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Old 05-18-2015, 08:45 AM
 
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Hello!
We're a couple wanting to move to Corpus, the only things holding us back are finding jobs close to the apartments we've found, and then yesterday we've realized utilities are probably not as inexpensive as they are here in northern Indiana.

For a one bedroom apartment, what would the typical electric, water, gas, and trash/sewage bills cost?
Any rough estimates?

I've looked onModerator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed and compared the cost of living between where we currently live and Corpus and I'm questioning the accuracy of it.
It says it's only 5% more expensive to live in Corpus, but utilities are 34% more expensive. Which, I guess would bring me to the assumption that whatever I'm spending extra on for utilities, I'd be saving in other areas of living costs.
Right now we only pay for electric and Wifi for a one bedroom that we've lived in for a year and a half now, and the highest our electric bill has ever been was $85, mostly due to the fact that we only use a heater or use the A/C in our bedroom, because that's where we spend most of our time since it doubles as our living room, and I think it saves a lot of money.

SO, in conclusion, if I'm renting just a one bedroom apartment somewhere, would it be smarter to only pay electric, or only pay for water, gas, & sewage/trash?
I think the only places I've found that pay for electric are complexes in Port A, which might make a difference in the water bill.
The ones that pay everything but electric and Wifi are just duplexes, efficiencies, and small complexes closer to Ocean Drive and Annaville areas.

Thanks again everyone, your help is very much appreciated!

Last edited by Yac; 05-27-2015 at 06:10 AM..
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:35 AM
 
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Most apartments in Corpus Christi do not pay your utilities. For cable (internet, tv) you will be restricted somewhat to the companies that service that particular complex, not having a choice of any that are available in the area. For instance, the first apartment I lived in had Time Warner cable and the second one has Grande. Some are better or cheaper than others.

Electric bills will be higher all year round here as you will have heating in the winter and AC will be big from May through October. Also remember that your water heater and stove will be electric as well. If I'm careful with turning things off and keeping the AC set a bit higher and the heat a bit lower(and I installed a set back thermostat so I can change the temperature when no one is home and at night) I can manage to keep it under $75/ month most of the time, except for one or two summer months. Your electric bill will also depend upon the age of the building you are living in. My first apartment was old and had really leaky single pane windows, you could see daylight under the front door, and the AC system was really old. My electric was the same for a studio there as it is for our one bedroom in a newer complex. So seriously consider the apartment you will be living in for age and look at the AC units, windows, and doors. The rent may be cheaper in the older complexes but you will pay more in electric.

The model units they will show you are nothing like the one you will live in. All of the complexes have units that they maintain just for showing. Ask to see the actual unit you will be living in even if they are in the process of doing the cleaning and painting it. IF they let you see the unit be sure to look around at your neighbors areas and how neatly (or not) their patio/balcony is, parking availability, distance to the playground, pool, mailbox, and trash bins. Then be sure to go back in the evening and weekend to see how noisy or messy the areas are.

You will also be responsible for a water bill. Generally there will be one water meter per building and they pro-rate each apartment based on the number of bedrooms and number of occupants of each apartment. So if you end up in a building where a married couple (only two people in a one bed apartment according to their lease) invite the rest of their family to live with them until they find a place of ther own and they use a lot of water it will raise your water bill. In older buildings there may also be leaking faucets. On average our water bill runs between $18-25 for two people.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:18 AM
 
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Electric entirely depends on how cool you keep it in Summer. Almost all apartments have central a/c rather than window units. If the building isn't well insulated you want to avoid the top floor apartments. Trash will tend to be included in rent in a complex. Water/wastewater/stormwater will either be separately metered or apportioned among the units. Apportionment tends to be cheaper because individual metering gets you the minimum charge for the meter unless you are using more than 6000 gallons a month which would be a lot for two people in an apartment. By state law water must be either apportioned or individually metered so don't assume that if one says they are included it will stay that way.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:20 AM
 
