Every year, thousands of University of Texas students scramble to find their dream student apartment. While many students choose to live on campus, many others prefer their own space. We've made a helpful list of can't-miss advice that will help you while searching for student apartments near UT.
1. Set a monthly rent budget and stick to it
Right off the bat, it's important to determine how much you're able and willing to spend on rent. As a general rule of thumb, it's recommended that no more than a third of your monthly living allowance be spent on rent and utilities. Keep this budget in mind when apartment searching, and try not to be tempted to spend more just because you've found a beautiful apartment.
Make sure to take additional expenses into account while you search, including factors like:
- Pet fees
- Parking fees
- Transportation costs
- Renter's insurance
- Moving expenses
Once you're ready to start apartment hunting, use our Austin Rental Locator Tool to search by map. Our listings have hundreds of apartments near UT, so start your search now!
2. Have your finances in order before apartment hunting
The rental market moves extremely quickly. Make sure you're ready to move if you find a place you like. Come prepared with your checkbook, and ensure you have enough money ready to pay the first month's rent, security deposit, and application fees right away. It will give you a big leg up on the competition if you're the first applicant with a check in hand.
Before signing a lease, you will need to prove that you are financially capable of paying rent, whether it be through your own personal income, or through a guarantor. A guarantor (or co-signer) will typically be your parent, guardian, or whoever is covering your expenses, so make sure you have that worked out in advance.
3. Decide whether you want to live alone or with roommates
Now that you have your budget, you can determine what type of lifestyle you'd like to live. Would you rather live with roommates, or alone? Consider how much you value your privacy, how much you like social interaction, and the added costs of living alone. With roommates, rent tends to be cheaper and expenses end up divided across the house. The cost of a one bedroom apartment near campus starts around $1,000, whereas living with a roommate will start around $700.
4. Pick your location wisely
The location of your apartment will have a huge influence on your day-to-day life. While most choose to live close to the UT campus in Central Austin, it's not the only option. North Loop offers a quieter, more residential atmosphere. South Lamar and South Congress offer a hipper, trendier lifestyle. Before you decide, spend some time exploring the neighborhood on foot to determine if it's right for you.
Take into account how easy or difficult it will be for you to get to campus. If you're spending a lot of time on campus, you don't want to get stuck with a long back-and-forth commute every day. You are there for school after all, so prioritize your academic success.
For more information on Austin's most popular neighborhoods, check out our Austin Community Guide.
5. Decide what amenities you need
It will help refine your search if you know what amenities you're looking for. Do you absolutely need laundry in your building? Do you have pets? Would you like a furnished apartment? Are you looking to sublet your apartment in the summer? These are all important questions to ask yourself.
6. Do your research
Before viewing any apartments, do your homework. Figure out the average rent in the area to make sure you aren't overpaying. Remember that you'll be in competition with other students who likely have similar wishlists, so start your hunt as early as possible.
Trust your instincts when browsing through listings. Rental scams are fairly common, so don't take any unnecessary risks. Never sign a lease without viewing an apartment first, and be skeptical if a place sounds too good to be true. If you can't make a showing, have a friend or family member go for you.
7. Come prepared to a viewing
When you do start viewing apartments, make sure you visit several apartments before signing a lease. This will give you a better idea of how far your dollar can stretch and what types of amenities you may not have thought about yet. Don't jump the gun on the first apartment you see.
Prepare a checklist of your apartment must-haves in advance to ensure that you don't forget to ask any important questions. Examine the apartment for damage, and try to get a sense if the landlord takes maintenance requests seriously. Check appliances, taps, and light fixtures. Respect the current tenants' privacy, but don't be shy about making sure your money is going to be well spent. Ask the current tenants whether or not there are loud neighbors, or anything else unusual about the apartment.
Once you've found your dream apartment, check out our Austin Rental Guide with 7 Tips For Austin Tenants.Posted by Mary Ann Castro on