Thursday, December 29, 2016

Austin Apartment Rent Increases Down

Rent in Austin increased just 1.9 percent last month, which was the smallest increase in over six years, the Austin Business Journal reports.

An increase in the supply of apartments coupled with slowed job growth led to the smaller than normal rent increase.  Rent increases will pick back up again in the new year, though, and are forecast to hit 2.9 percent for 2017.

The supply of apartments in Austin reached its peak in the latter part of 2016, although the rest of the country is expected to see its highest number of units in the middle of next year.  Austin will likely see increased demand for apartments next year, as there are projected to be 25,000 new jobs in 2017, compared to 21,000 for November 2015 through October 2016.  

Rent increased the quickest in Eastern Travis County (a 7 percent increase), far north central Austin (6 percent), far northwest Austin (4.7 percent), San Marcos (3.7 percent), and North Travis County (3.7 percent).  

The average rent in the city last month was $1,198, an increase of 1.9 percent from $1,176 in November of last year.  Nationally, average rent was $1,278, an increase of 2.4 percent from $1,248 a year ago.

Occupancy rates in Austin were 94.2 percent last month, compared to 95.1 percent a year ago.  Nationally, occupancy was at 94.6 percent compared to 94.9 percent a year ago.

Now is a great time to take advantage of the Austin rental rates slow down and get a new apartment before things increase next year!  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to find a great new apartment for the new year.

Friday, December 16, 2016

How to Have a Clean and Organized Holiday Season

It’s just over a week to Christmas and your to-do list is probably longer than the hours in the day.  Check out Realty Times’ advice for a keeping your house clean and organized through the holiday season.

The first step is to prioritize holiday activities and events.  Plan time into your schedule to do the most important activities, which can include shopping for food and gifts, decorating your house, and cleaning the house.  There can be so many invitations this time of year, don’t be afraid to say no sometimes so you can breathe and enjoy the season.

Making an inventory of your decorations can help you make sure you have what you need.  Before you put the decorations away at the end of the year, make a list of what you need to replace because it’s broken or you’re just tired of it. Also, make a list of what you need to store everything so it will be in tip top shape for next year.

You don’t have to do it all by yourself!  Get the family involved in your holiday to-do list.  Delegate tasks to each family member from putting up the tree to making sure music is playing when guests come over.  Other tasks to outsource:  decorating the Christmas tree, decorating the rest of the house, shopping for wrapping supplies, cleaning the house, preparing dishes, putting up outdoor decorations, and sweeping the path and driveway before guests come over.  

Want to truly give yourself a holiday gift?  Hire a cleaning service to come get your house in tip-top shape while you get some shopping done.  Also, new gifts will be coming in, so this is a perfect time to go through what you have and de-clutter, especially in the kid’s rooms, before the presents start piling up.

Wrapping paper can cause a mess, so be prepared by establishing a bin to put all the wrapping, ribbon, and bows in before you start opening presents.  

Don’t forget to make time to spend with your immediate family relaxing.  Rather than watching television, curl up in front of the fire in the glow of the tree and read a book or have a game night.  

Ready to find a new home as a Christmas gift to yourself?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and we’ll help you find your dream apartment today!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bee Cave Trail Plan

A new comprehensive trail plan was presented at the Bee Cave City Council meeting November 22nd, the Austin American Statesman reports.  

The planned trail will be along RM 620 and continues to grow as the city gets more land for the trail from retailers and developers.  Currently, they are in talks with Target, Home Depot, and A+ Federal Credit Union to get an easement for a paved or granite path in the middle of the the stores.

The Canyonside Trail, which is being built by the developers of the Canyonside subdivision, is almost finished.  The city is working to connect all the disparate trails into a network that follows the roadway.  The biggest focus is on making walkways around the Hill Country Galleria and the Shops at the Galleria.  To make the connectivity plan a reality, the city has to collaborate with commercial and residential developers to either provide easements for trails or construct the actual trail.  The goal is to build trails within floodplains and easements for city services.

There are already 75 foot buffers along highways, so that’s an easy place to develop the trail, but the City Planning Director has more trouble when negotiating with developers to place the trail within their development.  

