Latest Blog From Apartment Living Locators in Houston

4 Ways to Save Money While Renting an Apartment

If you’ve recently moved into a Houston rental apartment, whether you’re new to the area or you’ve just moved out of your parents’ house, you’re probably thinking about how to save money in your new Houston apartment rental. Life can throw unexpected expenses our way sometimes, so it can be handy to save money wherever you can. Here we offer you 4 tips for saving money on your Houston apartment rental!

1. Buy fewer things

It might seem obvious or patronizing, but the vast majority of people who are “broke” are not broke – they just spend their money on things which aren’t important. Although we all need to put a little bit of cash away for “treats” and “fun”… do you really need that brand new iPhone when you’ve just moved into your new Houston rental apartment? Probably not. Think twice before buying things which aren’t necessary for your survival, especially if they’re expensive.

2. Go to thrift stores

Larger thrift stores and charity shops tend to sell furniture and household items, much of which is just as good as new! If you’re furnishing your own apartment and you don’t have the cash to be splashing out on a bunch of new sofas, try heading down to the local thrift store and seeing what they’ve got in stock. As with any thrift store or charity shop, you’ve got to find the diamonds in all the rough, but those diamonds could serve you well and save you a pretty penny when you’re scraping together your rent money!

3. Stop buying physical entertainment

The vast majority of media can now be consumed via digital streaming services, meaning you no longer have to buy DVDs, CDs, books, and many other forms of entertainment. Although you inevitably have to pay for these services, they “pay for themselves” if you use them enough, especially if you’re binging Netflix shows for hours on end. Not only will you save money on buying all those physical discs, but you’ll also save space because you won’t have a bunch of DVDs, books, and CDs which need storing somewhere in your apartment.

4. Be mindful of your energy consumption

The best way to reduce your utility bills is to simply form good habits and stick to them! When you first move into your Houston rental apartment, you may have some bad habits such as leaving lights on (when you’re not in a room) and forgetting to turn off your A/C when you’re not home. Automation and sensible habits can go a long way, saving you lots of money in the process!

Posted by Doug Spector on October 10th, 2018 10:42 PM

Noisy Neighbors?

How to deal with noisy apartment neighbors in Houston, TX

Does it sound like you are living underneath or above a herd of elephants, is it party central or just thin walls?

When it comes to renting apartments, its the luck of the draw hen it comes to neighbors, sometimes you have good luck but sometimes you can be stuck with the neighbor from hell.

It is a common occurrence, but how do you deal with it? And are there any noise laws in Texas that directly address this issue at your disposal?

The actual act confronting your neighbor can be more stressful than anticipated because you don’t know how they will react.

We are going to look at two possibilities that can help you with the noise at hand.

How to communicate with your noisy neighbors:

It seems like the simple and obvious solution right? Well not always, like we have already highlighted you cannot predict how your neighbor will respond to your complaint. Nine times out of ten you will have an empathetic and understanding neighbor, but occasionally you may have that neighbor who may take it the wrong way completely…which could be quite difficult, especially if you are in an apartment where you are bound to cross paths on a regular basis--Two completely different outcomes.

Before lashing out at your neighbors, even if the noise levels have been ridiculous, going in with a level-headed calm approach will guarantee a far better result than if you go in ‘hot’ headed…where you are more likely to receive the same unfriendly response in return, no matter how justified you may be.

So if you approach your neighbor in a calm and polite manner, you have a far better chance to get him/her to keep it quieter or at least work on a compromise.  

Speak to your Landlord

If speaking to your neighbors has crashed and failed, then the next option is going to your landlord/manager directly. He/she may speak to the noisy one on your behalf, because at the end of the day it’s the apartment responsibility to keep the peace between neighboring tenants, so it is in their interest to remedy the problem.

Also, you will find in most tenancy agreements in Texas there are certain noise limitations and restrictions, particularly in apartment complexes. Your landlord/manager should be well aware of state laws as well as their own bylaws at the specific complex and deal with the issue accordingly on your behalf.

