Apartment Locating Service

How to Hire a Moving Company in 5 Simple Steps

When you’re planning a move, you’ve got a lot to think about. Even more so if you’re hiring a moving company. According to the BBB, over 5,700 complaints about movers and moving companies were filed in 2019 alone. Topping the list of complaints were damaged or missing items, invoices that were higher than estimated and late deliveries. Moving can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether your belongings will make it to your new place safely and without incident. The following steps should help make the entire process go much more smoothly.

 

Get referrals.

If possible, ask for personal referrals from people you know and trust who have already used a moving company and can recommend their services with confidence. Ask friends, family members, coworkers or fellow students. Post something on social media. If you’re working with a realtor or apartment locator, ask if there’s a particular company they recommend. If you can’t get a personal referral, at least take the time to check online reviews and references.

 

Make sure they’re licensed and insured.

A reputable moving company will have certain verifiable credentials. In particular, they will be licensed by the U.S. DOT as well as adequate insurance coverage. This provides some peace of mind that the company is trustworthy enough to handle your belongings with care. Insurance is especially important, as even the most experienced movers can sometimes lose or break an item. Should that happen, you’ll want to at least be compensated for your loss.

 

Get multiple quotes.

You don’t have to settle for the first estimate that comes along. To the contrary, you should try to obtain at least three separate quotes from different movers. Doing so will give you more flexibility and control over your costs. This is an especially important step if you’re working on a budget.

 

Watch for red flags.

As you interact with various moving companies, be mindful of how they handle your requests. Are they courteous and professional? Can they confidently answer all of your questions? Are they forthcoming with pricing? One thing in particular to watch for is whether or not they are requesting money upfront. If a mover seems particularly eager to collect a cash deposit from you in advance of your move, it could be a serious red flag.

 

Inquire about professional accreditations.

Being professionally accredited by an industry association may not necessarily be a deal-breaker, but it could be a positive sign of a company’s quality of work and trustworthiness. That’s because most reputable trade organizations thoroughly vet moving companies before approving their membership or issuing credentials. One of the most popular accreditors to look for is the American Moving and Storage Association.

Choosing a company or crew to move your belongings to your new home or apartment isn’t an easy decision. The tips above should help you narrow your options and select a mover that will get the job done properly.

 

Not sure where to begin? Still looking for the perfect Dallas apartment? Give us a jingle. We’re here to help!

July 22, 2020 / by / in ,
7 Reasons Walkability is a Must for Dallas Renters

There are a lot of awesome things about living in the DFW area, but one of the biggest benefits is the area’s walkability. For the unfamiliar, this term refers to how easy and convenient it is to get around a particular neighborhood on foot, and Dallas certainly doesn’t disappoint. Still not convinced? Here are seven reasons why walkability should be at the top of your list when touring Dallas apartments for rent.

 

Grabbing groceries on the fly is super easy.

Running low on coffee creamer? Forget that jar of salsa you need for tonight’s dinner? Don’t sweat it! When your Dallas apartment is located in a walkable neighborhood, running out to quickly grab whatever you need whenever you need it is a breeze. And since you can shop on the fly, you don’t have to worry about those long, boring and time-consuming major shopping trips.

 

You’ll save a lot of money.

When you don’t need a vehicle to get from point A to point B and back again, you’ll cut out expenses like gas, insurance, parking and repairs. This will free up some serious cash to be able to splurge on a vacation, buy that big-ticket item you’ve been eying, or better yet – move into a bigger, better and more luxurious Dallas apartment.

 

Dinner and drinks have never been easier.

Want to meet up with friends for cocktails after work? Don’t feel like cooking tonight? No problem. The walkable neighborhoods in Dallas are chockfull of great restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. Eat out somewhere that’s literally steps from your front door, or grab takeout without having to pay a delivery fee. Sweet!

 

You’ll be safer.

Drinking and driving is never cool. If you live in a neighborhood that is walkable, you can indulge in your favorite adult beverages without having to worry about arranging a ride, picking a designated driver or worse – being tempted to get behind the wheel after you’ve had a few. So, go ahead. Order another round. You deserve it!

 

It’s better for the environment (and your body).

