JodiSouthwick

  • JodiSouthwick
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6 Reasons Not to Renew Your Rental Lease

There comes a time in most renters’ lives when a decision has to be made as to whether to renew a rental lease or relocate to a new place. If you are currently struggling with this decision, it can be helpful to consider some of the reasons not to stay. In our experience as seasoned Dallas apartment locators, we’ve found that if any of the following six factors are present, it might be wise to consider moving on to bigger and brighter pastures.

Rental increase. Like it or not, rental increases are a fact of life. How much more you’re comfortable with and capable of spending, on the other hand, might make this factor the do-or-die decision maker. If you’ve received notice that your rates are going up, your best bet is to do a little research to make sure that the new rate is fair and comparable with others in your area (our Dallas apartment finders can tell you this right off the bat). If it’s reasonable and you love the place, stay. If not, start looking.

Life changes. Life moves on and oftentimes at a much faster rate than we realize. Changes like landing a new job, getting married or starting a family might all impact whether or not staying in your current apartment really makes sense. Evaluate your current situation as well as any changes you anticipate over the next year before locking yourself into a new contract.

Landlord problems. Ideally, we all want to be on great terms with our landlords. Unfortunately, this isn’t always going to be the case. (You should hear some of the horror stories our Dallas apartment locators have heard over the years.) If you’ve had issues, whether it’s lack of communication, delays in requested repairs or anything else, now’s the time to reevaluate whether or not you’d like to stay.

Building. Do you really love where you live now? Are there enough amenities to keep you happy, or do you long for more? Many of the luxury apartments for rent in Dallas actually feature some pretty amazing perks, like on-site fitness centers, laundry rooms, rooftop bars and swimming pools. And you might be pleasantly surprised at the cost to rent these properties. If your current building is lacking in these areas, it might be worth exploring your other options.

Location. How close are you to your job? How about your friends? Your favorite restaurants or shops? There are plenty of beautiful neighborhoods in Dallas and each has its own pros and cons. Now that you have the opportunity to start fresh, you may want to reconsider the locale of your residence.

It’s feasible. If you’ve been living in your current apartment for a while now, your circumstances may have changed, particularly in terms of finances. For instance, if you’re making more money now than you were when you moved in, relocating to a new place might be completely doable. (And if you decide to work with our Dallas apartment locators, we’ll even throw in a $100 cash rebate or 2 hours of free moving service.) Plus, as mentioned, the costs of other properties in various neighborhoods might very well be comparable to what you’re paying now, so why not?

If you’re currently on the fence about whether to stay put or move on to bigger and better things, we encourage you to contact us. We’d be happy to show you our inventory of beautiful luxury apartments for rent in Dallas. After all, it doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there, right? Give us a holler today.

April 27, 2017 / by / in
Renting 101: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine What You Really Need

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in our many years as experienced Dallas apartment locators, it’s that every individual is unique. As such, what shows up high on the list of criteria for choosing the ideal rental property for one person may be inconsequential to another, and vice versa.

The key to ending up in your dream apartment lies in knowing exactly what it is that matters most to you. This will allow you (or the Dallas apartment finders you’re working with) to narrow down your selection and find the perfect place to suit your needs, preferences, lifestyle and budget. If you’re not sure where to begin, the following 10 questions should provide a good starting point.

