The Apartment Search: What You Need to Know

Finding a new apartment is a difficult task, especially if you’re moving to a new city and don’t know the area. A good apartment locator can be invaluable. They will guide you by discussing what you’re looking for. If you have time, it can be helpful to research your options before you need to move, to get an idea of what you’re looking for. Below are some factors to consider.

Location, location, location

Your first consideration should be your priorities in choosing a location. Do you want to be near your work so you can avoid sitting in traffic? How important is walkability, or the availability of public transportation? Do you want to be close to parks and nature? Are you looking for a neighborhood with a vibrant social scene or a happening nightlife? Affordability? A luxurious apartment with many amenities? A pet-friendly location?

You have to balance your priorities. The most affordable apartments are often less convenient, and may be smaller or less luxurious. It can be helpful to list your priorities, from greatest to least, and share this list with your apartment locator.

Be sure to research your options. If you’re moving to Houston or Dallas, look through our blog — several entries discuss central neighborhoods and the benefits they offer.

As a general rule, central neighborhoods will be more walkable, have better public transportation, be closer to work, and offer more restaurants, bars, and activities in the area. Some apartments will be luxurious, but that’s not always the case. If you’re looking for something central yet affordable, you might consider going with a smaller loft apartment.

On the other hand, less-central locations in the city have benefits of their own beyond affordability. You may be closer to parks and walking/bike trails. Apartments may be built larger as real estate is less expensive. Some neighborhoods outside of Downtown may have a quirkier or more eclectic feel.

Keep in mind that there are now many companies with headquarters outside of downtown and the traditional central business district. In Houston, several areas boast headquarters and offices from major oil companies to small tech startups. Major business centers include the Energy Corridor, Greenway Plaza, the Greenspoint District, and the Westchase District. Just outside the city, the inner suburb of Pearland also hosts many large corporations. Many of these locations offer nearby housing, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. In Dallas, there are fewer true business districts, but nonetheless, there are plenty of major employers with corporate centers outside of Downtown.

What amenities are most important to you?

For others, amenities may be more important than location. As they vie to attract choosier Millennials, apartment communities are offering ever-more-luxurious options within apartments as well as communal livings spaces.

Within apartments, kitchens with granite countertops, tile backsplashes, and high-end stainless-steel appliances are becoming the norm. Bathrooms may boast European-tiled showers and garden soaking tubs. Some amenities are quite creative, such as in-wall iPod docking stations, surround-sound speaker stations, woven bamboo flooring, and much more.

Communal spaces may boast game rooms, 24-hour fitness centers, wi-fi in all shared spaces, coffee and tea bars, and much more. Outdoors, you may find private garden courtyards, gas grills, outdoor fireplaces, and saltwater pools.

If you have a pet, finding a pet-friendly community is obviously a very high priority. Fortunately, more and more apartments are welcoming furry residents, and many now offer private dog parks.

Once you have figured out what you want in an apartment in your priorities, be sure to discuss these with your apartment locator. They will welcome the opportunity to customize your apartment search to meet your needs.