We all need to do our part to help make our world a safer and cleaner place, and ditching your vehicle in favor of your tennis shoes is a great way to contribute. What’s more, walking more isn’t just good for the environment. It’s also a much healthier option for your body. Do good, feel good – what’s not to love?

 

It’s much more convenient.

Who wants to waste time sitting in traffic or circling the block trying to find a place to park? In a walkable neighborhood, you don’t have to worry about these daily hassles. You’ll save time and enjoy less stress all around.

 

You’ll get to know your neighbors.

Last but not least, living in a walkable neighborhood gives you the opportunity to get out there and interact with your fellow Dallasites. In an increasingly digital world, it’s nice to be able to make human connections for a change.

Want to know which Dallas neighborhoods are the most walkable? Check out this walk scorer or better yet – get in touch. Our experts have the inside scoop!

July 3, 2020 / by / in , ,
Relocating to Dallas from Out-of-State? Here’s What to Do with Your Car

Moving is a pain in the butt as it is. Having to relocate to an entirely different state makes it that much more complicated. Among the logistics you must figure out is what to do with your car. Some places are more vehicle-friendly than others, and of course, there’s the question of where to park. Thankfully, at Dallas Apartment Locators, we specialize in relocations, so we’re intimately familiar with the ins and outs of moving from another state.

 

If you’re planning a move to the Dallas area soon and you’re unsure what to do with your vehicle, here are some of your options.

 

Sell It

One simple solution to this dilemma is to just sell your vehicle prior to your move. Of course, if you’ve ever sold a car before, you already know that this can be easier said than done. Still, it may be worth it to cut ties now, so you don’t have the hassle of dealing with it after you move.

 

Living without a vehicle is perfectly doable, especially in Dallas, since clean, safe and affordable public transportation is readily available in almost every neighborhood. Plus, you could make a little extra money to upgrade your furnishings or stash away for emergencies.

 

A word to the wise, though – if you’re going to sell your car, be sure to put it on the market as soon as possible. You never know how long it might take to close the deal, and you don’t want any added stress as it gets closer to moving time.

 

Ship It / Drive It

If you’re not ready to say goodbye to your vehicle, or you can’t afford to get out of the lease or contract you’re currently in, moving with your car is also an option. Of course, that then leaves you with the question of how to get your vehicle from point A to point B. The most obvious way is to drive it there, either by doing so yourself or asking someone else to drive it there for you.

 

Another option you may not have thought about is paying to have it shipped from your current location to your new digs. This is a great option for when you don’t want to put extra miles on your vehicle, such as with a lease, which often limits your mileage and results in a fee if you go over. It’s also a great choice for those who are simply way too stressed to have to deal with moving their vehicle on their own.

 

There are a lot of different vehicle shipping companies available online. Get some quotes and remember to give yourself enough time. If you wait too long, they may not be able to accommodate your vehicle.

 

If you do decide to ship, be sure to remove all personal items from your vehicle beforehand and purchase insurance from the shipping company to cover any potential damages.

 

And, of course, contact your new Dallas apartment to determine what your options are as far as parking and/or storage of your vehicle once it arrives.

 

Still haven’t picked a place yet? We’ve got Dallas apartments to suit every vehicle situation, including those in the heart of public transit as well as those with ample secure parking options. Get in touch today to learn more!

June 30, 2020 / by / in ,
Moving On Up – How to Snag a Dallas Luxury Apartment, Even if You’re on a Budget

The DFW area certainly has its fair share of neighborhoods, and as you’re probably already aware, some are more pricy than others. Living in a more expensive area can be great for young and up-and-comers, especially in terms of night-life and career opportunities. But renting a luxury apartment in Dallas when you’re on a budget can be quite challenging. Thankfully, it’s still doable. Our seasoned Dallas apartment locators offer some helpful tips below.

 

Revisit your budget.

The first tip for being able to afford a more expensive Dallas apartment is to start living a little below, or at least within your means. And that requires a solid budget. Write down all of your monthly expenses and identify areas where you might be able to cut back. For instance, simple things like cancelling a subscription or making coffee at home instead of stopping at the café every morning could free up additional cash that you could put toward a higher rent.