  1. What is your budget? You can’t begin your apartment hunt until you know exactly how much you can comfortably afford to spend. When considering budget, don’t forget to include other expenses, such as utilities, cable, renter’s insurance, etc. If you’re unsure about what to factor in, one of our Dallas apartment finders should be able to provide some guidance.
  1. How much time do you have/need? If you’re currently living with family or friends, you may have plenty of time to be selective about where you move. If you’re under lease at a different apartment, however, and that lease is about to expire, the time frame for finding a new place will probably be more urgent. Understand how much time you have and/or need in order to find the right property and be sure to factor in the amount of notice you must provide your current landlord prior to moving.
  1. Do you want/need a roommate? If you can’t afford rent on your own, or you’d just prefer not to live alone, getting a roommate is a great option. This can either be someone you already know, or you could find someone through a roommate matching website, such as Roomiematch, EasyRoommate or Roomster. These services are designed to make finding a roommate easier and safer than simply posting a want ad.
  1. What is your desired neighborhood? There are dozens of neighborhoods to choose from in Dallas, and each has its own unique charm as well as certain pros and cons. Things to think about when researching which locations would be the best fit for you include proximity to where you work, local amenities (i.e. restaurants, nightlife, arts and entertainment, shopping, etc.), accessibility to public transportation and available outdoor activities.
  1. What do you need in terms of space? Once you’ve narrowed down the location where you’d prefer to live, the next step in finding your perfect apartment is figuring out what size place you’ll need. This is important because, as any seasoned Dallas apartment locator will tell you, there are a lot of different options at different price points from which to choose. Is a studio sufficient, or do you need bedrooms (and if so, how many)? What square footage do you need in order to fit all of your furniture?
  1. Do you need a pet-friendly unit? If you currently have a pet or plan on getting one in the future, you’ll need to consider that when conducting your apartment search. If you’re using online sites to find a place, be sure to narrow your search criteria accordingly so as not to waste your time or that of the landlord or property manager. If you’re working with a Dallas apartment locator service, be sure to let them know upfront that you need a pet-friendly unit.
  1. What are your must-haves? Next, figure out which apartment features and amenities you simply cannot live without. For instance, do you require in-unit washer/dryer hookups or is an on-site Laundromat sufficient? Do you own your own vehicle? If so, an apartment with ample secure parking is probably a must.
  1. What extra perks would you love? In addition to the things you absolutely must-have, it can be helpful to also create a wish list for extra perks that you’d enjoy. For instance, while it may not be a necessity, having options like an on-site fitness center or swimming pool might make further narrowing your selection even easier.
  1. What do you need to plan for upfront? Will there be a security deposit at your new place? Do you have to pay extra for your pet? Will you be required to show proof of renter’s insurance, and if so, does that need to be hammered down now? What about moving expenses and arrangements? These are all important components of planning a move that you must consider well in advance.
  1. Can you handle this on your own (and do you really want to)? Let’s face it, finding an apartment, especially in a place as big as Dallas, isn’t easy. There are a ton of factors that go into locating and choosing the ideal place and the process can be incredibly time consuming. Ask yourself and be honest about whether it might make more sense to enlist the help of professional Dallas apartment locators. Doing so could save you time, aggravation and money.

 

April 27, 2017 / by / in
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Hire More Than One Apartment Locator at a Time

When it comes to Dallas apartment locators, there is certainly no shortage of choices. After all, Dallas is a big city and there’s plenty of room for competition. Because of this, many apartment seekers think hiring multiple apartment locator services might help speed up the process and improve the chances of finding the perfect place of residence. While it may seem logical to “spread the wealth,” so to speak, in reality, hiring multiple Dallas apartment finders could actually hurt you in the long run. Here are five specific reasons you should find and stick to just one.

Same Network – Firstly, working with several different services at once is, well, a little bit shady. And because most apartment locators in Dallas use the same locating system, chances are, you’re going to get bagged. Rather than having to have an uncomfortable conversation when your locators inevitably discover who else you’re working with, you’re much better off evaluating each option and picking the one that most closely suits your needs.

Scheduling Nightmares – Different Dallas apartment locators operate on varying schedules, as do the property managers with whom they are working to get vacant apartments filled. When you decide to work with multiple different companies, you’ll likely run into a number of scheduling conflicts. Instead, choose one dedicated service provider who will be able to coordinate showings at your preferred locations and listings, and in a way that better fits your schedule.

Waste of Time – You may think scheduling multiple appointments is a better way to find the perfect apartment fast, but you’ll learn pretty quickly that having to juggle appointments that are being set by different Dallas apartment finders will take up a huge chunk of your valuable time. Wouldn’t it be better to let just one dedicated locator service manage your listings and appointments in a way that optimizes your time? We think so.

Confusion – Picture this: you’ve sent information about what you’re looking for to two or three different Dallas apartment locators and asked them to help match you with the perfect place. Pretty soon, you’ll start getting an influx of communications about various properties that might be a good fit. But which one sent which? Who do you call to set up the appointment? Which service had which deal? Simply put, juggling multiple Dallas apartment finders can get incredibly confusing.

Lack of Relationship – When you divvy up the workload amongst multiple apartment locators in Dallas, you pretty much give up the opportunity to develop a strong, working relationship that could be beneficial to you down the road. What if you land that great job next year – you know, the one that comes with a hefty bump in pay? When it comes time to upgrade to a trendier neighborhood or bigger place, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pick up the phone and call a locator who already knows your preferences?

These are just five of the many reasons hiring several Dallas apartment locators at the same time is a bad idea. If you’re unsure of who to choose, rather than pick them all, a better strategy is to evaluate your options and choose the one who best suits your needs. To get you started, you can learn more about us by visiting this page. Or better yet – pick up the phone and give us a shout at (214) 550-3717. Let us discuss how Advanced Apartment Locators can assist with all of your relocation needs.