However, whether you approach your neighbor directly or inform your landlord, you should make one or both aware of the problem. Too many times, renters tend to just let it slide” as to avoid being labeled the “complaining tenant/neighbor” but you pay good rent, work hard and more than deserve peace and quiet in your own home.

Doug Spector/broker

Posted by Doug Spector on May 10th, 2018 8:05 PM

Tips for Apartment Maintenance in Houston, TX

Although it’s usually your landlord’s job to look after their apartments when things go awry, there are some things you can do in order to prevent problems from occurring in your apartment in the first place. Renting an apartment in Houston, TX comes with challenges which may not exist in other cities, so it’s helpful to follow these tips and ensure that your apartment continues to run smoothly!

  1. Clean your floor regularly

    It can be easy to let your floor get dirty and dusty over time, but try not to allow this to happen! When dirt gets embedded into carpets and rugs, you can quickly begin to ruin the carpet itself. Wooden/laminate floors aren’t safe either, as dirt can easily cause scratches and discoloration in the wood, all of which tend to lend themselves to an unhappy landlord! Placing “welcome” mats around the entrance to your apartment may help to reduce dirt on your floors. Nevertheless, clean and vacuum your floors regularly, sweeping on a daily basis and mopping on a weekly basis.

  2. Look after your HVAC units

    When renting an apartment in a climate such as Houston, TX, you’re going to be encountering heat levels which might not be common in other parts of the country. As a result, it is imperative that you look after your heating and A/C units accordingly. The best way to do this, as a general rule, is to ensure that they are receiving proper airflow to all of their parts. Every now and then, it may be a good idea to vacuum your vents, as this prevents the air from getting dusty and unpleasant. If the filters need to be changed, don’t wait to do so! If you think that your HVAC units may need a professional clean/maintenance, don’t be afraid to contact your landlord.

  3. Keep your drains clear!

Keeping your drains clear of sticky debris is the easiest way to extend their lifecycle and avoid things such as leaks or blockages. Avoid pouring things into your pipes which could block them; they already have enough to deal with in terms of food debris and shower-hair! On that note, if your shower plug is clogged with hair, remove this hair before it makes its way down the drain completely. You should also ensure that your toilet is kept clear, using a plunger to remove any unsanitary clogs.


Keeping your Houston, TX apartment well-maintained is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you build a positive rapport with your landlord, so be sure to use these tips on a regular basis!


713-783-1441

Posted by Doug Spector on May 2nd, 2018 11:15 AM

 4 Tips for Personalizing Your Rental Apartment in Houston, TX

Although some landlords are strict with their policies, others allow you to personalize your apartment to a certain degree, as long as you don’t make any major changes to their furniture and amenities. When you rent an apartment in Houston, TX, you need to make sure what your landlord’s rules are before you make any modifications. However, with that said, here are some tips for making your rental apartment in Houston, TX, feel a little more personal and homely! 

1. Buy practical items

Some apartments in Houston can be small, especially if you’re renting a studio apartment. In this case, you should consider buying some furniture which has dual purposes. For example, if you’re looking for more storage space and also require a coffee table, why not buy a coffee table which has built-in storage space included? Many European furniture makers, such as IKEA, sell furniture and items which have built-in storage space and smart designs which could be helpful in smaller apartments. At least in Houston, you probably don’t need to store any bulky winter coats or blankets!

2. Put mirrors up

Mirrors can help to make a small rental apartment look much bigger than it actually is, and this is a trick which is frequently used by interior designers and decorators. Having a lot of mirrors on your walls in Houston also encourages more light to enter your apartment, meaning that the sunlight streaming through your windows illuminates your apartment more easily. 

3. Keep things tidy

It’s no secret that some Houston rental apartments can be small, so its best to organize your belongings and keep your apartment from getting cluttered. If you don’t need something, then throw it away! If you don’t wear an item of clothing for more than 1 year, throw it away! When you have limited apartment space, you can’t afford to be a hoarder. Keeping things tidy also makes your apartment appear larger!

