Dallas Apartment Guide

Know Before You Go – How to Plan the Perfect Dallas Apartment Hunt

Landing a new apartment can be an exciting milestone. But before you put pen to paper and sign a long-term, legally binding lease, our Dallas apartment experts recommend working through the following list. That way, you’ll cover all your bases, avoid any unexpected and potentially costly surprises and make the transition into your new home smooth and uneventful.

 

Fees

Many Dallas apartment communities assess certain fees upfront, just to get the process started. This helps property owners and landlords to weed out undesirable candidates and also covers some of the costs they incur as part of their evaluation process. At the bare minimum, these fees typically include an application fee as well as a fee for running credit and background checks. You should also know ahead of time how much money you’ll need to come up with to cover the security deposit.

 

Credit Score

Almost all landlords and property owners will run some type of credit check to assess whether a prospective tenant will be reliable and capable of paying the rent on time and in full. It’s a good idea to know in advance what type of credit score you have. If it’s not great, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to find a nice apartment. It could just take a little more effort. Being upfront and honest during the initial evaluation process will go a long way.

 

Rent and Other Expenses

How much will the monthly rent be and what’s included in that amount? Are there any utilities included, and if so, which ones? What additional amenities would you be required to dish out extra funds for if interested, such as parking or use of the fitness center? Note – it’s sometimes possible to negotiate a lower rate for rent and other extras. The worst they can say is no.

 

Pets

If you share your life with a furry friend, you may find it a bit more challenging to find an apartment willing to accept you both as residents. This is one of the reasons working with an apartment locating firm like us can be so beneficial, as we know the ins and outs of most local communities. In any event, if you do plan on keeping a pet, make sure you know what the policy is, particularly in terms of a pet deposit and/or any additional fees that may be tacked onto your monthly rent amount.

 

Maintenance

Different communities handle maintenance in their own way. Some require residents to cover the costs while others incorporate these expenses in the total cost of rent. It’s a good idea to know in advance what the policy and procedure is, and what may be expected of you in the event that your apartment requires a repair.

 

Are you in the market for a new Dallas apartment? Don’t waste your precious time and energy searching on your own. Give our experienced apartment locators a call today. We have an impressive inventory and already know the answers to the above questions and more. Best of all, working with us won’t cost you a penny.

 

Ready to learn more or get started? Call us at (214) 999-1161 or fill out our online form here.

April 1, 2021 / by / in ,
Apartment Hunting from Afar: How to Maximize a Virtual Apartment Tour

 

Searching for an apartment during a global pandemic can be downright challenging. Many property managers and landlords have turned to digital tools to meet the new social distancing requirements, which means renters must now rely on virtual tours rather than in-person showings.

 

With experts predicting this trend will continue even after things return to normal, it’s important to know in advance what to expect in order to make an accurate assessment of a property. Here’s what our apartment locators recommend.

 

Preparing Ahead

There are a few things you should do before you schedule a virtual apartment tour. These things will ensure that the meeting goes off without a hitch and that you find out everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

  • Charge your cell or laptop battery.
  • Make sure you’ve got a strong, reliable WiFi signal.
  • Choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted.
  • Research the property and neighborhood.
  • Prepare your list of questions in advance.

 

Questions to Ask

One of the biggest challenges of taking a virtual tour of an apartment is that you can’t physically inspect the place in question. To avoid any unexpected disappointments, make sure cover all the important points during your digital meeting. At the very least, be sure to do the following:

  • Ask to see each room from multiple angles.
  • Request a close-up view of all the appliances.
  • Ask to have the water turned on, particularly the shower to assess water pressure.
  • Ask to have the windows opened. This will help assess the view and gauge noise level.
  • Ask about the WiFi and cell phone signal quality. This is especially important if you plan on working from home or attending online classes.
  • Request a list of amenities, such as parking or pool use, and ask whether they are included in your rent or will cost extra.
  • Find out whether there are laundry facilities on-site (hookups in-unit, laundry room in the building, etc.)
  • Ask for a tour of the rest of the building and grounds.
  • Inquire about the guest, roommate and/or pet policies (if applicable).
  • Find out whether any utilities are included in your monthly rent, or if you’ll need to pay them separately.
  • Ask who is responsible for maintenance costs.
  • Ask whether there are any additional fees to prepare for, such as application fees.
  • Ask about lease terms and move-in availability.
  • Find out how much of an investment will be required upfront (e.g. first month, last month, security deposit, pet deposit, etc.).