April 20, 2017 / by / in
Your Moving Checklist: Who to Notify When You’re Getting Ready to Move

Congratulations on landing one of the premier luxury apartments for rent in Dallas! Now that you’ve signed the lease and are ready to make your big move, it’s important to remember who you need to notify of your impending change of address.

Missing someone on this list could result in a huge headache down the road, whether it’s a missed payment, disruption of utility service or a problem with your tax return. To avoid this and help ensure that your relocation goes as smooth and uneventful as possible, our experienced Dallas apartment locators have put together a comprehensive checklist below.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of anyone and everyone you’ll want to contact prior to your scheduled move.

  • Current Landlord – This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but it’s important enough to mention, just in case. Once you’ve decided to move, you must give your current landlord appropriate notice. If you’re unsure of how much time you are required to give, you should be able to find that information in your lease or rental agreement (or ask one of our Dallas apartment locators to help). Be careful with this one because if you breach you could be on the hook for substantial penalties.
  • Family and Friends – Of course, the next people who should learn of your impending move are those who are closest to you. As an added bonus, some of these folks will probably offer to help with the logistics of moving as well. And if you happen to be relocating to Dallas from another part of the country, giving them ample notice will provide enough time to say proper goodbyes before your departure.
  • Employer – Your employer needs to know your current address for reporting purposes, whether it’s for sending out your paycheck or mailing your required tax forms at the end of the year. If your relocation will also include leaving your current employer and finding a new job, the sooner you notify your boss, the better.
  • Post Office – Despite your best planning, there will inevitably be pieces of mail sent to your former address after you move. To ensure that nothing important gets lost in the shuffle you’ll need to hit up your local post office and complete the appropriate documents for a change of address and forwarding information. To save time, you can perform a change of address right online through the USPS website.
  • Utilities – Prior to your scheduled move, you’ll want to contact your utility company to let them know about the change and schedule the appropriate changeover in service. These should include your electricity, gas, water and trash. If you happen to be working with one of our professional Dallas apartment locators, he or she should be able to assist with this step as well.
  • Phone/Cable/Internet – Along with your utilities, you’ll need to have your telephone, cable or satellite and internet services transferred to your new address. Again, planning this well in advance will help you avoid a lapse in service. And don’t forget mobile phone as well. You don’t have to worry so much about that service being disrupted, but they’ll need to know where to send your bills.
  • Credit Cards – Missing an important credit card bill could result in costly penalties and higher interest rates, not to mention the negative hit you could take on your credit report. Avoid this risk by contacting all of your credit card companies and notifying them in advance that you have a new mailing address.
  • Financial Institutions – You want to keep your finances in order before, during and after your move, so be proactive in notifying the bank as well as any other relevant parties, such as investment companies and retirement funds.
  • DMV – At some point, you’ll need to have your driver’s license or state ID updated to reflect your new address. The sooner you tackle this one, the better. Depending on the situation, you may be able to do this right online. If you are moving from out of state and require a new license or ID, you’ll probably need to do so in person.
  • Government Agencies – Regardless of whether you’re moving across the country or right across town, you’ll need to notify a number of essential government agencies of your new address. For instance, your local Social Security Administration as well as the electoral register should be informed of these changes as soon as possible. If you need a list of local municipalities, your Dallas apartment locator should be able to assist.
  • IRS – Just because you happened to land one of the nicest luxury apartments in Dallas doesn’t mean you’re off the hook with Uncle Sam. He’ll need to know where to send your tax documents and, hopefully, your big fat refund check come tax season. You can find the required paperwork and instructions on how to do this on the IRS website.
  • Insurance Companies – Other parties that should always have your current address on file are your insurance providers. This includes your life insurance, health insurance and – most importantly – your renters insurance.
  • Subscription Services/Clubs – If you happen to pay for any subscriptions or monthly club services, such as a magazine or meal delivery plan, you can avoid potential delays or disruptions in service by advising them well in advance that your address will be changing.
  • Medical Providers – If you are relocating from another area, you may need to change doctors. Make sure you notify your current physician of your impending move so they can prepare to send your medical records to your new provider. Even if you’re staying local and keeping the same doctor, the office should have an updated address for you on file.

This list should provide a good starting point to ensure a successful, stress-free move. For more assistance or advice, contact our experienced Dallas apartment finders. We’re here to help!

