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Old 04-22-2015, 07:39 PM
 
81 posts, read 64,189 times
Reputation: 58

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Hi All,

I am perusing different rent options in Austin and came across a couple places in the Parker Lane neighborhood for around $650/month as a sublet. The downside is that I would be sharing an apartment with someone and there's a chance I'd need to sleep on a futon at night (not sure if it'd be in the living room area or a separate bedroom...I will contact the landlords). Anyhow, should I keep looking for a studio apartment in another neighborhood? Or is it worth it sharing an apartment (for the short-term) in the Parker Lane area, assuming I can find rents for around $600? Any other neighborhoods (which aren't ghetto) in which I could find my own place for $600'ish, that isn't too far from downtown? I am still "hammering down" where exactly I will be working, so I'm not quite ready to sign a year-long lease right now, if I can help it.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,722 posts, read 40,829,423 times
Reputation: 9197
Its hard to say if its a good deal or not given the unknowns. Not having to sign a lease sounds like a good situation for you right now. You should definitely try to find a place to live near where you will be working, depending on your working hours, as rush hour traffic is horrible.

http://www.padmapper.com/ shows twenty or so alternative rentals & sublets in that price range, I did not look at them all but some are private rooms. And some of them are in better neighborhoods. There is one private bedroom near the UT Campus that looked decent.

Parker Lane is in the Riverside Drive area, giving it great access to downtown, but it is also one of the highest crime areas in Austin. Violent crime in Austin is very low compared to most cities, but property crime is high, that is something you should be prepared to deal with.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:04 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,786 times
Reputation: 10
I've spent so much time hating my lease at University Estates that I kind of forgot that it's a good deal and really not so bad. Rent looks pretty typical when you're just browsing complexes, but when you look at the details you see that all utilities plus excellent high speed internet are included in the rent. These are long-term leases, though; I got mine locked in at $485 for 18 mo, although 12 mo is the standard. Additionally, they're all roommate situations, but you at least get your own bathroom and rooms are leased individually so there's no need to worry about a roommate not paying.

I have read about a few complexes renting on a monthly basis with the option to go to long-term. I'd recommend just taking down as many phone numbers as possible, coming up with a list of quick questions, and then methodically working your way through the numbers. There are bad reviews about pretty much every complex, but typically it's only the pissed-off tenants who care enough to write reviews. Keep an eye out for ceramic tile or bare concrete because they're excellent in Austin's toasty climate and are generally a pretty good indicator of the quality of the complex. And don't be fooled by the resort-style exteriors - that's all a marketing scheme and frequently has absolutely no relevance to interior quality. 'hardwood floors' typically mean stick-down vinyl tiles, and wall-to-wall carpet, even if it's brand-new, might be sitting on a filthy pad.

Given the traffic situation, if I were you I'd locate myself as close as possible to cross-town bus routes in the short term (see http://www.capmetro.org/uploadedfile...System_Map.pdf), and in the long-term be willing to pay an extra $100-$200 to be as close as possible to your job, once you've got that figured out. The bus system isn't cheap, but motorists here are extremely foolish and aggressive. I sold my car when I moved here and walk/bike, and as long as you stick to sidewalks and trails like Lady Bird Loop you're pretty safe. As I'm sure you realize by this point, Austin is no exception to Texas' reputation for a cowboy-mentality, particularly when it comes to big pick-up trucks and general road behavior.

Bike theft is apparently pretty big here. If you decide eventually to ditch your car, avoid expensive-looking bicycles and go for a mountain bike, not a road bike - despite all the hype about bicycle-friendliness, you're going to find that curb-hopping and side-walk-riding is essential to staying alive on a bike here! Additionally, rain is rare throughout most of the year, so you can afford a cab in the few cases when it's pouring.

