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Old 12-14-2009, 04:58 AM
 
14 posts, read 24,555 times
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Hi, we're moving to Austin in February and will be looking for somewhere to rent. Can anyone recommend leasing agents that they've had good experience with and also are there any we should steer clear of? We're looking to rent in Hyde Park/Rosedale areas, but are happy to look at similar places with a max 30 minute commute to UT. We're coming from out of the country and have no experience in the American rental market, so any pointers would be appreciated, especially contact details for reputable rental agents. Many thanks
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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I'd stay clear of all of them

rent.net

find an area, then ask here or something
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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If you're looking to rent an apartment, check out the Austin Small Planet Giude. It'll give you an idea of some of the neighborhoods and apts available. Apartments will have their own leasing agents in house. If you're looking to lease a home then you might want to check with local Realtors to inquire. There may be a Realtor on C-D with some suggestions.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,816 posts, read 40,118,521 times
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Okay, what are you looking for? House, condo, apartment, duplex? Are you moving here for UT or some other reason? (That would help determine of there are any areas other than Hyde Park/Rosedale that suit your needs that should be recommended.) How did you zero in on those areas? What are your criteria, in other words.

Generally, you'll be more likely to find a house for lease through using a Realtor. Condos and townhomes as well, though in the case of those, you might be able to go through the condo management. Apartment leasing specialists (usually not agents, but they can be) are also going to be able to point you towards apartments.

Something to remember - until and unless you have an agreement with a Realtor to represent you, they represent the landlord and the landlord's interests, not yours. So if you're looking for houses, you'll want to get your own agent who will generally be paid by the leasing agent via a commission split. (The landlord pays a commission to the leasing agent, who then shares it with the agent for the tenant.)

Once you find a property you're interested in leasing, you'll most likely be asked to fill out an application and pay a nonrefundable application fee, somewhere in the neighborhood of $25-50 (it varies), which pays for having a credit check and background check run. If you lease the property, you'll most often be asked to sign a lease (there's a form provided by the Texas Real Estate Commission that most, but not all, landlords use) and pay a security deposit (often the equivalent of one month's rent) and the first month's rent up front. If you have pets, for those properties that allow pets, you'll be paying a pet deposit.

That's a quick and dirty description of how leasing works here. There's variations and it's not complete, of course, but it should get you started.

Oh, and, welcome to Austin!
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Dripping Springs , TX
786 posts, read 2,532,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKexpat View Post
Hi, we're moving to Austin in February and will be looking for somewhere to rent. Can anyone recommend leasing agents that they've had good experience with and also are there any we should steer clear of? We're looking to rent in Hyde Park/Rosedale areas, but are happy to look at similar places with a max 30 minute commute to UT. We're coming from out of the country and have no experience in the American rental market, so any pointers would be appreciated, especially contact details for reputable rental agents. Many thanks
I will send you the contact info for the agent we used when we bought our house. She is now doing rentals. She is very good at working with people long distance.

Our entire relocation took 1 1/2 years from the time the company first started talking about the idea, to the final move. She was with us the entire way and never lost patience over the slow progress. She found out what we were looking for in a house and neighborhood, set up a private web site with the results, and checked out the ones that best matched our criteria. She would then provide her review of the place and we would decide if we wanted to check it out. Her recommendations were usually spot on. When she met us at the house we ended up buying, her first words were, "This is the house you are buying."
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:19 AM
 
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Thanks all for your advice. My husband's job is at UT, so we would like somewhere that is commutable to there. We honed in on Hyde Park only through recommendations from his work colleagues and also when we came over to visit it looked a nice area. We liked Rosedale as we stayed there for one night and liked the fact we could walk and get ice cream at 9pm at night, feel safe and exchange friendly 'good evenings' with neighbours.
We'd like a commute of about 30 minutes give or take at most. At the moment I commute an hour and a half each way and we don't want to do that any more! We'd like to keep the work journey short and have time to enjoy the evenings.
Ideally we'd like to rent a house rather than an apartment and spend no more than $1000 a month- if this is realistic. My understanding of a duplex is that it is a semi-detached house, that is to say it is joined on one side by another house. Is that correct? (Sorry, but I am English and learning new terminology!!) We'd be interesting in renting those as well.
My concern with apartments is that they seem quite cheap (by UK standards anyway) for the amount of room and facilities. Over here, a 2 bedroom apartment with a pool and gym would be about $1600, but on craigslist they are available for $900. Does this make them a magnet for students? We definately do not want to be surrounded by noisy undergrad students.
Apart from the work commute, we're not concerned about being close to other ammenities. It would be nice to be able to walk to an ice cream shop or coffee bar, but that's not essential. At the moment we live about 15 mins drive from our nearest grocery store and we're quite happy with that.
We'd like a quiet neighbourhood. We like going for meals out etc, but neither of us are really interested in being near nightlife, so proximity to the city centre isn't important to us.

Many thanks for all your advice
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:08 AM
 
139 posts, read 418,502 times
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How large of a place do you want? We lived in Rosedale for 4 years and rented while we were working on our last house, and we had a small (800 sf) garage apartment for $1,000. Most rental houses in Rosedale and Hyde Park will be 2 bedrooms and at least $1,200-$1,400, so that will be difficult in your budget. You can definitely find an apartment in that range, though.

I agree with your assessment of Rosedale - it is absolutely our favorite neighborhood in Austin!
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