before attempting any of following ways to legally break a lease. There are four main ways to get out of a lease: find something terribly wrong with your apartment, prove you are a victim of violence or abuse, join the military service, or sublet.
If you can find a problem with your apartment that affects your health and safety, such as a dead body rotting in the wall, you may have a way out. The rules for breaking a lease in this way require that you notify the owner of the apartment in writing of the condition and you must be paid up on your rent. Another condition that may qualify you to peace out is if the landlord fails to provide utilities. If your water gets shut off because your apartment complex forgot to pay the utility company you can say sayonara.
If you are a victim of violence or abuse my heart goes out to you. Texas property code permits a tenant to terminate a lease in certain situations for matters related to family violence. If your crazy ex-boyfriend or husband knows where you live and has threatened you, it’s time to move. In particular, Senate Bill 83 states that if you have a protective order you can show it as proof you are a victim and legally break your lease. In a nutshell, you have to provide written notice of termination to your landlord and a copy of the restraining order. This also goes for tenants who are parents or guardians of victims of sexual assault or abuse. In the case of sexual assault or abuse you are able to provide documentation from a licensed health care or mental health care services provider of the assault or abuse in lieu of a protective order.
Do you like guns and working out, but hate your apartment? Maybe you should join the army. If you decide to go this route you still have to notify the property manager in advance. You may even have to pay a month or two of rent before you are released of your obligations, but chicks love a man in uniform so it all equals out in the end.
Lastly, you may want to try and sublet your apartment. I have some experience with this. Back when I worked for Dr. Pepper, I moved to Austin from Dallas to take a new job and I still had 6 months left on my lease. Luckily, I was training a new hire for my position and he didn’t have a place to live yet. I asked him if he wanted to sublet my apartment for the remainder of the lease and everything worked out perfectly. You should always check with your landlord to see if you are allowed to sublet. They usually have a form the person you are subletting to has to fill out.
Remember, breaking your lease should be a last resort. If you break a lease without giving notice it will haunt you forever and make it tough to rent an apartment in the future. Always contact a lawyer for legal advice before attempting to get out of your leasing contract.
By Adam Shrum
Apartment Locators Or Apartment Database Sites
Locator Vs. Searchable Database Site – Which is the Best?
When you do a Google search for “Texas apartment finders”, “Texas apartments for rent”, “apartments in Texas” or a neighborhood search such as Houston Medical Center apartments, you’re going to come across two types of website resources; apartment search engines (online apartment listing services) and traditional apartment finder sites. Which is the best for your particular needs? Well, that depends on what your needs and wants dictate. Both resources will come in handy no matter your circumstance as long as you are in the market for a new apartment home. The multifamily real estate professionals at ApartmentNinjas.com combined the two resources in one easy to use website and offer it to the public free of charge. We also offer a generous $150 cash rebate for listing “ApartmentNINJAS” as the reference when signing a lease. Clients can call, e-mail or submit an online rental request form by clicking a tab labeled, “Find Apartments“, and receive a comprehensive list of apartments based on client search criteria. We have licensed apartment ninjas located in all four markets served, which include the Greater Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, TX metro areas. In other words, we’re local, so whichever city a client is looking to move, a knowledgeable ninja on that market will assist. Clients who prefer doing the research on their own can browse our extensive database of Texas apartments without the assistance of an apartment ninja. ApartmentNinjas.com offers four search methods to navigate their website; Google integrated search engine (search entire site), Google integrated map search (includes driving directions and spotlights premier communities by neighborhood, which is great for kick-starting a more streamlined apartment search) , city and area search.
So, there you have it, an all-in-one apartment locator and rental search site that is 100% free to use. Unlike other apartment search services , ApartmentNinjas.com offers both a hands on and hands off approach to finding an apartment for rent. Users have the choice to find apartments with or without the assistance of a real estate ninja. Traditional apartment finder sites only advertise “deal numbers” or vague descriptions of the communities to avoid giving away the property’s true identity, which forces the user to register with the site or contact the company personally to get the information needed to find a place. These types of sites are old school, unproductive and a gateway to identity theft and spam.
The Apartment Finder Site:
If you are relocating to an area in Austin, Dallas, Houston or San Antonio, TX that is new to you, where you are unfamiliar with neighborhoods, schools, jobs, transportation, etc., then working directly with one of our apartment ninjas aka apartment finders would be your best choice. Our Texas apartment finders respond to your query in minutes. You will describe your search criteria including price range, projected move date and any other specific needs or wants you would like included in your new apartment home. Our apartment ninjas are knowledgeable on the area they serve and the local rental market. They are easy to talk to and extremely effective at finding rental accommodations that suit the particular needs of the client. The apartment finding services and listings offered are 100% free. Our apartment finder team is paid commission (referral fee) from the apartment communities. This in no way increases the client’s rent. With regard to client privacy, however, keep in mind either an email address or telephone number is required to receive a personalized apartment list from our apartment ninjas. Clients can work with ninjas via email, telephone, or both. Find Me An Apartment.
Apartment Search Engine Sites/Apartment Listing Services
Unlike what the traditional apartment locator sites bring to the table, ApartmentNinjas offers a comprehensive, online searchable database of over 4,000 apartment rentals, and growing (apartment finder services optional). It provides users with intricate property descriptions such as Google maps integration (spotlights outstanding apartment communities with a clickable ninja star/driving directions to entire database), apartment amenities, community features, rental rates, contact information, photo gallery with AJAX technology, floor plans, move-in specials, rental comparisons and more. When you have access to this amount of data it is easy to decide which particular apartment residence in your area of interest(s) meets your needs and satisfaction. When you are moving to an apartment that is located within an area of town you are familiar with, an apartment database site is all you need. Most require a time consuming, bothersome and stupid registration process which asks for personal information and sets you up for email spamming BUT not ApartmentNinjas.com. You need not submit your e-mail, telephone number, or anything and you will not be contacted personally by anyone on the Ninja Realty roster. We offer a $150 Cash Rebate Check for listing our site as your referring source when signing a lease application at the apartment community of your choice – Report Your Lease!
So, which is better for you, a traditional apartment locator or rental search site? The answer to that question is both at ApartmentNinjas.com.