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Austin Apartment Hunting: New Builds vs. Older Properties

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Sarah Wuenscher
Jan 26, 2024

Deciding between leasing at a newer complex or rolling with an older building? We’ve got the lowdown on the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.



Veranda 1


  • New finishes, duh. Most new builds opt for the minimalist, modern look—a blank canvas for you to personalize! Being the first to use your tub? Huge win.
  • Killer move-in specials. If you couldn’t tell with all of the construction, there are tons of new apartment complexes being built in Austin. To stand out from the crowd, new properties will usually offer serious savings at move-in to boost occupancy.
  • Energy efficiency. Those Texas summer utility bills can be brutal. Newer buildings are often designed with the latest technology, keeping your monthly costs lower.
  • Low maintenance: Newer builds tend to require less upkeep.
  • Updated amenities. You probably won’t find a “community podcast studio” in a 1970s building. We’re seeing new developments get creative with their amenity spaces—if getting the most out of your building is important to you, you may want to opt for a place with the latest and greatest.
  • In-unit laundry. At-home laundry days are game-changing. Leasing at a newer build typically means you’ll save trips to the laundromat or on-site communal facilities.



  • They can be expensive. The privilege of being the first person to use your tub will usually cost you.
  • Limited aesthetic options: New builds tend to be pretty uniform finish-wise—you won’t find much variation from building to building.
  • Storage is a struggle: New builds tend to be less storage-forward than properties built in the 60s or 70s. If you’re a collector or just have a lot of sh*t, you might find yourself needing to get creative with organization.




  • You’ll pay less for more. One of the main draws of living in a vintage property is the pricing! Older properties tend to offer more square footage for your buck.
  • Character and charm. Vintage properties have a unique character that comes with years of life that just can’t be replicated in a new build.
  • Many of them are renovated. The complex may have been built in the 1970s, but the stainless steel appliances are brand new! A renovated unit in an older property can be the best of both worlds.
  • So much storage! If you’re a fan of deep closets, they’re far more common in older buildings.



  • Older finishes. Unless the unit is renovated, you’llmost likely be rolling with white appliances and carpeted floors. You may have to sacrifice features like garbage disposals and dishwashers in an older building.
  • Upfront savings are less likely. Older properties typically have higher occupancy rates, so they’re less likely to offer significant specials when you sign the lease.
  • W+D in-unit is rare. While many older properties have laundry facilities on-site, having an in-unit washer and dryer isn’t always a guarantee. If you’re used to having laundry days at home, this would be an adjustment.


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