April 7, 2017 / by / in
7 Tips to Find a Pet Friendly Dallas Apartment for Your Furry Friend

According to the Human Society, 65% of today’s households include pets. If you are among this demographic, chances are you’ve experienced the challenges of finding a rental property that welcomes more than just two-legged tenants. Thankfully, the Dallas area happens to be remarkably pet-friendly – particularly when it comes to dogs. In fact, the number of dog friendly apartments in Dallas is quite high (and growing), as are the number of nearby Dallas dog friendly restaurants, bars and, of course, dog parks.

If you and your furry family member are in the market for a new place to live, here are a few helpful tips that will save time and make finding a pet-friendly apartment in Dallas a heck of a lot easier.

Start your search as soon as possible.

There may be ample rental properties in the area, but finding those dog friendly apartments in Dallas will likely take a bit more effort. Don’t wait until a few weeks before you have to move to start looking. Begin your search as soon as possible. This is particularly important if your pet happens to be a large dog or if you have multiple animals. Give yourself enough of a cushion that you can find the right place and be selective about your options.

Use the web.

The beauty of living in the internet age is that you can do much of the legwork in advance, before wasting valuable time or ending up on a wild goose chase. Take full advantage of this option by conducting advanced searches that will allow you to view pet policies and narrow down your selection to only include dog friendly apartments in Dallas. This will make for a much less frustrating experience for everyone.

Consider location.

Remember that looking for dog friendly apartments in Dallas involves more than just evaluating the actual rental property. It’s equally important to consider the location and amenities nearby. Will you be close enough to work? Is the neighborhood safe? Most importantly – are there other pet-related options in the area? For instance, if you have a large breed canine, it may be wise to choose a location that is close to one of the many Dallas dog parks. This will allow you to enjoy ample time outdoors with your four-legged friend.

Gather references.

Keep in mind that just because you may locate a pet friendly apartment in Dallas doesn’t mean you will automatically be approved to become a tenant there. In many instances, the landlord or property manager will require any potential pet owners to supply them with references so they can verify whether or not they’re a good rental candidate. The most effective references are those supplied by non-family members, particularly those whom you have either rented from or lived with previously. Have your list ready to go.

Ask upfront.

If there is no information in the listing about whether or not a particular apartment allows pets, the sooner you ask about their policy the better. It will save time for you as well as the landlord or property manager. Be sure to ask about which types of pets are allowed, if there are any restrictions (such as size, breed or weight limit), and whether there will be any additional fees associated with renting the property, such as pet deposits or rent premiums.

Sweeten the pot.

If, during your search for pet friendly apartments in Dallas, you encounter a landlord or property manager who is hesitant to allow a furry resident, you may be able to tip the scales in your favor by offering to pay a deposit. Not only does this provide an added level of protection to the landlord for the property itself, but it also demonstrates that you are confident in your pet’s behavior.

Work with a professional.

Last, but certainly not least, it may make more sense to just leave the legwork to a professional. For instance, most experienced apartment locators already know where to find all the dog friendly apartments in Dallas. They also have established relationships with the decision makers at these rental properties and can negotiate the right arrangement on your behalf. (Best of all, it won’t cost you a dime!)

To browse the available pet friendly apartments in Dallas, please feel free to search our listings. And, of course, if you’d like us to find the perfect place for you and your four-legged friend, get in touch today! We’d be happy to help!

March 25, 2017 / by / in
5 Pointers to Picking a Dallas Neighborhood That Fits Your Lifestyle

When it comes to luxury apartments for rent in Dallas, you certainly have your pick of available neighborhoods. Each locale features its own pros and cons and should be carefully weighed to ensure the best possible match prior to moving. Not sure which of the many Dallas Texas neighborhoods is best suited for your lifestyle, needs and budget? Here are a few essential things to consider.

First, ask yourself exactly what type of living environment you prefer. Do you thrive in the excitement of an urban vibe? If so, Uptown Dallas or Knox-Henderson, with their vibrant nightlife might be the best fit. If you happen to be more comfortable with a suburban feel, the laid-back neighborhoods of Plano or Las Colinas would probably be more your speed. Understanding precisely what you envision as the ideal place to put down roots can help you narrow down your selection.

Next, determine what types of amenities you’d like to have nearby. For instance, if you’re the type who likes to “shop ‘til you drop,” your time might be best served searching luxury apartments for rent in the West Village area. Foodies who love to have lots of options for eating out would find themselves right at home in the Downtown area. Lovers of art and music might find Deep Ellum or the Design District a better fit. What things matter most to you?