Concerning job-seeking - I don't know if you're a career-track professional or you're just looking for any job you can find, but beware! The competition is pretty intense. If you don't know Spanish, start learning ASAP. If you're looking for office-type work, I'm guessing you're probably on the right track in terms of options, but construction and construction-related services are also pretty safe due to the boom. For work that doesn't involve retail or a desk, there are quite a few small garage/shop businesses east of downtown, close to the river, and they'll place you close to budget housing.
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
41 posts, read 39,906 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJames30 View Post
Hi All,

I am perusing different rent options in Austin and came across a couple places in the Parker Lane neighborhood for around $650/month as a sublet. The downside is that I would be sharing an apartment with someone and there's a chance I'd need to sleep on a futon at night (not sure if it'd be in the living room area or a separate bedroom...I will contact the landlords). Anyhow, should I keep looking for a studio apartment in another neighborhood? Or is it worth it sharing an apartment (for the short-term) in the Parker Lane area, assuming I can find rents for around $600? Any other neighborhoods (which aren't ghetto) in which I could find my own place for $600'ish, that isn't too far from downtown? I am still "hammering down" where exactly I will be working, so I'm not quite ready to sign a year-long lease right now, if I can help it.

Thanks again!
It will be impossible to get your own place for $600/month anywhere near Austin, even in the ghetto. If that is your budget you will need roommates.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:28 PM
 
81 posts, read 64,189 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
Its hard to say if its a good deal or not given the unknowns. Not having to sign a lease sounds like a good situation for you right now. You should definitely try to find a place to live near where you will be working, depending on your working hours, as rush hour traffic is horrible.

Apartments for Rent - PadMapper Apartment Search for Oodle, Rent.com, Kijiji, and Craigslist Apartments shows twenty or so alternative rentals & sublets in that price range, I did not look at them all but some are private rooms. And some of them are in better neighborhoods. There is one private bedroom near the UT Campus that looked decent.

Parker Lane is in the Riverside Drive area, giving it great access to downtown, but it is also one of the highest crime areas in Austin. Violent crime in Austin is very low compared to most cities, but property crime is high, that is something you should be prepared to deal with.
Thanks, Captain! :-)

I'd live a bit farther from downtown if it equated to a nicer neighborhood. I will check out padmapper and look for places which are in better areas. It's ok if I have roommates, I think if I get the right ones it will make it a fun and memorable living situation. But, I think ill eschew living in the Parker Lane area if it's not that nice.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:36 PM
 
81 posts, read 64,189 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by terthles View Post
I've spent so much time hating my lease at University Estates that I kind of forgot that it's a good deal and really not so bad. Rent looks pretty typical when you're just browsing complexes, but when you look at the details you see that all utilities plus excellent high speed internet are included in the rent. These are long-term leases, though; I got mine locked in at $485 for 18 mo, although 12 mo is the standard. Additionally, they're all roommate situations, but you at least get your own bathroom and rooms are leased individually so there's no need to worry about a roommate not paying.

I have read about a few complexes renting on a monthly basis with the option to go to long-term. I'd recommend just taking down as many phone numbers as possible, coming up with a list of quick questions, and then methodically working your way through the numbers. There are bad reviews about pretty much every complex, but typically it's only the pissed-off tenants who care enough to write reviews. Keep an eye out for ceramic tile or bare concrete because they're excellent in Austin's toasty climate and are generally a pretty good indicator of the quality of the complex. And don't be fooled by the resort-style exteriors - that's all a marketing scheme and frequently has absolutely no relevance to interior quality. 'hardwood floors' typically mean stick-down vinyl tiles, and wall-to-wall carpet, even if it's brand-new, might be sitting on a filthy pad.

Given the traffic situation, if I were you I'd locate myself as close as possible to cross-town bus routes in the short term (see http://www.capmetro.org/uploadedfile...System_Map.pdf), and in the long-term be willing to pay an extra $100-$200 to be as close as possible to your job, once you've got that figured out. The bus system isn't cheap, but motorists here are extremely foolish and aggressive. I sold my car when I moved here and walk/bike, and as long as you stick to sidewalks and trails like Lady Bird Loop you're pretty safe. As I'm sure you realize by this point, Austin is no exception to Texas' reputation for a cowboy-mentality, particularly when it comes to big pick-up trucks and general road behavior.

