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Old 06-17-2015, 08:49 PM
 
62 posts, read 127,915 times
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We're considering a possible move to Auburn and would be looking at rental housing, at least for now. We've got kids in school and would be looking for either a 4-bedroom or a larger 3-bedroom place (say 1400-1500 sf as the minimum size). The move involves transferring high school kids, and the Auburn schools look like a better fit to what our kids have got going already, so we'd prefer that over Opelika (although I'm sure Opelika is very nice, too). I'm looking on line and seeing quite a range of prices, and some of them have to be too good to be true. Others are wildly higher for what looks like comparable housing. What's the normal range you'd expect to pay for for something like this for a single family house? And where are the more reliable places to look? Property managers? Craigslist? Realtors? The newspaper? I've noticed that every place has their go-to source to advertise rentals, and it's not always what you'd expect, coming from outside. Is there anything we should avoid or watch for?

Thanks in advance. I realize that there might not be a ton of people responding from Auburn, but I appreciate any suggestions you've got.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:21 PM
 
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I graduated from Auburn some number of years ago and am pretty familiar with the current rental market there.

You basically have a captive university student market, and most of those rentals are done per bedroom and drive up the total price of the rental beyond what a single family home might rent for. For example, A 4 bed/4 bath home that is relatively new construction but has cheap finishings in it designed to rent to college students might fetch $1400, but you can find 4 students to sign 4 different leases at $450-$550 per bedroom. There are certain neighborhoods that have more students living in them than others, so you may want to speak to a realtor to avoid living amongst partying college kids.

There is also going to be a fair bit of discrepancy in rent prices relative to distance from campus and interior finishes.

Depending on exact square footage, finishes, and distance to campus, I think you are going to be looking at $1000 at the bare minimum to $1500+ at the top end, with most suitable places probably in the $1250-$1500 range.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:50 AM
 
62 posts, read 127,915 times
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Thanks, Steve! I figured the $400 ones were per-student, but I saw a bunch in the $800ish range, too. (Some of those, when you follow the rabbit hole, turn out to be those scammish-looking rent-to-own ads on Craigslist, though.) And yeah, we'd definitely prefer to avoid the college kid party scene. I do appreciate how some agencies mark their properties as student or non-student.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:40 PM
 
62 posts, read 127,915 times
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One more question about housing--and possibly you can't name names on the forum, so in that case, I'm open to personal messages, too. But are there any specific rental agencies that I should run from? I realize that a) people mostly only write reviews when they're dissatisfied, and b) students and renters don't always take care of places like they would if they owned them. But I see an awful lot of comments about repairs that take an excessive amount of time (ie months) and repeated difficulties getting one's deposit back. And not just from students, either--quite a few disgruntled parents. Does this speak more of the renters' attitudes, or is this a legitimate problem that we'll have to watch out for?
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:03 PM
 
2,392 posts, read 2,120,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlcg37 View Post
One more question about housing--and possibly you can't name names on the forum, so in that case, I'm open to personal messages, too. But are there any specific rental agencies that I should run from? I realize that a) people mostly only write reviews when they're dissatisfied, and b) students and renters don't always take care of places like they would if they owned them. But I see an awful lot of comments about repairs that take an excessive amount of time (ie months) and repeated difficulties getting one's deposit back. And not just from students, either--quite a few disgruntled parents. Does this speak more of the renters' attitudes, or is this a legitimate problem that we'll have to watch out for?
I think it is really just one of those "your mileage may vary" situations. Every place I ever rented in Auburn let me down in some aspect, and I dealt with both rental companies as well as huge student living apartment complexes with their own staff.

I wouldn't say there are any you should definitely stay away from, but it is possible you will have problems. I also get the feeling that students get treated with crappier service because often it is the parents writing the rent check and there is a never-ending supply of new students to take advantage of. I feel like a family dealing with a rental agency will probably get better results overall, but again, your mileage may vary.

Also, keep in mind a lot of the people working for these rental agencies are often students or fresh college graduates taking a first job and there is a ton of turnover so the staff that got terrible reviews in 2013 could be completely different by 2015.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:37 AM
 
62 posts, read 127,915 times
Reputation: 70
Well, in the one case I saw, it wasn't just comments about rude office staff. It was more like major maintenance that was never done. But one hopes that things have changed for the better.

For anyone else showing up here, looking for advice about rental housing in Auburn, one thing I can say is to be very wary about ads on Craigslist and the like. Maybe if you're there in person, you can go see the house not get scammed. But I found at least five houses posted on CL last night claiming to be in Auburn, somewhat below full market price, which were flat out scams. Dropped the photos in google image search and found they were actually houses for sale in Florida. That kind of scam has been rising all over, so definitely be careful of renting something without being able to go inside or send someone you trust inside it to make sure it's real.
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