Another important factor to consider when comparing Dallas Texas neighborhoods is the leisure activities that are available in the area. For example, if you love to run or bike, choosing a neighborhood that is in close proximity of the Katy Trail, like Oak Lawn or Uptown, might be ideal. Likewise, Plano’s 200-acre nature preserve is perfect for biking, hiking or just enjoying some of the area’s scenic views. Klyde Warren Park, which stretches throughout Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, offers a wide variety of community events, including yoga and tai chi.

You should also take into consideration what kind of commute you are comfortable with. If you own your own vehicle, you can pretty much take your pick of Dallas Texas neighborhoods, though driving longer distances during rush hour could be a challenge. If you rely on public transportation, on the other hand, it might be wise to find an apartment that is within close proximity of the DART or the McKinney Ave Trolley. Also, keep in mind whether or not you plan on traveling out of town a lot, particularly by air. If so, selecting an apartment in a neighborhood that offers easy access to the airport, such as the Medical District, might make more sense.

Finally, consider your personal needs. Are you a young, single professional who is climbing the career ladder? If so, fast-paced, centrally located neighborhoods like Uptown Dallas, Downtown and Knox-Henderson are great – particularly if you happen to work nearby. On the other hand, couples with young children might prefer quieter neighborhoods with a focus on quality school systems and other family-friendly amenities.

Ultimately, choosing from the many available luxury apartments for rent in the Dallas area will come down to personal taste, preferences and lifestyle needs. If you’ve considered all of the above factors and are still struggling to figure out which of the many Dallas Texas neighborhoods would be the best fit for you, it can be helpful to work with a professional.

At Advanced Locators, we know the Dallas area like the back of our hands. We’d be happy to sit down with you to discuss your needs and help you pinpoint the precise location for you. In fact, we can even help you find the apartment of your dreams in any neighborhood you prefer. Contact us today to get started.

March 23, 2017 / by / in
Finding Your Perfect Dallas Apartment – 10 Essential Tips for First Time Renters

Whether you’re a recent grad moving off-campus or an ambitious go-getter ready to spread your wings and officially fly the coop, there are a lot of important factors to consider before taking the plunge. Not only do you want to make sure that the place you choose is the right fit for your needs, budget and lifestyle, but you also want to make the process of finding and moving into your new place as smooth and stress-free as possible. For an insider look, we asked some of our experienced Dallas apartment locators what advice they would offer to someone in your shoes. Here’s what they had to say.

  1. Determine your budget.
    There’s really no point in beginning your apartment search until you have a clear picture of what you can comfortably afford to spend on a monthly basis. Remember – it’s not just rent you have to consider, either. There are also things like security deposit, utilities, groceries and a whole host of other living expenses to keep in mind.
  2. Figure out your “must haves”.
    There are a wide variety of luxury apartments for rent in Dallas, and along with them, many different styles, layouts as well as any number of perks and amenities. Not having a good idea of what you’re looking for can make the process of elimination infinitely more difficult. Conversely, knowing what things you absolutely can’t live without will help you narrow down your options and find the perfect place more quickly.
  3. List your “would like to haves”.
    In addition to the things on your “must have” list, you probably have several perks and amenities that you feel would make a good apartment even better. While you may not ultimately end up with a place that features everything on this list, it doesn’t hurt to aim high. For instance, it may not be a deal breaker, but having an on-site pool or fitness center might be something additional to look for during your search.
  4. Iron out other details.
    Are you moving by yourself or do you plan on having a roommate? If it’s the latter, do you already have someone in mind or will you be tackling that after the fact? What about pets? Do you have or plan on adopting a pet? These are all things that are important in helping to determine which of the available luxury apartments for rent in Dallas would be the best fit for your needs.
  5. Scope out the available locations ahead of time.
    There are a number of available neighborhoods that are chock full of luxury apartments for rent in Dallas, and each one has its own unique charm and personality. It’s important to know what you’d like to get out of the location of your new apartment. For instance, does it need to be close to work? Is nightlife important to you, or do you prefer a quieter atmosphere? (Check out our featured areas of town to learn more about your options.)
  6. Know where to start your search.
    Most first-time apartment hunters begin their search online. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful, sites like Craigslist and local classified ads can end up being a huge waste of time, not to mention unsafe. The fastest, safest and most convenient option is to enlist the help of a professional. Our Dallas apartment locators do all the legwork to match applicants with the perfect properties (and we do it for free!). Plus we have access to a number of luxury apartments for rent in Dallas that haven’t been publicly advertised.
  7. Plan ahead.
    As you narrow down your list of options, it can be helpful to prepare a list of questions to ask the landlord. Start with the most important ones, like:

    • What is the lease term?
    • How much is rent?
    • How is rent paid (monthly, via check, etc.)?
    • What things are included (i.e. utilities, other amenities, etc.)