In the next five years, the priorities include a half-mile trail in the Morningside subdivision, the south portion of the Shops of the Galleria, adding a bike lane to the Ladera subdivision, a path following Bee Cave Parkway from Ladera to Bee Cave Central Park, a trail from Falconhead Boulevard to Bee Cave Parkway, and the portion from the stores on RM 620 to the Hill Country Galleria.  

There will also be some funds to improve pedestrian crossings provided by the Economic Development Board.

If you’re looking to live near this amazing trail system, there are some great apartments nearby. Bell Hill Country was recently renovated and has one, two, and three bedroom apartment homes with ornamental white countertops, white subway tile backsplashes, full size washers and dryers, garden tubs, wood-inspired vinyl plank flooring, USB outlets in the kitchen and stunning hill country views in some units.  The community has a fitness center with classes, a resident lounge with flatscreen tv, billiards, and Starbucks coffee bar, resort-style pool with outdoor kitchen, a pet park, and available garage and covered parking.  

Madrone Apartments have one, two, and three bedroom units with attached and detached garages, private backyards available, patios with ceiling fans, washers and dryers, soaking tubs and separate showers, wood-style flooring and blinds, and spacious walk-in closets.  Amenities include Lake Travis schools, valet dry cleaning and trash pick-up, stunning views of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, a fire pit area and more.

The one, two, and three bedroom apartments in Landmark Conservancy are well-appointed with granite counters, washers and dryers, plank flooring, and elevator access.  The complex has onsite storage, a fenced dog run with dog washing station, 24 hour fitness center, billiard and shuffleboard tables, running trails, and a conference room with presentation tv.  

Ready to make your home in Bee Caves, nearby Lakeway, or anywhere else in Austin?  A Plus Apartments can help! Give us a call today at 512-231-1400 and let us help you find your dream apartment!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Austin Neighborhoods: Balcones Woods

It’s been over three years since we did our profile of Balcones Woods, an Austin neighborhood located in North Austin off Balcones Woods Drive, east of 183 between Braker and Duval. Balcones Woods' convenient location off major freeways and close to both the Arboretum and the Domain make it a great choice for many Austinites.

Children in the Balcones Woods area attend schools in the Austin Independent School District.  For Kindergarten through fifth grade, students go to Davis elementary, whose mascot is the Dolphins.  

Sixth through eighth graders go to Murchison Middle School.  Murchison is an International Baccalaureate School, their colors are orange and gold, and their mascot is the Matador.

For high school, students attend Anderson High School, whose mascot is the Trojans.  Anderson High School has been named one of the Best Public High Schools by Newsweek.  

As far as employers, there are many in the area and within commuting distance of Balcones Woods.  Apple, Inc. employs more than 6,000 Austinites, many at its one million square foot campus just three miles from Balcones Woods.  This campus is home to its customer service center, human resources, and online store.  

IBM also employs 6,000 Austin residents at its headquarters located three miles away on North Burnet Road.  IBM provides hardware, software, and IT services.  

There are lots of restaurant options in and near Balcones Woods including Roaring Fork, which cooks American fare using a wood fire.  They also have private dining rooms for your special event.

Promise Pizza serves all-organic pizzas with vegan and gluten-free options as well. Their crust is said to inspire diners to make cross-town treks for more!

For shopping, the Arboretum is less than two miles from Balcones Woods and has 210,000 square feet of stores and restaurants featuring everything under the sun.  There’s also a Trader Joe’s in the area for specialty groceries and two buck chuck!

If you exhaust all the options in the Arboretum, The Domain is just under three miles away and has hundreds of stores and restaurants, including anchor tenants Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Macy’s.  This upscale open-air shopping center also has a Whole Foods Market.  

Apartments abound in the Balcones Woods area.  Estate on Quarry Lake’s one and two bedroom apartments range from 621 square feet to 1,177 square feet and feature full size washer and dryers, large walk-in closets, crown molding, vaulted ceilings, and private balconies or patios.  Amenities include two swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness studio, lake views, and a lakeside walking and running trail.

Another community with a jogging trail is Ascent Arboretum, which also has an outdoor kitchen, a large fitness center, a resort style pool with lap lane, and a tea and coffee lounge.  Their one and two bedroom apartment homes have hardwood flooring, large walk-in closets, fireplaces, and washer and dryers.

