Pulling all-nighters studying for exams, balancing school and work, writing 20 page papers, missing out on fun parties or events due to homework…there are a lot of things that make college life hard. Finding a place to live shouldn’t be one of them! Let the experienced Realtors at Uptown Realty be your guide to Austin student housing.
Whether you’re looking at houses, condos, or apartments near UT Austin, we can help you find a place you’ll be happy to call your new home. When starting the journey at The University of Texas at Austin many parents prefer for their kids to live in on or off campus dorms. UT dorms are a great way for students to meet lifelong friends and get a taste of living on their own without the complete freedom that comes with their own student apartment or house. Traditionally, Sophomores will begin venturing out into the many off campus student housing options which can actually often times be significantly more affordable than the dorms for a higher quality of living.
Deciding where to live can be a difficult decision and can seem a little overwhelming at times with so many possibilities. Due to the demand for housing near campus many students choose to pre-lease early on to make sure they can secure the best property at the right price. Preleasing starts as early as October for the upcoming August with many of the larger student houses and best apartments or UT area condos getting scooped up early on. Leasing continues throughout the school year into the summer with a few properties added here and there but the majority will only decrease as time goes by limiting options and availability for the fall.
When looking for UT Austin apartments it definitely pays to be prepared. Properties move quickly and as the old saying goes, “The property you saw today and thought about until tomorrow is the same place someone else saw yesterday and leased today!”. Being prepared means having a clear idea of what you’re looking for and making sure all your roommates are on board. As with any relationship, communication is key. The better you articulate what’s important to you the better chance you have of finding a place that works for everyone. It’s also imperative that parents or whomever will be helping financially is aware that you’re looking for a new place to call home since you can’t secure a property until deposit and app fees are submitted.
For most student houses and condos you will be responsible for paying a deposit equal to one month’s rent, application fees ranging from $75-300/person, and the first full month’s rent all within a week. This means you need to be financially prepared to pay two month’s of rent and application fees on top of your current rent and financial obligations. There are of course exceptions to this from time to time but this fee structure is the industry standard.
Renting an apartment often times require much less money out of pocket than condos or a house. Many apartments near UT will only charge $200-500 non-refundable application fees rather than a hefty deposit. However, one hidden cost to watch out for is that most of the UT apartments do NOT prorate your first month’s rent whereas houses and condos will. Most UT apartments have a move-in date ranging from August 7th-23rd. You as the tenant do not typically have the option to pick your move-in date, it is set by the apartment complex. Many properties will then still charge you a full month’s rent even though you only live there from 21 to 7 days. This hidden expense can cause your effective rental rate to rise substantially. Additionally, most students apartments in Austin charge $60-125/month for parking whereas parking will generally be included with most condos and houses.
Once you speak with you Guarantor and make sure all your roommates are on the same page you want to decide on which area you would prefer to live in. The two most popular areas for UT students to live are West Campus (MLK-29th-Lamar-Guadalupe) or North Campus including Hyde Park and North Loop (30th-2222/Koenig-Lamar-I35).
West Campus is known for being more of a party scene with many fraternity and sorority houses along with iconic bars such as Cain and Abel’s or Pluckers. West Campus tends to attract younger undergrads who don’t mind the noise and social scene the area provides. Apartments near UT in West Campus also have the appeal of walkability to campus. Depending on what part of campus your classes are on most students can walk to campus and be in class in under 20 minutes or you can always hop on the bus for a quicker trip to the 40 Acres.
Many Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate students prefer the quieter classic neighborhoods found in North Campus . Close in North University is walkable to campus particularly for Engineering and Law students who spend most of their time on the North side of campus. Many UT students will forego walkability for more space, quiet, and affordability that can be found in complexes located in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Typically, as you get further from campus the quality goes up as the price goes down.
When you decide on the area you would like to live in it’s important to understand your budget making sure to take into account utilities and other expenses such as parking. It can be good to find roommates with similar budgets but our Realtors are pros at working with different budgets and finding properties that can accommodate a range of different budgets within one property. If you’re like many students putting yourself through college or on a tighter budget sharing a room is always a great option as well. There are many apartment units designed specifically for double occupancy.
Once you have location and budget locked down it’s time to decide if you want a student apartment, condo, or house. Many students don’t know the difference between apartments and condos. Condos can often times be more affordable options since they are individually owned rather than a corporate apartment community that may not have as much flexibility or options on pricing. Condos and apartments are great due to the low maintenance, many apartments will even offer on-site maintenance for theoretically quicker support when repairs are needed. Houses offer more privacy but do require more maintenance such as lawn care. Both have pros and cons, it just depends on your personal preference.
With those 3 items locked down you’re ready to start previewing properties and finding that perfect home! Uptown Realtors will work with you to narrow down the options to 5 or 6 of the best matches so when you find the one, you can move on it quickly.
Aside from houses and condos some of the most popular apartments in West Campus include The Block on Campus, The Quarters, Park Place, Crest at Pearl, 26 West, Rio West, 21 Rio, Regents West, and 900 West 23rd. Popular North Campus and Hyde Park apartments include The Triangle, Lofts at the Triangle, River Oaks, Echo, Sabina, Uptown, Waller Creekside, Oak Park, Duval Villas, and Texan North Campus.
When it comes time for you to find student housing for the upcoming school year let the experienced Realtors at Uptown be your guide. Our services are always FREE to students. We work hard to fight for the best deals for you and make sure you completely understand the process from beginning to end!