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It's so hard to predict utility bills for electric because I have no idea how well insulated your apartment is, how effecient the cooling and heating units are and things like if it's a three story complex being on the top floor in the summer will probably cost you a lot more to cool it than being on the ground floor. Generally speaking it's going to cost you a whole lot more in the summer months to cool your dweeling than it would in Indiana. In south Texas you get hot and humid days and nights unlike up north where most nights you can turn off your A/C and open some windows and turn on fans in the summer and be comfortable, that is not possible in Corpus. But you will probably make up some of that money in tax saving by living in Texas although I don't know how bad taxes in Indiana are but I am originally from Illinois and the taxes there are out of control and I probably save 6 grand a year living there not to mention that gas is way cheaper in south Texas also compared to the Chicago burbs I came from. The quality life is much better done here also, no snow to shovel or snow roads to drive on and its not dark before 5 pm in December.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:52 PM
 
13 posts, read 25,602 times
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Originally Posted by utsci View Post
You will also be responsible for a water bill. Generally there will be one water meter per building and they pro-rate each apartment based on the number of bedrooms and number of occupants of each apartment. So if you end up in a building where a married couple (only two people in a one bed apartment according to their lease) invite the rest of their family to live with them until they find a place of their own and they use a lot of water it will raise your water bill. In older buildings there may also be leaking faucets. On average our water bill runs between $18-25 for two people.
Yeah, one of our friends lives in Austin, and he lived in an apartment complex that didn't pay for water, and he said it really sucked because his water bill was always really high even though he tried to be careful with his water usage. So he told us to stay away from those kinds of complexes.

And we have actually found a bunch where we'd only have to pay for electric, but you said it only costs you around $75/mo and for 2 people? That's not bad at all. Here, the highest mine ever was was $85 for a couple months, that's it. So if we're smart about it, and if there's just a window A/C (and we have our own we could bring too), we could just cool off one room only when we absolutely need to so we're not wasting energy. That's what we do here, too, and it's not bad.

Thank you very much for your input! This moving thing is looking a lot more feasible now!
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tophawk36 View Post
It's so hard to predict utility bills for electric because I have no idea how well insulated your apartment is, how effecient the cooling and heating units are and things like if it's a three story complex being on the top floor in the summer will probably cost you a lot more to cool it than being on the ground floor. Generally speaking it's going to cost you a whole lot more in the summer months to cool your dweeling than it would in Indiana. In south Texas you get hot and humid days and nights unlike up north where most nights you can turn off your A/C and open some windows and turn on fans in the summer and be comfortable, that is not possible in Corpus. But you will probably make up some of that money in tax saving by living in Texas although I don't know how bad taxes in Indiana are but I am originally from Illinois and the taxes there are out of control and I probably save 6 grand a year living there not to mention that gas is way cheaper in south Texas also compared to the Chicago burbs I came from. The quality life is much better done here also, no snow to shovel or snow roads to drive on and its not dark before 5 pm in December.
Exactly what I was thinking! The tax laws in Texas are amazing from what I've heard! The only things that are more expensive in Corpus are utilities (34% more) and housing but only by about 3%. Everything else is cheaper. According to my internet research it's only 5% more costly to live in Corpus than where we live now, and with both of us making $12/hr, we could save half or more of our paychecks without even trying to each week. Which is why I figured that utilities might not matter too much if we're both saving money in every other aspect in living costs. And we don't go out and spend money very often either, so maybe I'm just getting all worked up over the utilities thing for nothing. I just was worried that spending $300/mo was the norm for an average electric bill, but the people complaining about that must have central air for large houses or something.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:54 PM
 
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Unless you are going to spend all of your time in one room, having a window AC is not going to get you by. Trust me. In my first apartmentm a studio apartment...one room... a couple of years ago the AC went out early in the evening. Within an hour I could no longer stay in the apartment as it was over 90 degrees, even with the windows open and I was on the ground floor. So I went to wait for the repair guy out by the pool. After 2 hours had gone by my apartment was sweltering at 98 degrees (the sun had gone down) and the humidity was killer. Still I waited out by the pool. When the AC guys showed up after 4 hours he was glad that I had left the apartment because he said he had seen people who tried to stay indoors and made themselves sick with dehydration and heat exhaustion. Seriously, the heat and humidity is nothing to fool around with in CC. If you think you can get by with only having a window AC in your bedroom for sleeping at night you are a better person than I. On the other hand, I think it will also make your refrigerator work harder to stay cool and it will take a long time to cool down the bedroom and keep it cool if the rest of the apartment is 90+ degrees.