 

And, of course, you’ll probably have a bunch of other questions that are specific to your own needs and preferences. The more you inquire about during your tour, the easier it will be to narrow down your options and choose the Dallas apartment that’s perfect for you.

 

As searching for apartments online continues to become the norm rather than the exception, being as prepared in advance as possible will become your ace in the hole. Signing a lease is a big commitment, and that doesn’t change when you are touring properties from afar. In fact, it’s even more important to be diligent upfront in the age of virtual apartment hunting.

 

Have more questions or concerns? Interested in learning more about our inventory of luxury Dallas apartments for rent? Get in touch today! We’re happy to help.

March 12, 2021 / by / in ,
Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You. What’s the Deal with Employment Verification?

 

Applying for a new apartment typically involves a decent amount of paperwork. If it’s a quality apartment, chances are one of those documents will be a consent to perform a background check and employment verification. But do they really follow through with these things, or are they just doing it for show? After all, it is a great way to weed out those who already know they wouldn’t qualify. So, should you give your boss a heads up? Here’s what our apartment locators say you can anticipate happening.

 

What to Expect

In almost all cases, a good landlord or property manager is going to be thorough in screening tenants. For the credit report and criminal background check, most rely on third party screening services to do the legwork. Employment verifications, on the other hand, are typically handled personally. Obviously, each property is different and each individual has his or her own qualification process, but at the very least, you can expect that proof of income will be on the list.

 

Common Requirements

Oftentimes, a landlord or property manager will require tenants to maintain an income of a certain percentage above and beyond the monthly rent amount. For instance, it’s not uncommon that an applicant be required to have a monthly salary of at least three times the amount of rent. Of course, this amount is not set in stone, but it’s a benchmark used by many, so it’s a good starting point when shopping for Dallas apartments.

 

Requested Information

There are a few specific things that are usually on the list when a landlord or property manager contacts an employer. Generally speaking, they’ll be looking for the following:

  • Verification of Employment
  • Length of Employment
  • Income Verification

In order to obtain this information, you will likely be required to sign a release form. This is because most employers will refuse to provide any details without written consent. You may be able to skip ahead of this step by requesting a document from your boss containing this information on company letterhead. Whether or not this will be acceptable will ultimately depend on the landlord.

 

Additional Information

As mentioned, not all landlords are the same. Some require far more information than others before they’re willing to qualify a prospective tenant. For instance, in addition to pulling your credit report, running a criminal background check and verifying your employment, some landlords or property managers will also want to verify your rental history. This means a potential call to your prior landlord to ensure there have been no issues with you as a tenant. Be prepared for this, just in case.

 

The Importance of Honesty

If there’s anything in your background or about yourself that you feel may hinder your ability to qualify as a good tenant, just be honest. For instance, if you’ve recently changed jobs or have struggled a bit lately with finances, be upfront about it. The landlord may very well be willing to work with you, but only if you’re forthcoming right from the start.

 

Curious about the steps it takes to rent an apartment in Dallas? Our experts are happy to answer any of your questions. Get in touch today!

February 22, 2021 / by / in ,
To Insure, or Not to Insure: Should You Invest in Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is a specific kind of insurance coverage that is designed to protect your belongings when you don’t own your own home. Unlike homeowners insurance, which covers everything including the structure of a dwelling, renters insurance focuses primarily on the contents contained within a particular rented unit. Simply put, renters insurance policies provide compensation for things like loss of or damages to personal property and expenses incurred by forced re-homing.

Now that you know what renters insurance is, however, the big question becomes, is it something worth investing in? Here are a few important things to keep in mind.

 

Other insurance may not, and probably WILL not, cover your losses.

Many apartment renters make the mistake of believing that, in the event of damage or theft, their belongings will be covered under whatever insurance coverage the property owner has in place. Unfortunately, they learn a difficult and costly lesson when they discover that this is very rarely the case.

Let’s say a pipe bursts in the apartment above yours, causing water to leak in through your ceiling. That water damages your furniture and destroys some of your other items. Or, let’s say someone breaks in while you’re out one evening and steals some of your jewelry or other valuable items. Or, what about if someone visiting your apartment gets injured.

In any of these scenarios, you would likely be on the hook to cover all of your own losses, damages and expenses. And if you don’t have insurance, that could mean a substantial amount of money out of your own pocket.

 

Some apartments require tenants to maintain renters insurance.

Another important thing to consider is the fact that many apartments actually mandate that all tenants carry renters insurance coverage. In doing so, this provides an added level of protection against liability for the property owner.

If renters insurance is required for a particular apartment, it’s usually written right into the lease agreement, but you should double check with your landlord or apartment locator service to make sure you’re in compliance, just in case.