    Additional inquiries that are specific to your situation might include things like what the pet policy is and what nearby public transportation options are available. This is another area where working with a Dallas apartment locator service can be helpful because we already know exactly what to ask.

  8. Polish your negotiating skills.
    Many new renters don’t realize that certain things are open to negotiation when it comes to the apartment rental process. For instance, some landlords offer move-in bonuses while others might be willing to adjust the monthly rent or throw in additional perks – but only if the applicant knows what and how to ask. As a first time tenant, it can be helpful to let someone else go to bats on your behalf. For instance, our seasoned Dallas apartment locators know exactly how to negotiate the best possible deals to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
  9. Be prepared to jump.
    While there may be plenty of luxury apartments for rent in Dallas, they’re also a hot commodity – especially in certain neighborhoods. When you do find the place of your dreams, be prepared to jump on the opportunity quickly, before someone else does. Have important documentation and paperwork ready, including copies of your recent pay stubs, a list of references and your checkbook in case you’re required to put down a deposit.
  10. Finalize and start your move.
    Once you’ve officially chosen your ideal Dallas apartment, it’s time to start planning for your big move. Don’t underestimate the work that goes into making a move successful. Start preparing as soon as you sign the lease and use the resources available to you (such as guides and checklists). It may also be wise to enlist the help of a professional moving service. (Our apartment locators Dallas service includes two hours of this at no cost.)

Renting your first apartment is an exciting life experience. Planning ahead and knowing exactly what to expect can make that experience much more positive and stress-free. If you’d like to learn more about our extensive inventory of luxury apartments for rent in Dallas, or to enlist the help of our free Dallas apartment locators to make your search faster, easier and more convenient, we invite you to contact us today!

March 23, 2017 / by / in
35 Tips to Ensure a Successful Dallas Apartment Rental Walkthrough

As experienced Dallas apartment finders, we do more than just match people with luxury apartments for rent in the Dallas area. We also have expert knowledge on all the ins and outs of the apartment rental process – including making sure the walkthrough goes off without a hitch. Knowing all the minute details to look for during that initial meeting can help you avoid making a mistake that could potentially cost you for months or even years to come. Whether or not you choose to work with us, we’d like to pass our knowledge along to you.

So, before you sign on the dotted line, here are 35 critical things to check for when looking at a potential rental property.