We keep our AC set at 69 degrees in a one bedroom newish apartment and get by with electric bills less than $100 in the summer. But we also have heavy window coverings and the thermostat moves the AC to 7 during the day when we are gone. Also, it is still a bit sticky for sleeping at 69 degrees so we have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. I can also say that at 69 degrees it is difficult to stay/get dry after a shower here and your damp towels will never dry. I am damp again by the time Ihave gotten fully ready to leave for work. And we do a load of towels at least every 3-4 days as they will never dry and they will get moldy if you just leave them.

Bleach is my friend. Everything gets moldy here...tubs, kitchen sink, dishes, anything you leave on the counter for more than 24 hours. Don't get me started on the bugs and fleas. Since it rarely freezes in in CC the bugs and fleas are a year 'round affair here. Hopefully you find an apartment that exterminates monthly. We get a letter on our door when they come in monthly to exterminate in the apartment. We can always tell when it is geting close as the bugs come up through the kitchen sink and tub drains. And even though my dog was on heartworm and flea preventative before moving here she was infested within days. My first apartment did not steam clean the carpeting in between tenants and I had no idea why I had little bug bites covering my legs up to my knees. Once my dog started to scratch and I took her to the vet, they told me the bites on my legs were from fleas and my dog was infested as well. My current apartment has tile and wood floors which are much easier to keep flea-free.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by schamelon View Post
Exactly what I was thinking! The tax laws in Texas are amazing from what I've heard! The only things that are more expensive in Corpus are utilities (34% more) and housing but only by about 3%. Everything else is cheaper. According to my internet research it's only 5% more costly to live in Corpus than where we live now, and with both of us making $12/hr, we could save half or more of our paychecks without even trying to each week. Which is why I figured that utilities might not matter too much if we're both saving money in every other aspect in living costs. And we don't go out and spend money very often either, so maybe I'm just getting all worked up over the utilities thing for nothing. I just was worried that spending $300/mo was the norm for an average electric bill, but the people complaining about that must have central air for large houses or something.
I don't think you would see anything close to 300 dollar bills in an apartment unless you really kept it cool. Remember in the winter your bills are almost nothing to heat and cool at least they are in my house, from November to the end of march I will barely ever run my heater or A/C and my utility bills for gas and electric will be less than 80 bucks for my house and most of that cost comes from my family members who don't pay the bills and leave lights and tv's running all day no matter how hard I try to pound it into their brains to turn stuff off.

Corpus Christi is a good place to have fun without spending money also. The beach is free, you can fish for really cheap year round and if you like to eat fish it's an easy fun way to cut down on our grocery bill. Hope you like it down here when you get here.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:45 AM
 
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I didn't think about bugs. I thought maybe bigger bugs and slugs and whatnot, but I didn't know fleas were bad. Lol that sounds like something out of a horror film. WELL, we'll definitely keep that in mind. My cat's are both longhair, and I don't want them to be miserable.

And what both of you have said about the bills really makes it seem like it won't be too bad at all. We'll probably be moving there later in the fall as we still have things to sort out here. So at least it won't be in the hotter summer months, which will help a lot with the bills in the beginning.

Thanks again everyone! You have helped in every way I could have hoped for!
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:54 PM
 
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For your cats you will want to put them on heartworm and flea preventative before you get here if possible. Most vets suggest having them on meds for at least 30 days before moving. My dog was on Sentinel and we had to switch to Trifexis, which is about the most potent and newest generation of meds. I'm not sure if it can be used in cats. But Dr. Pigott in Corpus Christi has been a great vet during the 2 years we have lived here.

And don't underestimate heartworm here. Most of the animals in shelters, who have been strays or given up by their owners, are heartworm positive. Several of my co-workers have adopted animals here and all have been heartworm positive, but the shelter will provide treatment at no cost to the adopting family. Even so, the average lifespan of a dog who has spent any time as a stray here is only 3 years, according to a shelter vet where I volunteer. Treatment is a long term obligation and not always successful. Please protect your animals.
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