 

Not all renters insurance policies are created equal.

The good news is, when it comes to renters insurance, your options are many. Most major insurance providers offer this type of coverage, and many offer multiple different plans and coverages to choose from.

When comparing policies and determining which coverage is right for you, consider your personal needs and circumstances. How much value do you place on your personal property? How old is the building you are renting? These are questions you should ask yourself first, so that you’ll have a better idea of what type of coverage you’ll need. Discussing your situation with an insurance agent can help as well.

 

Renters insurance is surprisingly affordable.

If you’re on a tight budget, it can be tempting to forego renters insurance, but doing so may cost you big time in the long run. Thankfully, renters insurance is actually quite affordable, and purchasing a policy is super easy. Plus, when you compare the negligible upfront investment to the potential losses you could incur if you were not covered, it becomes abundantly clear just how worth it this type of policy is in the long-term.

 

Still have questions or need more guidance on apartment living? Get in touch! Our team of experts can provide advice and help point you in the right direction.

January 9, 2021 / by / in
To Renew or Not to Renew? 3 Critical Things to Know About Lease Renewals

The topic of leases usually comes up when you’re looking for a new place, but what about when that lease period is up? 12 months can fly by pretty quickly, and it’s important to have an idea of what your options are, as well as what renewing an existing lease may or may not entail. If you’re perfectly content where you currently are, and your landlord is also happy with you as a tenant, re-upping for another year may be the obvious choice. That said, here are few important things to consider, from our apartment experts.

 

You aren’t guaranteed a chance to renew.

Just because you love where you are living, doesn’t mean your landlord or property manager loves having you there. Even if you are a stellar tenant, there a variety of reasons a lease may not be up for renewal. For instance, the apartment building may be up for sale or scheduled to undergo some major renovations. Or, the landlord may have another tenant lined up that he or she would prefer (which is their legal right, once the lease is up).

Before you bank on simply re-upping your lease for another year or two, make sure this is even going to be an option. Ask your landlord or property manager well in advance. That way, if their plan is different from yours, you’ll have ample time to start looking for another place and won’t be left scrambling when the lease expires.

 

Your terms you originally agreed upon may no longer be the same.

A lot of things go into determining the terms of a lease. For instance, cost of living and fair market value at the time a lease is signed are both taken into consideration when determining monthly rent costs. Many of these factors may change over the course of the lease, however, so it’s important to understand that what you agreed to the first time around may not be the same when you go to renew.

Your new lease may include a rental increase, a longer lease period, or other updated or new terms that weren’t in the original agreement. Be sure you are fully aware of what you are agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line. Keep in mind, also, that you may be able to negotiate some changes in terms with your landlord as well. Provided you have been an outstanding tenant, it’s typically in their best interest to work with you rather than have to find a new tenant to replace you.

 

You may be required to re-apply.

Just as external circumstances that impact rent costs can change a lot over the course of a lease term, the circumstances of the tenant can change as well. For instance, your income may have dropped significantly, or you may now be cohabitating with someone else. Landlords understand this, which is why they often require existing tenants to go through the application period again whenever the lease expires.

A new application provides landlords the protection of being able to run a new credit and/or background check to ensure that you are still a good investment. This isn’t something that’s always required, but it does happen, so be prepared, just in case.

Whether or not you will be able to continue to live where you are now once your lease is up will depend on a number of factors. It’s wise to be aware of the different possibilities in advance. That way you can avoid costly and frustrating surprises once the lease officially expires.

 

Lease renewal coming up soon? We may have a better place for you! Get in touch with us before renewing to see if a move may make more sense.

January 9, 2021 / by / in
Size Matters: How Much Apartment Square Footage Do I Need?

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which Dallas apartment is right for you. For instance, do you need a place that’s pet-friendly? Are there certain amenities that are “must-haves”, like a fitness center or free parking?

Then there’s the question of size. You don’t want to end up locked into a lease only to find out the place you’ve chosen doesn’t have nearly enough space. On the other hand, you also don’t want to be paying more for a place that’s too big for your needs. Our Dallas apartment locators explain how to determine the ideal square footage below.

 

Average Apartment Sizes

Knowing what the average apartment measures in at can provide a good foundation. Generally speaking, the average studio apartment is about 500 square feet. According to Rent.com, here are a few more baseline calculations:

  • 1-bedroom: 750 square feet
  • 2-bedroom: 1075 square feet
  • 3-bedroom: 1300 square feet

 

Calculating Square Footage

You can determine the exact square footage of a space by multiplying its width by its length. This practice can become challenging, however, because not all apartments feature rooms that are neatly shaped into a square or rectangle. If you’re looking at a place that has outcroppings, for instance, you can calculate the overall size by sectioning off squares or rectangles and then adding the square footage of each together.