  • Location/Surroundings – Before you even step foot into a property you’re considering renting, take a good hard look at where it is located and what the surroundings are like. Does the neighborhood seem safe? Is it close enough to public transportation? Is it situated right next to a busy intersection? This can help you weed out the properties you probably don’t want to bother wasting time on in the first place.
  • Parking – The beauty of many luxury apartments for rent in Dallas is that they are ideally located in very walkable neighborhoods as well as close to safe, reliable public transit. Of course, if you happen to own a vehicle, you’ll want to make sure the properties you’re looking at feature adequate parking. You may also want to ask whether it’s assigned or first come, first served, as well as what the policy is for guest parking.
  • Entrances – Is the apartment building’s entrance area properly secured? Does it require a key to enter or is there a buzzer system or call phone? Are there ample security features located at and around entryways, such as good lighting and security cameras?
  • Stairways/ Elevators – Similar to entryways, are the common stairways and elevators well-lit and safe? Do the elevators work properly? Are they situated close to the unit you’re looking at?
    General Lighting (Exterior) – How is the overall lighting in and around the common areas of the building? Places to check include the street entrance, garage or parking area and lobby. If you visit during the day, you may want to come back at night to verify this information.
  • Doors – Check to make sure entryway doors are in good shape and open and close easily. Another important safety feature to check for is a peephole/door viewer. Also look for signs of tampering, such as scratches or dents.
    Locks – All exterior doors should feature functioning locks. Don’t be afraid to ask whether or not the locks are changed at each tenancy turnover. If the answer is no, you may want to look elsewhere. At the very least, you will probably want to inquire about changing them yourself upon move-in.
  • Interior Lighting – What kind and how much lighting is available inside the apartment? For instance, is there overhead lighting or will you need lamps? Flip all light switches to verify that the lighting is in good working order. Flickering could indicate a potential problem with wiring.
  • Windows – Are all the windows functioning (i.e. can they be opened and closed with ease)? Double check to make sure none are painted shut. Do they have working locks? Screens? Are there (or will you need any) safety bars?
  • Window Coverings – If there are things like shades and blinds, verify whether they’ll come with the apartment or if you will need to replace them yourself? If it’s the latter, find out what’s allowed. (Most luxury apartments for rent in Dallas come with ample window coverings for privacy.) Double check existing blinds to make sure they aren’t bent or broken.
  • Ceilings/Walls – As you walk around the rental unit, don’t forget to look up at the ceilings. Look for signs of water damage or mold. Check for peeling paint or cracked plaster. Likewise, check the walls for damage, paint issues, peeling wallpaper and general cleanliness.
  • Floors – What kind of flooring does the apartment feature? Carpets? Hardwood? Linoleum? Tile? Take a close look to make sure carpet isn’t dirty or frayed, wood isn’t scratched or water stained, linoleum isn’t peeling and tiles aren’t chipped, cracked or uneven.
  • Closets – What is the storage situation? Are there enough closets throughout the apartment? Is there ample space for storage of clothing, shoes and other accessories? What about the kitchen, pantry or bathroom? Are there food, linen or utility closets available? If closet space is limited, ask whether the building offers space for storing things like bikes and other gear.
  • Cabinets – Check each cabinet door and drawer – in both the kitchen and the bathroom – to make sure they open and close easily.
  • Countertops – What is the condition of the countertops? Are there any cracks, chips or stains? If the countertop is made of tile, check to make sure there are no chips and also no missing grout.
    Signs of Infestations – Chances are you aren’t interested in sharing your home with vermin, like mice or cockroaches, so check carefully for any possible signs of a problem. Look in crevices, such as closet corners, inside drawers and under cabinets for things like droppings or shedding. (Thankfully our Dallas apartment finders work only with reputable property managers, so this is rarely an issue.)
  • Appliances – Make sure all appliances that come with the rental unit are clean, complete and in good working order. Verify that the refrigerator is running and that the freezer is defrosted. Also check the condition of the stove, microwave and dishwasher.
  • Electrical Outlets – Are there enough outlets throughout the apartment and are they conveniently located? Bring along a cellphone charger or other small electrical device to check for any electricity issues. Also make sure none of the outlets are hot to the touch or buzzing.
  • HVAC – One of the most common (and most important) questions we get as apartment locators in Dallas is whether or not the units we’re showcasing feature central air and ample fans. These things are essential – especially during the sweltering hot summers we have – so make sure all fans and HVAC units are working and regularly serviced.
  • Smoke Detectors/Fire Alarms – Safety is of critical importance in choosing a place to live, so check to make sure there are ample working smoke detectors throughout the unit (preferably in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas and on every level). Also inquire as to whether the building itself has a functioning fire alarm system.
  • Sinks/Tub/Shower – Check the plumbing in showers and tubs as well as in and underneath sinks to ensure there are no leaks. Also look for any signs of mildew or drains that don’t work properly. If the unit has a garbage disposal, check this as well.
  • Toilet – Is the toilet secure and does it flush properly and completely? Does it fill adequately? Make sure there is no running water in the tank.
  • Water – Is the water pressure good? Does it heat up quickly and adequately? Does it run completely clear? If possible, turn on the shower and flush the toilet at the same time. This will allow you to check the pressure.
  • Laundry – Does the unit itself feature washer/dryer hookups? If not, is there a common laundry area. If there is a communal laundry room, check its hours of operation, security and proximity to the unit you’re considering.
  • Common Areas – Ask to see any additional common areas that are shared by other tenants of the building. Pay close attention to how well-kept they are, as this can provide insight into both how your fellow neighbors behave as well as how good management is at keeping the property maintained.
  • Noise – Pay close attention to the noise levels, both in the hallways as well as in the unit itself as you’re walking through. Listen for things like the neighbors as well as outside traffic. Remember – you will probably be signing a lease that will lock you in for at least a year, so make sure you don’t end up stuck in a place where excessive noise is an issue.
  • Cell Reception – These days it’s nearly impossible to live without constant connectivity of a cell phone, but not every apartment building is ideal in terms of service and reception. Double check this by using your mobile phone in each room.
  • Amenities – Most of the luxury apartments for rent in the Dallas area feature quite a few perks and amenities for residents. For instance, many have on-site gyms, swimming pools and shared gathering spaces. Ask about what’s included and get a tour of the facilities. Also verify hours of operation, safety features and proximity to your unit.
  • Camera and Flashlight – Better yet, bring your smartphone, as it probably features both of these things built in. The camera will allow you to take photos during the walkthrough and document any issues. The flashlight should be used to inspect smaller spaces, such as when you’re looking for signs of vermin.
  • Various Times – If possible, visit the property and spend a little time exploring the neighborhood during different times of the day and night. You may find that while everything seems safe and quiet during the day, at night it’s much noisier and not as well-lit as you’d like. The goal is to make sure you feel safe and comfortable in the area regardless of time of day.
  • Utilities – If the apartment you’re considering requires that you pay for utilities like electricity, natural gas and water, it can be helpful to ask about estimated costs so you can budget accordingly.
  • Actual Unit – Some apartment locators in Dallas try to pull a switcheroo on potential tenants by doing walkthroughs in models rather than the actual units that are for rent. Be sure to verify that the place you’re looking at is, in fact, the very unit you’ll be renting if you so choose.
  • Neighbors – If you happen to see someone who lives in the building you’re checking out, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and ask them how they feel about living there. This will provide you a much more honest and firsthand perspective of things like the building, amenities, landlord and neighborhood.
  • Online Reviews – You can also check online to see if there are any reviews that might be helpful in selecting the property that’s right for you. Carefully consider the various pros and cons provided online from existing or previous tenants (but remember to take them with a grain of salt).
  • Lease – Last but certainly not least, ask to look over the lease. Reading through can provide a better idea of what to expect should you choose to rent a particular apartment. If there’s anything that you don’t understand, ask for clarification. If there’s something that makes you uncomfortable, discuss it with the landlord, property manager or one of our Dallas apartment finders.