 

Put on your negotiation hat.

What many people don’t realize is that the costs of many of the services we pay for on a monthly basis are not necessarily set in stone. Sure, some are straightforward, like the electric bill. But others, like your mobile phone, internet or cable bill, can easily be negotiated. All it usually takes is a simple phone call. You may be surprised at how flexible these companies are willing to be and how much you could potentially save simply by asking.

 

Boost your bottom line.

If cutting out unnecessary spending isn’t enough (or you simply can’t bring yourself to say goodbye to your morning latte), another option is to increase your income. There are a number of ways you can do this, whether it’s getting a secondary part-time job, freelancing, starting a side-hustle or seeking full-time career opportunities that pay better. Adding some extra money to your budget can open all kinds of doors for you in terms of apartment options.

 

Ditch the car.

The good news is, Dallas is home to some pretty awesome public transportation options. For instance, there’s the Dallas Area Rapid Transit service (a.k.a. DART), which conveniently links downtown Dallas with most of the surrounding suburbs, the McKinney Avenue Trolley (a.k.a. the M-Line), which covers the Uptown, Downtown and Klyde Warren Park areas, and of course, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. By taking advantage of these affordable services, you can easily ditch your personal vehicle and all the expenses that come with it, like payments, insurance, gas, etc.

 

Work with a pro.

The last tip we’ve got to offer is to consider working with a professional. Our Dallas apartment locators have connections with some of the most affluent apartment communities in the DFW area. As such, we know about deals and options that aren’t necessarily available to the general public. Best of all, we can match you with a luxury apartment that suits your budget without charging you a single penny. What do you have to lose? Get in touch today to learn more!

June 15, 2020 / by / in ,
Roommate Living: Budgeting Tips for Shared Expenses

 

Sharing your Dallas apartment with a roommate or two can be a great arrangement, but figuring out how to divvy up the bills can sometimes be challenging. The fact is, it’s not always as easy as just splitting everything 50/50, and different people have different viewpoints and practices when it comes to budgeting and spending. Establishing some guidelines in advance can help prevent disagreements, misunderstandings and financial issues from arising down the road. Below, our apartment locating experts draw off their decades of experience to offer some pro tips for budgeting shared expenses.

 

Create a plan and commit to it.

The goal of creating a budget in advance is to help keep the peace for the long-term. This requires that everyone involved be on the same page and happy, or at least comfortable with the plan. However you choose to divvy things up, whether it be each roommate taking a particular bill or splitting all bills proportionately, make sure these details are all hammered out and fully agreed upon before moving forward.

 

Think ahead.

Future problems can easily be avoided if you try to anticipate what issues may come up down the road. For example, let’s say you decide that each roommate will take one or two utility bills. Anticipating in advance the possibility of one utility being overused can help you plan for how to prevent an issue down the road. So, you may agree that the A/C will be kept at a certain temperature to prevent the electric bill from skyrocketing disproportionately.

 

Decide what expenses are worth sharing.

Obviously, not every expense will make sense to share/budget for. Some things are more subjective and therefore more difficult for more than one party to agree to. For instance, everyone has their own taste and preferences on things like décor and furniture. Agreeing to split the cost of such items may not work in situations where one roommate has more expensive taste than the other(s). Therefore, it might make more sense to stick with the more straightforward bills, like rent and utilities.

 

Consider the unexpected.

From time to time, expenses may arise unexpectedly, such as repairs, rental increases or unforeseen fees. It’s a good idea to decide in advance how these unplanned expenses will be divided if and when they do come up. Ideally, setting aside a little extra each week or month can help cushion the blow and prevent these last-minute costs from causing financial hardship.

 

Keep track.

It may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but keeping track of all your expenses can come in handy should any questions or concerns arise throughout your tenancy. Having a record of the bills that have been incurred and paid can also be helpful in case you decide to audit things down the road. For example, you might decide to revisit your budget agreement annually to make sure everyone is still paying his or her fair share. Having all of the details handy can make this step infinitely easier.

 

Sharing your living space with someone else can be an excellent way to save money, but if you’re not careful, financial disagreements could erode an otherwise perfect arrangement. The budgeting tips above should help keep the atmosphere in your home happy, peaceful and respectful.