Of course, if you’re working with an apartment locator, like someone from our team, you can simply ask them to provide you with the exact measurement. This makes things much easier for you!

 

How Much Square Footage Do I Need?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it will ultimately depend on how much space you personally prefer. It’ll also depend on how many people will be living there. In general, the minimum amount of space needed per person is 200 square feet. Again, this is the bare minimum. In reality, a space of around 400 square feet per person would be much more comfortable.

There are additional factors to consider as well when determining how much room you’ll need in your apartment. For instance:

  • If you work from home, would a studio with a dedicated office space work? Or, do you need a separate room with a door?
  • Do you entertain frequently? If so, a separate dining area or larger living area might be best.
  • Do you require storage space for bigger items such as a bike?
  • How big is your furniture? (For reference, a king size bed needs at least 169 square feet.)

You’ll also want to weigh your budgetary needs as well. Bigger apartments tend to cost more in terms of utilities, like heat and electricity. You’ll want to be sure you’ve got enough to comfortably cover these added expenses before jumping into a long-term lease.

 

Still not sure how much square footage is right for you? Don’t sweat it. Our Dallas apartment experts can match you with the perfect amount of space for your needs. Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny to work with us! Get in touch today to learn more or get started.

November 20, 2020 / by / in ,
5 Things to Know About Living in Dallas

 

As the largest inland metropolitan area in the entire country, Dallas is as diverse as it is massive. If you’re new to the area, there are a lot of things you probably don’t know about “The Big D,” many of which could make living here even better. To get the inside scoop, we asked our expert Dallas apartment locators to list the top five facts about living in this incredible city. Here’s what they had to say.

 

It can be pricey…unless you have connections.

The cost of living in Dallas is around 7.6% higher than the national average – especially when you figure in other expenses, such as groceries and utilities. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. Our team has connections with property managers in some of the most exclusive Dallas apartment communities and can match you with a place that suits your needs, preferences and your budget. Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny to work with us.

 

Getting from here to there is super easy.

The DFW area may be large in size, but getting where you need to go is easier than you may think. In fact, no matter what neighborhood you choose to lay down some roots, there are a variety of ways to get around. The DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) system, for example, runs from o’dark thirty (a.k.a. 5 a.m.) through midnight and the fare is cheap. There are also a ton of ride-share options, and most of the neighborhoods rank very high on the walkability scale.

 

It’s not as “big city” as you may think.

The downtown Dallas skyline may be iconic, but there’s a lot more to this area than highways and high-rises. In fact, natural resources and recreational opportunities abound all throughout DFW and the surrounding communities. Grab a paddleboard and head over to White Rock Lake, enjoy a bike ride along the Katy Trail or spend the day hiking through one of the many nature preserves. With beautiful weather year-round, Dallas is the perfect place for someone who loves the great outdoors.

 

It’s a food lover’s paradise.

They say everything’s bigger in TX, and when it comes to appetites, this is certainly the case. Regardless of which neighborhood you choose to live in, you’re sure to be surrounded by your pick of cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars. And if you can’t find a place to eat that satiates your taste buds, just look to the plethora of food trucks that always seem to be popping up around town. From fancy rooftop dining to casual comfort food, one thing’s for sure – you’ll never go hungry!

 

If you like free stuff, you’ll love Dallas.

One of the nicest things about living in Dallas is the access it provides to so many free events and activities. Klyde Warren Park, for example, provides a full calendar of complementary stuff to do, from yoga and Zumba classes to outdoor movies and more. Jump on the free McKinney Ave Trolley and explore the Uptown area. Or, mosey over to the Arts District to visit one of the many free museums, including the Dallas Museum of Art, which is one of the largest in the country. If you’re on a budget, this city’s got you covered.

 

What are you waiting for? Get in touch today. We can help make your dream of living in Dallas a reality!

November 3, 2020 / by / in , , ,
Which Lease is Right for You? The Pros and Cons of Month-to-Month Rental Agreements

 

There are a lot of choices to be made when choosing a Dallas apartment. Which neighborhood should you select? What amenities do you consider must-haves? And – one of the most important ones – what kind of lease should you sign?

