As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm, so before you start looking for a new place, consider reading this helpful guide so that you can make a more informed decision. Even so, the common practice is to start looking for an apartment 30 to 60 days ahead of time.
However, if you’re a more proactive person or live in a densely populated area such as Chicago, New York City, or Philadelphia, starting your apartment search early will benefit you.
When To Start Looking For An Apartment Texas Renters…Read This Before You Move!
In fact, here Texas you’ll still want to consider preparing for your move ahead of time because, it may provide you with more rental market knowledge, flexibility and available units.
Under the above circumstances, I believe you should start investigating the are you plan to move too, two to four months before your current lease ends.
Planning Your Move Starts With Location, Location, Location
When it comes to moving, the worst thing you can do is put it off until the last minute. Especially if you are moving a large group of people. So why not start searching as soon as possible?
This is important when planning a move because it gives you time to learn everything you need to know about the area you’re contemplating relocating to. Besides that, if you decide that the area you thought you wanted to move to doesn’t suit you, you have the opportunity to rethink your decision.
Begin by researching the rental market and the area to which you intend to relocate.
If you have children who will be attending the local school district or daycare, you should look into the quality of the schools/daycare in your desired area.
Remember that daycare costs can be compared to the rental market. In each area, the cost is not created equal.
According to industry reports, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in each of Texas’ major cities is as follows.
- Austin average size apartment is 862 sq ft renting out for $1625 per month.
- Dallas average size apartment is 881 sq ft renting out for $1491 per month.
- Houston average size apartment is 891 sq feet renting out for $1257 per month.
- San Antonio average size apartment is 862 sq ft renting out for $1203 per month.
As you can see from the list above, San Antonio is our most affordable city, followed by Houston, Texas.
Similarly, if you’re relocating due to a job transfer, a new career, or simply to be closer to the office.
In either case, you’ll want to do some research to see how your job field is doing in that area.
You should also look into how many miles you’ll be driving to and from these locations. Refueling the tank more frequently than usual can be an added expense that many people overlook when relocating to a new area.
Know thy Budget & Let’s Not Break The Bank
Many people are curious about how to budget for an apartment.
Most rental communities income requirements is that you make at least 3 times the rent.
But should you really max out your budget?
I want you to think over that of course the final decision is yours.
Recently I was in a forum, and someone asked if she could break her lease due to non affordability. Meaning she can no longer afford her rent which was $1900 per month. Short answer is no!
For this reason, there are a few things you should consider when it comes to your rental budget.
In addition to your monthly rent, you should have additional funds put to the side for a security deposit, holding fees, money for movers, application fees, administration fees, and any pet deposits.
Some communities even charge a community fee, parking fees, storage fees, and or garage fees. On the other hand, you have communities that charge to fees for credit builders such as Jetty, gate wise, or smart home fees.
The point is be well prepared financially.
Since 1981, the federal government has defined a cost-burdened household as spending more than 30% of their household income on housing. Housing cost burden simply indicates that a household may be unable to afford essentials.
Besides that, according to a census report, renters in the United States are more likely to spend at least 30% or more of their household income on rent, and more than half of renters in American households are considered cost burdened.
Furthermore, according to TAAHP, in 2018 there were 1.7 million households in Texas that were considered to be experiencing a moderate to severe cost burden. That estimate has only skyrocketed.
Despite the fact that we are in 2023 with inflation rising, rent increases every year, and household income appearing to be stagnant, those figures continue to rise. You can see for yourself here. In the end it all adds up.
For the above reasons, it’s best for you to really consider your max rental budget. It should be something hat you’re comfortable with over your next 12 month lease term.
Let’s assume we have a monthly household income of $4000.
The basic assumption is that you should earn at least three times the monthly rent.
Using the numbers above, your household could afford and be approved for a rent of $1333.33 or less if your credit and other factors are in order.
However, when using the cost burden formula and trying to reduce your household income below 30% of your total income. It is best to keep your rent at $1200 per month and use the remainder for household expenses.
The household housing budget would include all utility costs, rental insurance, and groceries.
If you look at the chart above, you can see what the average cost of living in Texas is.
A monthly rent of $1333.33 would’ve been slightly more than 0.3333325% of your month – to – month housing expenses. And this doesn’t include all of your additional necessities.
So, if you are faced with this scenario, consider reading about the 50-30-20 rule. This is a useful guideline to follow, especially if your goal is to get out of debt and purchase a home someday.
Another choice is to inquire about tax credit communities to see if you are eligible.
Either way, planning ahead of time for your relocation can help you adjust your budget to current rent prices.
Check Your Credit Before Your Move
The key point here is that your final approval is not entirely determined by your score. It’s a mix of various elements.
In other words, your credit score is not the only factor to consider when reviewing rental criteria. They are also looking for any outstanding property debt, past-due utility bills, repossessions, criminal history, and other similar issues.
Keeping this in mind, it’s best to check your credit report before making a move to avoid surprises.
According to federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus.
You can check your credit using sites like annual credit report, which is run by Central Source, LLC.
When viewing your credit file, go to the public records section on your credit report this is where you’ll find information about; bankruptcies, repossessions, foreclosures, and anything in collections. It all should be listed there.
Knowing what’s on your credit file can help you when apartment hunting because, one of the pre-qualifying questions for the apartment approval process is “Do you have a broken lease?
Former occupants usually know the answer, but some don’t. You’ll be more prepared if you check your credit report. Knowing what’s on your credit, can help you reduce losing money to so many application fees.
Improve Your Timing And Reduce Your Stress
Finding a new place can be stressful and time-consuming. Below, you’ll find more key points that will hopefully help you along the way.
Knowing your exact move out and move in dates will help you stay on top of things.
Getting a jump start allows you to properly investigate your new area. Visit it during the day and see how active it is at night.
Begin slowly packing as soon as possible, that way you’re not rushing.
During this time, you should prepare all of your documents. Set them aside in a safe place, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Also, make a list of questions to ask any apartments you tour or visit.
While doing so, be extremely cautious of rental scams; scammers have become very sophisticated over the past few years, and they’re just getting more creative, which is a benefit of having an apartment locator assist you along the way.
Another important point to remember is that most apartments are only given a notice to vacate from their tenants 60 days in advance.
With that said, rental availability can change daily. So keep in mind when apartment searching ahead of time, availability, rent amount, and any promotions may change.
So, keep in mind when apartment hunting months in advance the apartment you fall in love with may not be available on your preferred move-in date. Alternatively, the rent may change.
The purpose of pre-planning your move is to not only educate yourself on your new surroundings, but it also assists you in minimizing your stress while trying to give yourself sufficient time to research where you want to move.
In the long run, this could save you money, and you may end up with better rental options because, you gave yourself more time to look.
Sum It All Up: When To Start Looking For An Apartment
Above all, I hope this was helpful because, moving can be a challenging task, but, with the right tips and mindset you can make it happen without all the added stress.
The take away here is when looking for a new apartment it should suit your budget, needs, and style.
Don’t forget to factor in all the amenities that you must have and any additional cost that comes with surviving in your new home.
Let me know if you have any additional tips when searching for a new apartment. Please leave your comments below. I hope this has helped you with your next move. Happy Apartment Hunting!
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