May 17, 2020 / by / in , ,
Thinking of Breaking Your Lease? 4 Important Things to Do First

 

There comes a time in every renter’s life when it’s time to move on, whether it’s due to a relocation, a better opportunity, changes in circumstances or something else. When that time happens to arise in the middle of a lease, however, there are a number of things to consider – especially if you’re looking to break your lease without incurring too much hassle or expense. While there’s no way to guarantee you’ll escape unscathed, there are a few things you can do to improve your odds.

 

Check your lease.

The first thing you should do is dig out your lease and read through it, looking specifically for an early termination or break clause. This section should provide more details around the requirements that must be met in order to break the lease and what the consequences may be in the case that you do. For instance, most landlords and property managers require, at the very least, a written notice. There will also most likely be a fee involved.

 

Give your landlord a call.

Even if there are specific requirements spelled out in your lease, you may be able to negotiate a better outcome if you give your landlord or property manager a call. At the very least, he or she may be willing to work with you to make the penalty a little easier to manage. For instance, if you are required to pay two month’s rent in order to get out of your lease, the landlord may consider allowing you to make that payment in several installments. That way, they still get their money but you’re not financially strapped.

 

Find a replacement.

The reason landlords have tenants sign leases and put early termination clauses in them is because they want to limit vacancies as much as possible. If you know of someone suitable who would be willing to take over your lease, you may be able to negotiate a transition without having to pay any penalties, since you’ll be saving your landlord time and prevent a vacancy. Don’t know anyone? Ask around or place an ad. Your effort in getting the ball rolling will likely be greatly appreciated.

 

Justify your stance legally, if possible.

There are certain situations in which breaking a lease is legal and can be done without consequence. Some of those situations may include, but not be limited to:

  • Unsafe or otherwise uninhabitable apartment conditions
  • Property manager or landlord has violated entry rules or engaged in harassment
  • Reassignment due to active military duty
  • Apartment is considered illegal and therefore un-rentable

 

If you believe your situation may fall into one of these categories, do some homework and be prepared. That way, when you notify the landlord or property manager of your intention to break the lease, you’ll already be armed with the information you need to back up your case.

Ready to break your lease or find a new Dallas apartment? Looking to relocate to the DFW area and not sure where or how to begin your apartment search? Our experienced apartment hunters can match you with the perfect place for your needs, preferences and budget. Get in touch today to get the ball rolling!

May 13, 2020 / by / in ,
How to Land a Killer Dallas Apartment for Less

There’s nothing better than snagging a great deal. So, what if you could land a kickass Dallas apartment and save money at the same time? Yes, it is possible to get a good deal on an apartment, whether it’s a one-time upfront savings or a lower monthly rate. That being said, there is a bit of a science to it. If you’re in the market for a new place (or you just want to know the tricks of the trade for future reference), here’s the inside scoop from our experienced apartment locators.

 

Do some research.

Rent costs vary based on a variety of factors, many of which are tied to the physical location of the property itself. Obviously, the more affluent the area, the higher the price tag will be on the available apartments. That’s not to say you can’t still land a good deal in a nicer area. You just may have to be a little more diligent. But if you’re on a budget, researching which Dallas neighborhoods have the most favorable rent rates may be worth the extra effort.

 

Understand that prices may fluctuate.

Many property managers rely on software that prices apartments dynamically, similar to flights and hotel rooms. Certain factors, such as timing and demand surges, play a role in how much a particular apartment unit might go for at any given time. Dynamic pricing enables property managers to enter various criteria, such as occupancy rates, nearby rent prices and unit location, and automatically generate the best rate. Keep in mind, however, that this is just a baseline. There may still be some wiggle room. 

 

Try to time your move.

Not everyone has the luxury of waiting to move until the perfect time, but for those who do have that kind of flexibility, it may be well worth your while. For instance, research indicates that the months between November and February tend to be the slowest as far as the rental season in Dallas is concerned. That means if you time your move during that window, chances are you’ll get a better rate on your rent as well, since landlords and property managers will be scrambling to fill vacancies.

 

Be prepared to negotiate.

