June 9, 2016


Austin is filled with tons of different rental options, each offering their own unique and appealing features. In fact, finding the perfect house, apartment, or condo that fits exactly what you need can seem overwhelming, especially in a city with a booming real estate market. Here a few tips to help you start your search, narrow down your options, and make the entire process seem a little less intimidating.

Start with a budget.

Figure out what you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Exploring options beyond what you know you can’t afford will only make the process more difficult once the reality of your finances set in. And searching way under your budget is a waste of time if you’re not actually going to follow through. Be as strict as possible and stay within the range you pick. Only expand beyond it if you need to later. If you’re renting a home, as a rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you spend no more than 30 percent of your income on monthly expenses. That includes things like groceries, utilities, transportation, savings, and other expenditures, as well as rent.

Brainstorm the features you need.

What are your must-haves? If you have a car, you will probably need parking. Should it be covered? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? If you have a dog, you may need a backyard. Does it need to be big or is a little patch of grass OK? Close proximity to schools, offices, and public transportation are also important factors, as well as quiet/busy neighborhoods. Every renter has a list they think of as they search, but it’s smart to sit down and create that list prior. This will help you and your agent find the perfect place for you.

Brainstorm the features you want.

These are similar to your must-haves, but not as necessary. What are some things that would convince you to rent? Do you prefer gas stoves to electric? How about a pool? Some people prefer being on the first floor when it comes to apartments or condos. As you create this list, think about whether you need or want these features. Search for your needs and take note of your wants.

Do some research.

Your agent should be able to answer many of the questions you have about the property, however, it never hurts to do your own research. Find out what people have to say about the area or read reviews from current and previous residents online. See what the neighborhood is like, what local places are nearby, and if there’s easy access to any hike-and-bike trails or parks. Austin is a sprawling cities with tons of interesting and unique niches to explore. Take a look around and see what piques your interest!

Communicate with your agent.

This one seems incredibly obvious, but sometimes gets lost in the daily chaos of life. Sure, this includes things like responding to emails, returning phone calls, and making your meetings in a timely manner. But this also includes expressing your feelings and concerns. If you have hesitations about a particular property, talk to your agent about it. They may be able to help reassure you or instead, find something else that works better. The more you communicate with them throughout the entire process, the more smoothly your search will go.

Make moves.

Do not be the renter that waits too long and loses out on an amazing rental opportunity. It’s important to make an informed and justified decision, but keep in mind that the Austin real estate market is energetic, fluid, and fast moving. Many rental properties do not stay available for too long and everything is based on first-come-first-serve. Most Austinites can tell you a story about waiting too long and losing out on a home and losing time and money in the process. So make your payments, sign your papers, and keep in contact with your agent at all times!

Finding the perfect Austin rental property is not hard, but it does take some planning beforehand. While a real estate agent can help you with this process, it is ultimately up to you to make final decisions.

Need help finding an Austin rental? Call 512-897-0009.