Looking to be near bus lines?  Arboretum Oaks is near public transit and also has covered parking available, a fitness center, and a pool.  They have one and two bedroom apartments with high ceilings, private patios and balconies, wood burning fireplaces, built-in bookshelves, high ceilings, wood floors, and washer/dryer connections.  

Ready to make the move to Balcones Woods?  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 and we can show you all the best apartment communities in Balcones Woods or anywhere in Austin, all in ONE easy appointment!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Austin

The recipe for surviving Thanksgiving is to make sure you get out and do stuff!  Luckily, there’s always something happening in Austin, and this weekend’s gorgeous weather makes it a great time to pile your relatives into the car and show them around our amazing city!

Earn your Thanksgiving feast by running in the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot to benefit Caritas of Austin.  It takes place Thanksgiving morning and has levels for everyone in the family, from the kid run at 8:15am, to a timed 5 mile walk/run, an untimed 5 mile walk/run, and a one mile walk/run.

Friday morning beginning at 10am, Santa will be on the Terrace of the Long Center, taking free pictures with your family with Austin’s amazing city skyline as the backdrop.  

Saturday is Chuy’s Annual Children Giving to Children Parade.  It starts at 11am at 11th and Congress and goes south on Congress to Cesar Chavez.  Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa, which gives toys to deserving children at Christmas.   

Sunday at 6pm is the Zilker Tree Lighting Ceremony in Zilker Park.  Kick off the holiday season with music, food, and festivities and celebrate 50 years of the giant tree in the heart of the ATX!

If more sedentary activities are your thing, check out Edward Scissorhands at the French Legation Museum Saturday night at 6:30pm.  Presented by the Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow, you’re invited to bring a blanket, chairs, and beverage of choice for an evening of entertainment.  

Need a drink after a weekend of family?  The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery is offering free wine flights with the purchase of a glass of wine Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6pm.  

So go ahead, get your deep cleaning done today and enjoy the big day tomorrow secure in the knowledge that after the feast you can get out and have some fun!

Would you love to host Thanksgiving, but don’t have the space?  Call A Plus Apartments at  512-231-1400 to find an entertainer’s dream apartment in time for Christmas!  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Austin Named Top City for Small Businesses

Austin took a huge leap forward on the list of top cities for small businesses, the Austin Business Journal reports.  

Austin comes in at the ninth spot on the list, up from sixteenth a year ago, for how it supports its small businesses.  The study, conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, looked at the number of small businesses open at least five years across the US, the rates of staying open for those companies, and how many small business owners were in each city.

Across the country, the five year survival rate for small businesses was 48.7 percent, the highest in the last thirty years.  Almost eight percent of adults in Austin own a business as their primary occupation, which is among the highest in the country.  Also, small businesses in Austin have a 52.3 percent rate of making it at least five years, better than the national average.  

In another report by the same foundation, Austin was ranked number one in terms of startups being founded.  Austin was also named the best city in the nation for small companies by an American City Business Journals report earlier this year  

Are you a small business owner trying to make it in the ATX?  We can take one more thing off your plate:  your apartment search.  Give A Plus Apartments a call today at 512-231-1400 to find your dream home today!  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Austin Neighborhoods: Lakeway

It’s been over three years since we profiled the Austin suburb of Lakeway, one of the fastest growing areas of the Austin metro.  Lakeway is 24 miles west of downtown Austin and is located west of 620, north of highway 71 on the eastern shore of Lake Travis.  

Lakeway was first developed in the early 1960’s and was incorporated in 1974.  Lakeway’s population was 13,168 as of 2013.  It is popular with those who enjoy access to the lake and the feel of living in the country while still being able to commute into Austin.

Children residing in Lakeway attend schools in the popular Lake Travis Independent School District.  Pre-K through fifth graders go to Lakeway Elementary School, Serene Hills Elementary School, or Lake Travis Elementary School.  

Sixth through eighth graders attend Hudson Bend Middle School and ninth through twelfth graders go to Lake Travis High School.  

For dining and entertainment, there are lots of options in the Lakeway area.  The League Kitchen and Tavern serves tasty pub grub, has a fantastic brunch menu, and extensive drink options.  

High Five has a bowling alley, arcade, laser tag, plus bar food and drinks.  A great time for everyone in the family, and smaller and easier to navigate than Main Event or Dave and Buster’s.