4. Use light colors

Although you may not be able to repaint a rental apartment in Houston, try your best to find one which embraces a color scheme with lighter colors! There’s a reason that so many Spanish and Italian towns are covered in white paint – it helps to reflect heat and keep you cool. Although Houston isn’t the Italian Riviera, it no doubt receives just as much heat, if not more.

Doug Spector/broker

ApartmentLivingLocators.Com

Posted by Doug Spector on April 25th, 2018 11:41 AM

Tips When Applying For An Apartment in Houston

  Doug Spector/broker

After asking numerous Houston apartment managers what advice they might have for anyone wanting to rent an apartment at their complex, the number one answer they gave was that the applicant be "upfront and honest."

Chances are, in this "information age", that there's a great chance that any falsified information given either verbally or written on the application, will be caught anyway. 
And if that happens, the person applying will most likely lose their application fee, admin fee and many times even their deposit.

Most managers are helpful when the applicant is upfront about any previous rental or credit problems.  They can usually tell the person right away whether their past issue(s) would prevent them from being approved at their place, thus saving time and money.  Also, managers can possibly assist by referring them to another property they might know that would work with them or refer a good reputable Houston apartment locator.

Something else potential renters should  do when applying for an apartment, is to fill-out the application as thoroughly as possible, leaving little to none of the questions blank.

" Leaving a lot of blanks sets off red flags," says Charles Bruce, manager at Tanglewood Place Apartments.  Another manager at the Whittfield Apartments, strongly advises to fill out the entire application, both current and previous information that is requested.  "We have a point system and sometimes you need the previous info to have enough points [to qualify]; having to keep calling to get info holds up the application."

Manager Charles Bruce also suggests to be "neat" on the application.  By "neat" he means, try not make mistakes when entering information... this may come back as a negative result which could delay the application approval.

He also says it's a good idea to bring 2-3 recent check stubs or financial information and current ID .  Obviously, this not only speeds up the whole process but it also impresses the leasing and property manager staff as it shows the applicant is a serious candidate and deserves quick service in return.

When the applicant tours the property and later fills-out the application to rent, whether on the same day or not, it never hurts to dress nicely.  You know...first impressions!  Applying for an apartment should be taken almost as serious as applying for a job...both could be viewed as "selling yourself."

Posted by Doug Spector on April 18th, 2018 4:12 PM

SPRING & SUMMER 2018 HOUSTON APARTMENT SPECIALS 

 

If you're in the market right now to find a Houston Apartment, you couldn't have picked a better time!  Here at Aparment Living Locators, we haven't seen so many great specials like these at any given time and we've been around since 1971.

 

Here are just some of the specials in and around Houston currently running:

 

* Free Rent- Anywhere from 1-3 months FREE (unbelievable!) At least one month free is practically commonplace right now, many are giving 2 months free. Some are pro-rated and others right upfront.

 

* No Application Fees, No Admin Fees

 

* Little or Zero Deposit

 

* Free Gift Cards (up to $1,000)

 

* Two Complexes are giving away a free cruise for 2 out of Galveston

 

* Free Astros Tickets

 

* Reduced Rent

 

Some of the above specials are actually a combination of 2 or more. Many are dependent on your having good rental history, good credit and other criteria but most likely you'll qualify for some type of special with even mediocre scores.

 

To learn which Houston apartment complexes are offering which specials, contact a reputable and state licensed Houston apartment locating company.  Most are free services to potential renters and will gladly find you not only a super move-in special but also match your needs,budget and location with the right place(s).

 

Doug Spector/broker
   

 

Posted by Doug Spector on April 12th, 2018 11:43 PM

Tips When Applying For An Apartment in Houston

 
Doug Spector

After asking numerous Houston apartment managers what advice they might have for anyone wanting to rent an apartment at their complex, the number one answer they gave was that the applicant be "upfront and honest."

