Essential Steps To Finding An Apartment

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Smart City
Jul 31, 2019

It’s that time again! Your lease is ending soon and you’re ready for a fresh new pad! But you literally have no clue what to do or where to even start– and that’s okay! We’ve made a quick list of essential steps to take to ensure you’re finding your next apartment the right way!

Know What’s Goin’ On!

Knowing when your lease is up is a must! Don’t let it creep up on you and send you into a “three weeks to find a place” frenzy! The best time to start looking is within the 60 day window before you’ve got to move out of your current spot. This is because pricing and availability change almost daily, and we want to ensure you receive the most accurate leasing information available before committing to anything. Also remember that most apartment management companies require a 30 to 60 day notice to vacate; DO. NOT. FORGET. TO. SUBMIT. YOUR. NOTICE.

Let’s talk money. Do you know your budget? Ramen noodles are good and all, but you might not want to live off of noodles for a year just to cop a unit with a wine fridge, #prioritize. Be reasonable and realistic about what you’re willing and able to to spend on rent each month, and still afford paying other bills and having fun. It’s SUPER important to know where you stand financially, be aware of certain requirements that complexes may have; like making three times your rent amount! And if you don’t, do you have a guarantor? Here’s a quick list of things you can expect to pay when moving into a new apartment:

  • Application and admin fees
  • Security deposit
  • Rent
  • Pet fees and deposits
  • other moving costs, like switching over utilities and setting up internet

Have NO idea what you can expect to pay for the above mentioned costs of moving? It varies from property to property and person to person; but don’t worry, we’re always here to help, and ensure you have a fun, fruitful leasing experience.

Finally, it’s crucial to know whether you’re planning on having a roommate or if you’re flyin’ solo because this drastically effects your search. If you do have a roomie, make sure you’re both on the same page as far as move date and budget–and probably preferred apartment temperature, but we’ll save fighting over the thermostat for another blog.

Hit Us Up!

Let the experts help. When you get paired up with a Smart City agent, you get the opportunity to tell us all your wants and needs, including preferred neighborhoods, finishes, square footage, must-have amenities, and so much more. The more you tell us, the smarter we get (read: the better we’ll be at pairing you with the apartment of your dreams.) Got a dog? Our agents know all of the pet friendly apartments in the area. Need to be close to work, the gym, the bars? Lucky for you, all Smart City agents live, play and work here too, and can be considered Austin experts. Like all good relationships, the key here is communication!

Prep Yourself

Now that you have a list of potential spots from your locator, it’s time to pay a visit to your favorites–unless you’re down to lease sight unseen, in which case, we salute you (and can also snag you a video tour)! It’s good practice, and might we even say, more efficient to schedule one day to run around town checking out ALL your favorite properties. Our experts say Saturday is the most popular day to tour, so do with that information what you will *cough, go during the week to get a leg up on other renters and the changing market, cough cough*.

Locking in the apartment of your dreams, especially one on special, can get a bit competitive. We suggest attending tours ready and able to apply in case you fall in love with a unit and don’t want to risk losing it to another renter! Application fees, admin fees and even security deposits can be required when applying depending on the property’s leasing policies. So make like a boy scout, and be prepared!

Don’t Wait! (too long)

It’s hard to choose sometimes, and you want to make the best decision before signing a lease–we toootally get it. But if there is a killer deal out there, don’t wait too long! Someone else is right behind you ready to look and lease your favorite unit (see above), and the market changes almost daily. A special today may be gone tomorrow!

Words to live by, LESS BUT BETTER. Don’t sentence yourself to apartment overwhelm, because the more units you tour and the more lists you ask your agent to compile for you, the more confused you might get then making the “right” decision becomes virtually impossible. Too much of anything, including available apartments, is still too much.


Apartment hunting might sound stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. It can always be a super fun and exciting experience, especially if you feel confident and prepared. YOU GOT THIS, and we’ve got your back! When you’re ready to start your search, call/text us at 512-815-2317 or fill out an apartmentweb form so that we can get you expert help finding an apartment you’ll love!

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