So, there you have it: the ultimate apartment walkthrough checklist. Feel free to print a copy and bring it along to ensure you don’t forget anything. And, of course, if you need assistance with locating the ideal property for your needs and budget, give us a call. Our experienced Dallas apartment finders are here to help!

March 23, 2017 / by / in
Remodeling Projects That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

There are two ways to think about remodeling projects that will boost your home’s value; you can get one or two major remodels done or opt for a bunch of small fixes. Depending on your budget and your timetable, one approach may be better for you than the other.

For instance, if you have an unfinished basement, maybe your dream when you first moved into your home was to refinish it. It never happened. But now that you are thinking about selling your home, you feel that a prospective buyer would really appreciate a full finished basement. Is that the remodeling project that you should do before selling?

On the other hand, you want to spend as little as possible to squeeze as much value out of your home. Maybe you would prefer to just spruce up the kitchen cabinets or repaint the house. Whichever camp you fall into here are some remodeling project ideas that usually add at least a few thousand dollars to the value of your home.

Interior Improvements

Depending on where you live, some remodeling projects bring in more dollars on resale than others. Here are some of the interior remodeling projects that can help boost your home’s value:

Kitchen Upgrades: Potential buyers these days want spacious, modern kitchens. Simple upgrades like adding new appliances, granite countertops, or new cabinets can pull in the big bucks. Some big-ticket improvements that usually add value include:

  • Adding an island
  • Adding a breakfast nook
  • Adding new ceramic flooring
  • Adding accent lighting

Removing Walls: The style right now is open concept kitchens and living rooms. If you have an older home, you could knock down a wall or two to really open up more interior space. If they’re load-bearing walls, removing them will usually push the price tag up. But non-load-bearing walls are easy to take out to add a pass-through window or a bigger entryway. Use a professional contractor to make sure the job is done right.

Room Additions: Believe it or not, adding a new room to your home is not as expensive as you might think and can greatly increase your home’s value. Think about converting your attic into a spare room or building a new room addition onto your house. The added space increases the overall square footage of your property and will push your asking price up.

Exterior Improvements

They are often overlooked when making improvements to your home, but there are a number of exterior projects that can boost your home’s value. Here are just a few ideas for exterior improvements:

Outdoor Living Space: Especially in warm weather climates, buyers want a home with comfortable outdoor living spaces. That could mean adding in a slate patio or a wooden deck. Make your outdoor living space an oasis by adding in path lights, pathways, plants, shrubs, and trees.

Siding Upgrades: If you are making simple upgrades on the cheap just to spiff up your home exterior, a good paint job will do. To really boost your home’s value try adding new siding. If you replace portions of your siding with stone veneers, it will greatly improve curb appeal and your home’s value.

Driveways/Garages: If you haven’t paved your driveway in a while, new paving is an excellent exterior improvement that makes a good impression as soon as buyers pull up to your home. Your garage doors and exterior also make a good or bad impression. Even if you do not make any changes to your garage, you should clean it out and organize its contents for resale. Replace broken windows and locks and give it a good paint job.

A qualified agent with years of experience in the real estate market can help you determine the best improvements to make based on your particular market. When you’re ready to learn more, connect with me today. I’m happy to help!

November 9, 2016 / by / in