Dear Chase, should I rent an apartment or a house?

Dated: September 28 2020

Views: 476

 

“Dear Chase, I’m moving to Austin and looking for a rental. I’m interested in apartments and houses, which would be a better choice?” 

- Anonymous (9/28/2020)

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Thanks for the question!

 

While a house does provide privacy, fewer restrictions, and often a fenced yard, there’s quite a few reasons why I feel an apartment is a better choice for the money. 

Let’s start with the number of choices: 

If you have a budget of Austin’s average rent of $1500 per month, your choices of houses (on my 9/28 MLS search) is 8

Only three of them have more than one bedroom.  

Now if you’re looking at apartments, there’s over 220 choices with 2+ bedrooms under $1500!

What this means is there is a lot of demand for houses, causing the price to be much higher per month. The market for rental homes also moves very fast, meaning if you like one, you need to strike fast. 

Planning:

The next case for apartments is being able to plan further out. When a seller lists a home for rent, they would like the tenant to move in ASAP, usually within a couple weeks. Apartments have the flexibility of allowing you to sign a lease 60 days ahead of time, but can also reserve a unit for you further out than that. 

Deposits: 

Almost every landlord of a home will charge a full month’s rent as a deposit, whereas an apartment management company generally charges $250-400 as a deposit. 

Concessions:

By concessions, I’m not talking about nachos at a Longhorns game, I’m talking about move-in bonuses! Many apartments in Austin need more residents and are willing to give 4-10 weeks free + free gifts. I’ve seen free gifts include everything from assigned parking spaces to an Xbox, Playstation, TV, to a Peloton workout bike!

Amenities:

Most apartments have pools, fitness rooms, dog parks, co-working spaces, event/party rooms, covered parking spaces, you name it! All included in your lease!

Fellow Apartment Residents:

This one could be seen as a pro or a con. As a con, your apartment neighbors may be noisy, or could be offended by your noise. As a pro, you have the chances of meeting new friends in the elevators, at community events, at the pool, or at the gym!

Since you're new to the area, any opportunity to make connections is good to have.

Electricity:

This one shouldn’t be a surprise, your electricity costs in an apartment are often metered by building to reduce the monthly costs, many new buildings that meter by unit are also LEED-certified to reduce the cost of electricity! Your electricity bill in a home will be about 3x more than an apartment. 

Safety:

Gated community, security, cameras, regular fire safety inspections, gated parking garages, only one entry door to your unit… Apartments are far less likely to be the crime scene for break-ins, theft, and fire. 

Maintenance:

You’ll be relying on the landlord or property manager to fix an issue if something goes wrong in the house. In an apartment, you have onsite help for these things. 

 

Yard Work:

You got the house, you wanted the yard... this one’s on you.  

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“One more thing. I have a dog, and he wants his own yard… 

Are there apartments with yards?”

Yes in fact! You can get a townhouse-style apartment or a first-floor apartment with a fenced yard. You even get yard maintenance from the apartment!

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Have you decided which makes more sense for your lifestyle?

Fill out my form here and let's get the search started

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Chase Cangelosi

Chase’s real estate interest sparked as a child, helping his dad repair his rental properties around Baton Rouge, LA. When Chase was 19, he began a marketing internship with a Baton Rouge commercial....

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