Chances are, in this "information age", that there's a great chance that any falsified information given either verbally or written on the application, will be caught anyway.
And if that happens, the person applying will most likely lose their application fee, admin fee and many times even their deposit.

Most managers are helpful when the applicant is upfront about any previous rental or credit problems.  They can usually tell the person right away whether their past issue(s) would prevent them from being approved at their place, thus saving time and money.  Also, managers can possibly assist by referring them to another property they might know that would work with them or refer a good reputable Houston apartment locator.

Something else potential renters should  do when applying for an apartment, is to fill-out the application as thoroughly as possible, leaving little to none of the questions blank.

" Leaving a lot of blanks sets off red flags," says Charles Bruce, manager at Tanglewood Place Apartments.  Another manager at the Whittfield Apartments, strongly advises to fill out the entire application, both current and previous information that is requested.  "We have a point system and sometimes you need the previous info to have enough points [to qualify]; having to keep calling to get info holds up the application."

Manager Charles Bruce also suggests to be "neat" on the application.  By "neat" he means, try not make mistakes when entering information... this may come back as a negative result which could delay the application approval.

He also says it's a good idea to bring 2-3 recent check stubs or financial information and current ID .  Obviously, this not only speeds up the whole process but it also impresses the leasing and property manager staff as it shows the applicant is a serious candidate and deserves quick service in return.

When the applicant tours the property and later fills-out the application to rent, whether on the same day or not, it never hurts to dress nicely.  You know...first impressions!  Applying for an apartment should be taken almost as serious as applying for a job...both could be viewed as "selling yourself."

Posted by Doug Spector on April 13th, 2017 7:41 PM
View Comments (1)



Doug Spector
Apartment Living Locators

"ALL BILLS PAID" ARE YOU SERIOUS? 

Back in the 60’s & early 70’s, seeing apartments in Houston with signs and banners advertising their rental prices along with the words “All Bills Paid” (ABP) or “Utilities Included” was commonplace.  These days however, apartments that still boast of such deals are few and far between. 

If I had to guess as to why the change, I’d suppose the main reason probably was it just started getting too expensive for apartment owners. They saw electric prices steadily soar from only $.02-$.04 cents per kilowatt hour from the 60’s thru the early 80’s up to $.12 cents and higher in the following three decades. 

Also, it’s a fact that most tenants knowing that their electric and water are “on the house,” they tend not to be too concerned about conserving energy…you know like letting the a/c run all day and not turning off lights when not needed.

I remember as a kid growing up in my parents’ house that it was 'law' to turn off the lights and if I ever forgot, I’d get the same lecture that always started with, “do you know how much money it cost to run the lights… It’s not free little man”

With this in mind, i
n 1973 the Texas legislature passed a law that there could be no more "All Bills Paid" apartments. This was because of the oil embargo and energy crisis that was going on. Some properties that were already ABP were grandfathered so they could stay ABP. This is why you never find ABP properties built after 1973.

Also in the early 2000's the legislature mandated that properties had to charge for water and that's why most apartments charge for water now.

With all that said, believe it or not, there are still a few apartments in the Houston and surrounding areas that include all utilities.  My recent count that include both water and electric is 24 complexes (three of which are in the Galleria area) and 9 others with the free electric but not the free water. 


Their rent prices vary depending on location but many are actually very reasonable.  For example, the three above mentioned complexes in the Galleria area start at only $705 for 1bd, $925 for 2bd, $1,225 for 3bd & $1,685 for 4 bd.
 

 

For a list of these rare Houston apartments still offering No Electric Bills, some with No Water Bills also, contact a good reputable Houston Apartment Locator who knows about these and other great apartment deals in general.



Posted by Doug Spector on March 15th, 2017 11:34 PM

Please Fill-out this Form--Or Call 713.783.1441

We are a FREE Service -- Since 1971!

Apartments/Townhomes-Any Budget,Any Area Houston