Friday, March 30, 2012

Great Moving Tips: Move It but DON'T Lose It!

A+ Apartment Locating CardThese moving tips from About.com will help you maintain your sanity when you are facing the daunting task of packing up your entire life and relocating it.  Whether it's how to keep track of what's in which box, or how to best pack it, read on to keep organized AND make sure you can find your favorite sweater when you get to your new Austin Apartment!

First off, make a list of everything that you are moving and which box you put it in.  Using your computer or a spiral-bound notebook, make a list of numbers with space to write the specific contents of every box.  You will then put the  number on the corresponding box.  That way when you get to your new home you can easily find the things you need.  Keep that master list in a central location along with all of your packing supplies so you don't lose it.

Another tip is to designate a color for each room in your new house.  You'll put one colored sticker on each box near the number and one in your new house on the door to the corresponding room.  That way your movers will know what boxes go in each room.  You also can go a step further and put a note on the wall of your new room marking where you want boxes stacked to keep them out of furniture and people's way. 

Make sure to visit About.com for even more tips, like how best to pack wardrobe boxes, what to keep with you during your move, and how to disguise valuables if you can't carry them with you.  And have a great trip!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Austin's Job Growth since 2004 Leads Nation

A Plus Apartments CardAustin's Job Growth since 2004 leads the nation, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show. Austin is number one out of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the country in job growth over the last eight years.  For 2011, Austin held the number two spot just behind Houston in job creation, Statesman.com reports. 

Austin has created 140,200 new jobs since 2004, a 21.3 percent increase.  Many of those jobs have been in the high tech sector.  The Chamber of Commerce reports that there are 101,521 tech jobs in Austin, up 6,000 from last year.  Many of those high tech companies are relocating from California, lured by the University of Texas and Austin's high-tech workforce, as well as state and local tax incentives.  

Economists forecast continued job growth for Austin and Texas as a whole, due in no small part to Austin's eagerness to market its amenities and the talent of its workforce through the Chamber of Commerce and private entities such as Opportunity Austin.  With no plans for the job growth to slow down, it seems that the market for Austin Apartments For Rent will continue to rise. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Noisy Neighbors: How to Get the Volume Turned Down

A+ Apartments CardNoisy Neighbors can be a nightmare for anyone, but especially for apartment dwellers.  Shared walls, ceilings and floors can cause turn what might be a mere nuisance into a real hardship, especially if it affects your sleep or ability to live comfortably in your apartment.  Wisegeek.com has some tips on how to approach a noisy neighbor about turning it down.

First, talk to your neighbor.  Begin your statement with "I'm not sure you're aware", giving the neighbor the benefit of the doubt as to whether they realize they're being noisy or not.  Then briefly state the specific noise that is bothering you, when it occurs, and ask if they could please turn down the music/stop the dog from barking/stop holding parties until 3am.  It would also be nice of you to ask your neighbor to let you know if any noise that comes from your apartment is bothering them and volunteer to change your behavior.

If your neighbor is hostile or makes you fearful for your own safety, next time the noise occurs, call the police.  But if they simply do not comply with your request, draft a letter detailing when the noise occurs, including dates if it's something like a party.  Present one copy to your neighbor with a copy of any noise ordinances that may exist in your complex, HOA or city.  Nicely ask your neighbor to comply with these ordinances, and state that you will report them to the local authorities if they do not.

If your neighbor doesn't comply with your letter, report them to the HOA, complex or landlord and the local police if necessary.  Enlist neighbors who may also be bothered by the noise for support.  Make sure to record all requests and instances of noise in case you need to take your loud neighbor to court and present a history of the behavior.  Thankfully, most times neighbors will curb their behavior when they know the police will be called if they keep it up.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Apple Builds New Facility in Austin

A+ Apartments CardGovernor Rick Perry announced today that Apple is going to spend $304 million on a new campus that will hold 3,600 new workers, doubling the company's operations in Texas.  The new  facility will house expanded customer support, sales and accounting functions for the Americas and will be built on 40 acres adjacent to Apple's current offices in North Austin.  KXAN.com reports that the Austin campus currently employs more than 3,500 people.

The state is throwing in $21 million in incentives over 10 years through the Texas Tomorrow Fund. Phoenix has been mentioned as a possible location for the Apple Americas Operation Center, but the governor, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Apple all have issued statements implying the Austin deal is final, dependent on the incentive packages being approved by the City and State at the end of the month.

The employees are expected to funnel $15 million a year into the local economy through purchases from foods to conferences to lodging, and the city and state will earn sales taxes off that money.  Those employees will also need places to live, so expect the demand for Austin Apartments for Rent to increase as the mostly entry-level positions that pay between $40,000 and $114,000 a year, are filled.
Photo by Kevin Muselet

Friday, March 2, 2012

Renting Costs: How Are They Determined?

The costs of renting are based on several factors. The Texas Apartment Association breaks down how your landlord determines what you will pay to live at their property. Location is a big component. For one, a more desirable location will cost more because a lot of people want to live there and the costs of building and doing business vary from community to community. The price tag attached to operating the property, what features and amenities are offered at the apartment complex, and the size and specific features of your actual apartment all factor into your monthly bottom line.

There are no rent control laws in Texas, which means that landlords are free to charge what they choose for their properties and you are free to accept the rates or find another home. One of the advantages of using an Austin Apartment Locator is that you can tell your agent what your price range is and they can easily find you properties in your range. There's no need to waste your time at properties that don't fit into your budget.

When looking for your new apartment home, make sure to factor in other costs associating with renting such as moving expenses, buying furniture for your unit, and utilities charges if they are not included in your monthly rent.
    A+ Apartment Locators CardPhoto by John Vachon