One of the best kept secrets in the Dallas apartment scene is that rent rates can sometimes be negotiated. Even if you can’t convince a landlord to charge you a lower monthly rate, you might be able to work out a deal where you get a discount on the first month or perhaps have certain fees waived, such as application or amenity fees. Again, apartment owners want to maximize occupancy, and many are willing to compromise in order to do so. In any case, it certainly can’t hurt to ask.

 

Lean on a pro.

The good news is, getting the best deal on a Dallas apartment isn’t something you have to figure out on your own. In fact, if you partner with the right team, they can negotiate the best rate and/or perks on your behalf. Our Dallas apartment locators have established relationships with property managers all over the DFW area. We also know about great deals, some of which are not even advertised to the public. And we don’t charge a penny for our services. Ready to get started? Get in touch today!

April 29, 2020 / by / in ,
Relocating to Dallas? 5 Tips for Renting an Apartment Sight Unseen

According to recent reports, Dallas leads the entire nation in relocations, with nearly 250 new people arriving on a daily basis. Often times, those moving to a new city face the challenging task of finding a place to stay without being able to do a walkthrough or inspection first. While signing a lease on a new apartment sight-unseen can certainly be risky, there are a few precautions you can take to protect yourself and improve the odds of landing a place you’ll actually love. Here’s what our experienced apartment locators recommend.

 

Create a List

Before launching your search, it’s important to have a clear picture of what your needs and preferences are. You don’t want to waste your time looking up listings that don’t match your criteria – especially if you’re under pressure to find something fast. Sit down and write a list of what you want in a Dallas apartment. What amenities do you absolutely need? How much rent can you afford? Will you need public transportation? These are all essential things to know upfront.

 

Research the Area

Dallas is home to some of the best neighborhoods in the country (if we do say so ourselves), but they are not all created equal. Some may be more laid back and suburb-like while others are more lively and eclectic. Before you start your apartment search, do some research on each neighborhood to see which one(s) would more closely match your needs. And keep in mind that the DFW metroplex is pretty massive. If you’re relocating for work or school, make sure you’re looking in areas that aren’t situated too far away commute-wise.

 

Get Help

Once you’ve figured out what your needs and preferences are, as well as which neighborhoods you’d like to focus on, we strongly recommend enlisting the help of a professional. For instance, our Dallas apartment locators are intimately familiar with the area and have hands-on experience helping people with the relocation process. Plus, we’ve built a solid reputation that we would never want to risk. And, of course, our service is free. You could do all the work, but why would you want to???

 

Use Technology

These days, we have access to so much technology right at our fingertips. You can take advantage of this by asking for a virtual tour of each apartment. Some luxury Dallas apartments offer this feature right on their websites. If this isn’t an option, ask a friend or apartment locator to do a walk through while using a video-conferencing tool, like Skype, FaceTime or Facebook messaging’s video call feature. It’s the next best thing to being there in person.

 

Ask for a Shorter Lease

This may not always be an option, as most landlords and property managers prefer to sign long-term tenants, but it’s certainly worth a shot. Finding a place that offers month-to-month tenancy may be a decent option, although having to move again shortly after relocating probably won’t be fun. If you can find a place that offers a lease of six months or a year, you’ll have time to see if you like your new place before deciding to move on or sign a longer-term lease.

Ready to take the plunge and see what’s out there? Contact our Dallas relocations experts today!

March 30, 2020 / by / in ,
Bad Credit? Here’s How You Can Still Get a Great Dallas Apartment.

Bad Credit? Here’s How You Can Still Get a Great Dallas Apartment.

Bad credit can be caused by any number of financial issues, from missing a few credit card payments to defaulting on your student loans to having a vehicle repossessed, etc. Once your credit score has taken a dive, it can seem almost impossible to climb back out of that hole. And since almost every major life decision – including renting an apartment in Dallas – involves running a credit check, it can really come back to haunt you. The good news is, it’s not permanent. Here are a few actions you can take to start rebuilding your credit and improve your chances of landing that new apartment you’ve been wanting.

 

Pull your credit report.