While many landlords and property managers require a lease of at least one year, there are some who are ok with month-to-month arrangements. If this is an option for you, but you’re not sure whether it’s worth pursuing, here are a few pros and cons to consider that could make your decision a little easier.

 

Pros

 

Flexibility – Signing a month-to-month rental agreement can offer a greater degree of flexibility, because you’re not locking yourself into a long-term lease. This is an ideal option for someone who is unfamiliar with the area, such as a person who is relocating from another city or state. A monthly tenancy allows you to test the waters and see if the location is really a good fit for your needs.

You also don’t have to worry about the hefty fees and penalties that come with breaking a lease. When you’re ready to move, all you need to do is provide the agreed upon amount of notice (typically 30 to 60 days) and you’re free to go.

 

Ability to Convert – Once you’re settled in, should you determine you’re happy with the area and the amenities of your current apartment, most landlords are happy to extend the option of signing a new, longer-term lease agreement. And since you’re already an established renter, you may even be able to negotiate a better rate because they already know your history. This isn’t always an option for someone who is brand new signing onto a one or two-year lease, as both parties are unfamiliar with one another.

 

Cons

 

More Expensive – The goal of landlords and property managers is to keep as many units occupied as possible. Shorter-term rental arrangements are much riskier in this respect, and therefore often come at higher cost. Additionally, month-to-month leases can be modified with just a 30-day notice. So, your rent could technically be increased at any time. Locking into a long-term lease prevents this.

 

Riskier – Let’s be honest. Moving sucks. Month-to-month arrangements do not protect you against having to find a new place at any point in the not-so-distant future. Again, all the landlord is required to do is provide appropriate notice. What happens if you fall in love with your apartment and its location, but six months down the road, your landlord sends you a notice that you have 30 days to vacate? This is a risk you take when you choose monthly tenancy.

 

As you can see, month-to-month leases have benefits as well as downsides. It’s important that you understand and carefully consider these things when deciding which path to take. If you’ve still got questions or could use a little guidance, just give us a call at (214) 999-1161 or shoot us an email to info@dallasapartmentlocators.co. Our apartment experts would be more than happy to help!

September 28, 2020 / by / in ,
Virtual Apartment Hunting – 5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating an Apartment Over the Phone

 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from these past several months, it’s that just about anything can be done virtually if you’re thoughtful and creative enough. Believe it or not, this includes finding an apartment. Thankfully, tools like live video streaming technology have made it incredibly easy and convenient to get a good feel for what an apartment is like without ever having to physically step foot inside. That said, there are also a few things you should ask over the phone to help seal the deal. Here are five important questions that can make it easier to find the perfect Dallas apartment.

 

How much?

First and foremost, you want to know whether or not your budget is sufficient for the Dallas apartment you’re considering. It’s not worth continuing the conversation if the rent is way out of your price range. You should also ask what’s expected in terms of fees and other upfront costs. For instance, you’ll need to know if you’ll be required to come up with first month’s rent and a security deposit so you can plan accordingly.

 

When?

Many people have the misconception that apartments are just sitting empty, waiting to be rented. While it’s true we have a pretty impressive inventory of available Dallas apartments, that doesn’t necessarily mean the one you’ve got your eye on will be ready for your target move-in date. Unless you’ve got some flexibility, this takes planning and coordination.

 

What’s included?

Beyond the number of bedrooms and layout (which you should have seen in your virtual tour), it’s a good idea to find out what kind of amenities come with the property. If you’ve read any of our previous blogs, you’ll hopefully have followed our advice and made a list of the perks you’d like to have in an apartment and the things you absolutely can’t live without. Finding out right away how many items on your list match up with each apartment you’re inquiring about can help you narrow down your options.

 

Am I qualified?

Some Dallas apartment communities have certain criteria that must be met in order for a tenant to be eligible to live there. For instance, you may be required to have a monthly income that is at least 3x the amount of the rent. In most cases, you must have a clean criminal background and cannot have been previously evicted from another apartment. Again, knowing what these qualifications are right away will save you time and money.

 

Why do the current residents love it?

Want to know what makes a particular apartment and/or community so special? Ask this question. It’s the best way to get a picture of what it’s like to actually live in a particular place. Maybe it’s the proximity to nearby walking trails, or the awesome social atmosphere. Perhaps it’s got one of the most sought after rooftop pools around, or views of the city that can’t be beat. The answers to this question will tell you far more than you’ll learn by driving by or taking an online tour.

 

Ready to start your virtual apartment search? Have more questions to ask than the ones listed above? That’s what we’re here for! Reach out today and let’s chat!

August 26, 2020 / by / in ,
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 ,