Bike theft is apparently pretty big here. If you decide eventually to ditch your car, avoid expensive-looking bicycles and go for a mountain bike, not a road bike - despite all the hype about bicycle-friendliness, you're going to find that curb-hopping and side-walk-riding is essential to staying alive on a bike here! Additionally, rain is rare throughout most of the year, so you can afford a cab in the few cases when it's pouring.

Concerning job-seeking - I don't know if you're a career-track professional or you're just looking for any job you can find, but beware! The competition is pretty intense. If you don't know Spanish, start learning ASAP. If you're looking for office-type work, I'm guessing you're probably on the right track in terms of options, but construction and construction-related services are also pretty safe due to the boom. For work that doesn't involve retail or a desk, there are quite a few small garage/shop businesses east of downtown, close to the river, and they'll place you close to budget housing.
Thanks bro, I will heed your advice. I don't have a car now, so I will bus or bike around. I will definitely look for places near where I work and also near the major bus lines. In terms of work, I have a few years of experience doing clerical accounting work and also a few years of experience teaching overseas. I realize the job market is more competitive here versus other Texan cities, but I have faith I can find work and do alright in Austin. With that said, I have been looking for desk jobs paying around $15 an hour. I realize even those aren't simple to get, but I have faith it's possible. I'm staying humble and telling myself that I can find decent work here, but not to expect a perfect job out of the gate, so to speak. I realize I took a risk moving here without a job, but if it works out, as I have faith it will, the risk will be rewarded.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:40 PM
 
81 posts, read 64,189 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CROB86 View Post
It will be impossible to get your own place for $600/month anywhere near Austin, even in the ghetto. If that is your budget you will need roommates.
Fair enough, I will seek out roommates. I had my own 1 BR apartment back when I lived in Denver and I got lonely and depressed over time living alone. Granted I dated women and sometimes they would stay over, but having roommates could make for a happier social life and a not so drab apartment life. :-)
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:17 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,786 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJames30 View Post
I realize I took a risk moving here without a job, but if it works out, as I have faith it will, the risk will be rewarded.
Ha! So did I, at the end of a very long, aimless road trip about a year and a half ago. I had no marketable skills and still managed to find full-time employment with benefits at a pretty cool local workshop, so you should have no trouble at all given you've already got a skillset to market!

For my first several months, while staying in someone's guest bedroom, I put everything on my credit card and made minimum payments so I could hold on to the money in my bank account as long as possible. I'm sure my credit score took a hit and I know I ended up paying more in the end due to interest, but it was a low-risk approach and I got the card paid back down a little while after I got my job and settled into a lease.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:13 PM
 
81 posts, read 64,189 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by terthles View Post
Ha! So did I, at the end of a very long, aimless road trip about a year and a half ago. I had no marketable skills and still managed to find full-time employment with benefits at a pretty cool local workshop, so you should have no trouble at all given you've already got a skillset to market!

For my first several months, while staying in someone's guest bedroom, I put everything on my credit card and made minimum payments so I could hold on to the money in my bank account as long as possible. I'm sure my credit score took a hit and I know I ended up paying more in the end due to interest, but it was a low-risk approach and I got the card paid back down a little while after I got my job and settled into a lease.
I can relate to what you're saying, I may have to go down that road. BUT, I have faith that I can find meaningful work and my plan is to look back six months from now and say "this was a great decision to come to Austin!" I lived most of my life in the Denver metro area, so I'm glad I'm exploring somewhere new. I figure it's best to travel while you're young and single...before the mortgage comes and the career job in which you are (figuratively) nailed down to where you live. :-)
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
41 posts, read 39,906 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJames30 View Post
Fair enough, I will seek out roommates. I had my own 1 BR apartment back when I lived in Denver and I got lonely and depressed over time living alone. Granted I dated women and sometimes they would stay over, but having roommates could make for a happier social life and a not so drab apartment life. :-)
Maybe this will help you with your search.

See How Much Austin Spent On Rent This March

Good luck! And I agree. When I was single I always had roommates. It's less lonely and you always have someone to hang out with, and in a new city I think that is important. Austin is a great city to be single. I think you will enjoy it.

Last edited by CROB86; 04-26-2015 at 11:29 AM..
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