The first step in rebuilding your credit is to find out exactly what you’re working with. There are a number of online services that provide an idea of what your credit score is, but they’re not always completely accurate. What’s more, some of them aren’t on the up-and-up. The only true and safe way to know your real score is to utilize the Annual Credit Report service. This service, mandated by the U.S. government, provides consumers with access to their credit reports from all three major credit bureaus once every 12 months, free of charge.

 

Look for discrepancies and inaccuracies.

Once you’ve got your updated credit report, go through it with a fine-toothed comb, paying extra attention to any negative items listed on each report. The truth is, mistakes happen, and if you’re not careful, incorrect information could be bringing your score down through no fault of your own. For instance, creditors occasionally misreport negative details to the credit bureaus, such as missed or late payments that were, in fact, made on time. If you spot a discrepancy, it’s up to you to take action. File a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau as soon as possible. Having these items updated and/or removed can bump your score in a more positive direction.

 

Negotiate with your creditors.

If you’re struggling to pay down your balances or keep up with your payments, it may be helpful to contact your creditors directly. Ask if they’d be willing to lower your interest rate, put you on a more flexible payment plan or accept a settlement in exchange for removing negative comments on your credit report. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be successful, but it’s certainly worth a try. If you do get an agreement, be sure to get it in writing, as it may be helpful to show a potential leasing manager or landlord.

 

Work with a pro.

Having poor credit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never be able to rent a nice apartment in Dallas. It just may mean you’ll have to do a little more work to find someone who would be willing to take a chance on you. This is one of the reasons why working with a Dallas apartment locator service can be so beneficial. Our experienced locators have long-standing relationships with many landlords and property managers and may be able to match you with someone who is flexible and understanding. If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch and let’s discuss what your options are.

March 21, 2020 / by / in ,
No Surprises – 5 Extra Costs to Consider when Moving

No Surprises – 5 Extra Costs to Consider when Moving

When looking for a new Dallas apartment, one of the most important things to consider is cost. What will rent be? What type of deposit will I need? How much will utilities cost? How much apartment can I afford? These are all valid factors to consider. What many renters neglect to include in their calculations, however, are all those hidden costs associated with moving. To prevent any unpleasant and financially damaging surprises, here are a few extras you may want to prepare for.

 

Application Fees

Many landlords charge applicants a fee, which is designed to do two things: cover the cost of a credit check and background check, and weed out applicants who are shady or aren’t really serious about renting. Most of these fees are nominal, ranging from around $20 to $50, but they’re typically non-refundable, so be sure to factor this into your budget – especially if you’re planning on applying with multiple properties.

 

Moving Costs

Unless you plan on schlepping all of your stuff to your new place on your own, you’ll also want to factor the cost of professional movers into your apartment budget. Prices of moving companies vary and depend on a lot of things, such as distance and amount of property. You may pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well into the thousands. Even if you decide to go the DIY route, you’ll probably end up paying a couple of friends to help you, whether with cash or springing for food and drinks, so keep this in mind.

 

Utility Deposits

Many utility companies require customers to pay a deposit or down payment in order to activate services. These deposits typically range from $100 to $300. If you’ve already paid the fee and will just be switching service from your old place to your new, you’re probably all set, but you might want to double check just to be sure. You don’t want to end up sitting in the dark because you’ve used up all your extra cash and can’t cover the unexpected activation fee.

 

Renters Insurance

Not only is renters insurance something that’s strongly recommended for apartment dwellers, but there’s a good chance it’s something your new landlord or property manager will require. This insurance protects your belongings and limits your liability in the event of an emergency. The cost of insurance can vary greatly, depending on how much coverage you’re looking for. Figure anywhere from $10 for the bare minimum to a few hundred dollars a month for more comprehensive coverage.

 

Facilities Fees

Another added expense found in many Dallas apartments is an access fee to use the onsite facilities. Not all, but some apartments assess an additional monthly fee to use things like the fitness center, pool, laundry facility, etc. You may be able to negotiate this a bit, but it’s something you should at least inquire about so that you don’t end up disappointed after the fact.

 

When determining how much moving into your new Dallas apartment is going to cost, these five things – along with the basics of security deposit and first month’s rent – should all be factored in. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to manage your budget more effectively and avoid any unexpected costs you can’t afford.

March 8, 2020 / by / in ,