If there is one thing I’ve noticed, it’s this: Houston apartment hunting has its dirty little secrets. Last week, we were about to put a deposit down on a beautiful first-floor apartment in mid-town when we (thankfully) read the fine print. It was a two bedroom apartment with some great amenities: W/D in unit, fireplace with mantle, an alarm system, and a large, wrap-around deck accessed by both the living room and the larger bedroom. We were sold.
Until we read the fine print.
The rent was $900/month, which was a little out of our league to begin with, but there were about six extra charges that they tack on each month. They charge $20 for parking, $25 for water & sewage, $15 for trash pickup, $18 for a parking tag…
How quickly a $900 apartment becomes a $1,000 apartment. What’s worse, we only learned about these charges when we sat down and read the lease. Let that be a lesson to all apartment hunters: always read the fine print. I expect hidden charges with my electricity company and my cellular company, but not from my landlords.
So we are back on the hunt. My mother was ill this last week, so we haven’t been looking much since the mid-town fiasco. My organized brain will be getting back on the computer today. I have a file for every section of town, and when I find an apartment I want to look at, I print off the details and shove it in the appropriate file. All of you out there who think you’re neat-freaks, you haven’t met me!
We did decide that we are going to shift our focus north and south. We have another couple of months before we really wanted to move, anyway, so we’re going to be as thorough as possible. Spring, TX (near the airport) has some great prospects, as does Sugarland, which is where I was born.