CafĂ© Lago serves breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and soups in a relaxed casual atmosphere.  The coffee is delicious and served by friendly counter staff.  

Looking for entertainment?  TexArts has live theater performances and also a school to learn to act, sing, and dance!

When it comes to shopping, Lakeway has some pretty cool places; no need to drive all the way into Austin!  Point of Origin has been in Lakeway since 1993 and is a place where you can get unique gifts for everyone on your list (including yourself).  They even have free gift wrapping!

Magpie Blossom Boutique is a florist shop with gifts as well!  Their talented florist will whip up an arrangement that will impress any recipient.

There are lots of great apartments in and near Lakeway, many with amazing views.  Mansions at Lakeway is surrounded by the Hill Country and is just a few miles from Lake Travis.  The community has social events for residents, including catered brunches and socials, a game room and billiards, and a Starbucks Wi-Fi Cafe.  The one to two bedroom apartments feature available garages, tall windows, full size washer and dryer connections, available jetted jacuzzi tubs, and nine to ten foot ceilings.

Madrone Phase II is hill country living at its most luxurious.  Located on 70 acres in a nature preserve, their one, two, and three bedroom apartments have attached and detached garages and private backyards available, granite counters in the kitchen and bathroom, wood style flooring, and washer and dryers included.  Amenities include a European Style Pool complete with sunning ledge, fire pit retreat, community living room, and social center with billiards, game table, and media center.  

The recently renovated Meritage at Steiner Ranch apartments are available in one to four bedroom floorplans and feature ten-foot ceilings, crown molding, and gourmet kitchens with stone counters and kitchen islands.  They have a bark park, gorgeous indoor swimming pool with spa, plus outdoor pool, a sauna, fitness center with TRX equipment, game room with billiards and a wine cellar!  

Are you ready to make Lakeway your home?  Give A Plus Apartment Locators a call today at 512-231-1400 to check out Lakeway Texas apartments or Austin apartments!  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Public Lands Could Hold Key to Housing Shortage

It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of housing in Austin.  The Austin Business Journal reports on the Real Estate Council of Austin’s (RECA) idea for using publicly owned land to build more housing.

RECA’s report on the housing shortage situation found that 15,000 units of housing need to added to Austin’s supply annually to handle the population boom.  Only 12,000 units were delivered in 2015 across the entire metro region.  

While the city tends to talk about affordable housing in terms of subsidies and government solutions, RECA says this is a problem that can be tackled through increasing supply by changing policies.   

In just Austin, public entities like the city, AISD, ACC, and Travis County, own 6,154 lots with a gross taxable value of over $15 billion.  

RECA asks the government to come up with a plan for returning those properties to the tax rolls and making them available to developers to buy to increase housing supply in Austin, making it more affordable to everyone, both renters and homeowners.

Trying to find an apartment in Austin’s tight rental market?  Don’t worry, A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call at 512-231-1400 so we can help you find your next home today!  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Austin Unemployment and Office Space Rates Up

The Austin unemployment rate is creeping higher, the Austin Business Journal reports.  While still tied for the lowest in Texas, it is on the upswing.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in September.  That’s an increase of .2 percent from last September, when the jobless rate was 3.3 percent.  Austin’s employed labor force is currently 1.1 million, which is 300,00 more than a year ago.  1.07 million of those people are employed at the moment.

That 3.5 percent unemployment rate ties it with Amarillo.  Amarillo has 126,900 employed people out of a 131,500 strong workforce.  

Texas’ unemployment rate was 4.8 percent last month, which brings it closer to the national average of 5 percent.  That’s an increase of .4 percent over September 2015.  The unemployment rate a year ago was 4.5 percent with 12.7 million workers who were employed out of a total workforce of 13.4 million.  

Despite the increase in the unemployment rate, Texas added 38,300 jobs last month.

Speaking of workers, those workers need office space in which to do their job. The Austin Business Journal reports that as of the end of September, downtown office space in Austin is more expensive than Chicago or LA.

Downtown Austin is the seventh most expensive place to rent office space at $53.67 per square foot.  That makes it more expensive than Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Miami.  However New York City is still tops the list at $85.63 per square foot.

Looking to rent an apartment near your job?  A Plus Apartments can help!  Give us a call at 512-241-1111 today to see all the amazing apartments in Austin in one appointment!