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High Rents, it's a bird, it's a plane. . .nope, it's just economics!

In today’s apartment rental market, most renters will agree - good apartments are hard to find in the Houston and surrounding areas. Oh, there are plenty of good apartments to be found, but this definition pertains to good and low priced apartments! You know what I mean, what rents were just a few years ago! Rents today are considerably higher than just a few years ago! There are many reasons for this - demand increased, limited availability at the time. So, for the homeowners that lost their homes to foreclosure or were forced into a quick sale due to being upside down or a lost job, damaged their credit, most turned to renting apartments. Another reason for that demand is that most young renters desire mobility and flexibility, are burdened with student debt, or don’t have sufficient down payments, and so demand for an apartment at a good price increased further. A third reason – most empty nesters are wanting out of the home maintenance and lawn business, spending their time mowing and fixing - and are downsizing into apartments. 

Most of this is due the recession of 2008, although we didn’t feel it as bad until a little later but we finally felt it and it hit and it hurt! In suburb areas like Clear Lake, League City, Webster, we had a hard time finding an apartment in a moderate price range period for a while! 

Supply for low priced apartments is still tight. Very few apartments were built from 2007-2011 causing the rents for almost all apartments to increase in areas that were always more affordable. Coming from a background in apartment management, “when you’re sitting at a high occupancy, it’s time to increase the rental rates across the board.” Then came the interior and exterior renovations in traditional garden style apartments with upgrades like granite counters, wood style flooring, contemporary lighting and plumbing fixtures, etc., increasing costs which were in turn passed on to the apartment renter. 

Beautiful and stunning 37 story luxury high-rise apartments in Downtown Houston! This is the one with the in-house grocery! Contact for details on renting one of these fabulous apartments at AptExpert.com When the cranes in the sky began to build again, it was in the hippest and coolest, most sought after areas of Houston - the Heights, Midtown and Downtown Houston. The suburbs weren’t left out, the Energy Corridor and City Centre is full of new apartments for rent, brimming with luxury features, and Katy has become the rising star. Luxury Apartments in Cinco Ranch and Katy are booming, one even has a built in bowling alley! Personally I believe  the luxury high rise with the in house grocery store revitalized the central business district as a residential area in Downtown Houston. That one apartment developer took a giant leap that seemed to change the landscape, paving the way for 8 other mid and high-rise luxury apartments to be built. Today we have an oversupply, there’s no lack of availability for finding a luxury apartment. Then came the latest economic crisis, the price of oil plummeting and in Texas, well, you know the rest. This has left us with some incredible free rent deals to be had, however rents for these luxury apartments are not cheap! Many Houston areas have rental prices that have caught up to other major cities across the US with sky high apartment prices.

With the limited availability of well-located land, land prices, entitlement challenges, shortages in construction labor, increasing lumber and other building materials prices - as a result, the only apartments that were and are being built are Class A, luxury mid rise and high rise apartments but not many can afford those rents! 

In my experience as an apartment locator and apartment rental agency - apartment search criteria or the “wants and needs” most in demand for the apartment renter are
1) affordability 2) technology 3) location, 4) amenities such as w/d in unit, onsite gym, pool, social rooms and pet friendly! Customers on a limited budget know too well being able to afford an apartment may mean dealing with a longer commute to work, less square footage, living with a roommate, or other such sacrifices. One of the main requirements for approval at most apartments are that the renter’s income equal a minimum of 3 times the rent – gross. Factor in other fees not included such as trash, parking, water, and other bills such as car payments and insurance, food, maybe entertainment, there’s not much left! New apartment communities are being built with smaller floorplans, not the huge square footages that Houstonians, or Texas residents were accustomed to – I mean everything in Texas is supposed to be bigger, right! In Houston urban areas there is easy access to public transportation, lite rail, Uber, etc., but in the Suburban areas such as Clear Lake and Webster, Seabrook, and so on, there isn’t nearly as much access to public transportation. Houston is huge, spread out, so riding a bike to work to save money on a vehicle or using a ride-sharing service isn’t a readily available option, with a few exceptions. Transportation considerations typically determine where people live and many new apartment projects are being built along or close to  transportation corridors or adjacent to light-rail stops. In Downtown Houston there are major employers as in other parts of Houston but it's the hub for sporting events, cultural events and entertainment venues. Many of the luxury apartments in Houston have bike racks and storage as one of the perks and to rank in being more environmentally friendly for our future generations.    

Other things to keep in mind when you consider renting an apartment, we shop less at brick and mortar stores and more online! With all this technology we have, it means fewer trips to places for shopping and more deliveries, packages!! Guilty, I would rather shop online! Most apartments are still accepting our deluge of packages but some have had to stop - due to the overwhelming drain it caused for leasing and management staff. New luxury apartment communities are now installing automated package delivery systems – similar to private storage lockers, web-enabled with text notifications to residents when they have a package for pick-up! It’s amazing, and another of the many perks of renting a luxury apartment in Houston! There are some  other impressive perks with leasing luxury high or mid rise apartments, rooftop pools! Have you seen the video that went viral of one high rise property in the heart of Houston with a “see-through pool overlooking the city? If you haven’t, it’s a must see – even if you’re afraid of heights, this pool is amazing as well as the features of the interior and building.  

Contact Kathy Curtis, AptExpert.com for your Houston apartment search today! Fast, friendly and free service!  Your local Apt Expert! These are the many reasons for using an apartment rental agency or apartment locator or finder service such as AptExpert.com We literally take your apartment search, next level! My job is to alleviate the stress of finding your apartment, with all the technology, experience and knowledge, I can make finding your apartment fun, and it’s free! Contact Kathy Curtis for your next level apartment search and whatever you’re looking for, I’ll do my best to help you find it. There are a lot of resources out there to help you find an apartment but using an apartment locator with 25 years experience will prove invaluable to you. While I can’t lower the rental prices, I do know where the best deals are and where we can get the most bang for your hard earned buck! 

Visit our site at http://AptExpert.com and start your apartment search today or call me, it’s 100% free. Never any gimmicks, hidden fees, spam or hassle. 

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