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Patrick Oconnor

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Finding a Low Total-Move-in-Cost Houston Apartment
by Patrick Oconnor   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, July 31, 2008
Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008

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Houston apartments come in many shapes and sizes. You can usually find a Houston apartment with a very low total move-in cost. Total move-in cost includes the application fee, deposit, and first month's rent. Before focusing on the move-in costs, review whether the total move-in-cost is the most important issue in selecting a Houston apartment.

Houston Apartment Search Tips - Finding a Low Total-Move-in-Cost Houston Apartment Consider all Houston apartments and get a $107 - $1107 cash rebate

Houston apartments come in many shapes and sizes. You can usually find a Houston apartment with a very low total move-in cost. Total move-in cost includes the application fee, deposit, and first month's rent. Before focusing on the move-in costs, review whether the total move-in-cost is the most important issue in selecting a Houston apartment.

Is Move-In Cost Most Important

Other factors to consider when selecting a Houston apartment are location, monthly rental rate, unit type, unit size, unit amenities and property amenities. You should also consider the condition of the property, maintenance standards, limited access gates and whether they have a regular courtesy patrol.

Weight the Issues

You will be considering at least some of these factors when selecting a Houston apartment. If it is critical to obtain the lowest possible total move-in cost, then give strong consideration to this factor. However, in many cases you'll get a better "deal" by focusing on the entire package instead of focusing primarily on the move-in cost.

Select an Online Houston Apartment Search Service

Select an online apartment search service for Houston apartments. It should provide information on all Houston-area apartments. Most online apartment search services only offer information on 5 to 20% of the Houston apartments. Make sure the service you select has information on all available properties. It you review the options for all Houston apartments, instead of just for 5 to 20% of the properties, you have a much better chance of getting a low cost move-in for a Houston apartment. The apartment search service should also allow you to search by location, rent, unit type, unit size, unit amenities and property amenities. Also, try to avoid the sites which require you to give your phone number and e-mail address. (Unless you enjoy being bombarded by phone calls and e-mails.) Finally, select an apartment search service which offers at least a $100 move-in rebate.

Initial Search and Phone Interview (of them)

Start with a broad search focused initially on location. Gradually narrow the search to focus perhaps five to 20 Houston apartment projects. Develop a list of questions regarding the criteria which are most important to you. If the move-in cost is most important, you'll want to ask about the application fee, deposit and first month's rent. Call the projects you identify. Interview all of them by phone before visiting any of the apartments. You should be able to complete each phone call in three to five minutes. Focus on interviewing the leasing staff instead of having them interview you during the phone call. Review the information you have compiled and select 2 or 3 Houston apartments which best fit your criteria.

Visit 2 or 3 Apartments

Visit the properties. Drive around the perimeter and through the apartments before visiting the office. If the property is below your minimal standards, drive on without stopping at the office. Ask to see both the model unit and the unit you would be leasing. Ask the leasing agent if they have a "look and lease" special. This is a special where if you look at the unit and lease on the same day or next day you get a better rate or lower move-in cost. Find another way to ask if they can reduce the move-in costs. Can they waive the application fee? Can they reduce the deposit? Can they reduce the first months rent?

Make a Decision

Make a decision regarding which property best fits your criteria. Negotiate and sign the lease. You should read the lease. It is a legal document. It was written by an attorney for the benefit of the apartment complex. Do a "walk-through" before you accept the unit. Note any defects and ask the management to correct them. Also discuss what you must do to have your deposit returned.



O’Connor & Associates is a national provider of commercial property real estate consulting services including cost segregation studies, due diligence, insurance valuations, abandonment studies, business personal property valuations, commercial appraisals, financial modeling, highest and best use analyses, and lease audits. Appraisal services are provided for all commercial property types including multi-family housing, retail stores, hospitals, hotels, industrial properties, manufacturing facilities, medical offices, commercial offices, restaurants, self-storage units, shopping malls, shopping plazas and warehouse/distribution centers.



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