||Metroplex Daily Insider and Local Information
Apartment Renting and Tips
First, give yourself plenty of enough time to find your new place. Preferably,
three weeks of lead time is needed to find the right location. If you're moving out
of an apartment, don't think that you have to pay the posted amount for the items that
need to be cleaned or repaired -- those "set" prices are often negotiable.
When apartment searching, make sure that you try
to locate a place within a reasonable distance of work. You might drive from
your prospective apartment to your new office -- just to see how long it takes.
This is important since you'll be driving the most to work (and usually in high-traffic).
However, keep in mind that you can still have a reasonable drive time as long as
you're fairly close to a major highway, such as the George Bush Turnpike, the Tollway,
Central Expressway, etc. If you take a "test" drive and it's not during "rush" hour, then
just about double your test travel time to get a better idea of your daily commute time.
As you investigate the prospective complexes, ask the apartment salesperson if
they have a "preferred employer" discount. This discount usually includes two items:
the deposit and monthly rent. Depending on the complex salesperson, they might conveniently
forget (and not offer) these discounts unless they are asked about it specifically. By the way,
this is also true when searching for a bank or health club--
preferred employer discounts might be available.
There are many apartments in the area that include gated-entrances-- but do you need them?
I've found that gated entrances keep the honest people out. The honest people will
actually take the time to buzz-in and ask to come into the complex. Other than that, it
takes about 60 seconds to get into a complex that has gated-entrance, because the gate
is always being opened by the renters that are coming and going.
However, without a doubt, one thing you will positively need is a covered parking space
or car garage, because the local spring storms almost always drop pea-size to
golf-ball size hail (sometimes as large as softballs).
Additionally, some apartments don't automatically establish your utilities, and if
you don't call the different companies to establish service, your utilities
will be turned off about two weeks after you've moved in. Nice, huh? Be sure to check
this out as you're moving in.
Make sure to investigate if the apartment complex offers high-speed Internet
access -- guess what? Some Metroplex apartments do not offer high-speed Internet access.
Unfortunately, some complexes have contracts with cable and phone companies that
don't offer high-speed Internet and some complexes are too far from the central office.
If you're not sure of which high-speed access solution is right for you, find out what is
available first (before you move in). DSL providers usually require a one-year contract-- and
sometimes cable modems can be blisteringly fast for downloading (depending on the neighborhood)
and not as expensive.
As you're searching for the "right" apartment, make sure your prospective complex is
at least a block (preferably two) away from the major roadway that is in this area (such as
George Bush Freeway, H-75, IH-635, etc). If the apartment complex has a clear view of a
major roadway-- you'll need to be prepared for traffic noise through out the day and night.
Try to find a complex that is a couple of blocks away from a major roadway.
Also, you might notice that the apartment salesperson will show you empty apartments that
face a street or intersection. This is because these apartments have the most traffic
noise in the complex (and the previous renters probably left as a result).
Lastly, the standard apartment lease will have a sign-up time bonus included-- and the
longer your contract the more time given. I believe the standard bonus-time given for
a one-year contract is 5 weeks -- given in one-lump sum or over the first few months of the term.
Check the Metroplex Daily: Apartment page for more useful sites.
Make sure to check the other Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Guides that are online.
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