Q. Is your service really FREE? What's the catch?
A. Yes, our service is absolutely free, and there is no catch! Our service is sponsored by the apartment communities. When we find the perfect place for you and you move in, they will pay our fee from their advertising budget, and there is no cost passed on to you.
Q. What are the advantages to using your service to find my new apartment as opposed to searching on my own?
A. Let's face it.. while moving into a new apartment is usually fun and exciting, finding that "perfect place" can be very time consuming and sometimes a lot of hard work. You can do it yourself, but plan on taking time off from work or spending your weekends searching. We simplify the process... you tell us exactly what you would like, and we provide you with only those properties that most meet your needs. That way, you won't be wasting valuable time that you can spend on other things. In fact, most of our satisfied customers spend only a couple of hours before finding that "perfect place".
Q. Do I have to make an appointment to visit your office, or can I just get a list of properties to visit on my own?
A. Some apartment finding sources may give you a list of apartments for you to visit on your own. However, these will only represent a small percentage of available apartments, which will greatly limit your options. While nearly all Austin apartment communities pay licensed agents a commission to lease their apartments, the vast majority will only pay a commission if the agent escorts you to the property. Of those that will pay a commission to an agent for just sending you there, most will pay much less. So, if someone wants to help you find an apartment by just giving you a list of places to visit on your own, remember that there are many more places out there that they will not even consider for you... even though one of those might be perfect for you!
We want to consider all available apartments when searching for your "perfect place"... yet we also realize that your time is valuable, and don't want to waste it by requiring you to visit and spend 30-60 minutes in a real estate office before we will help you. That's why, in many cases, your Capitol City agent may give you a selection of properties to visit, with the understanding that he or she may be required to meet you there.
Q. What about pets?
A. Most apartment communities will allow pets of some kind. Deposits will vary depending on the type and size of your pet. On average, pet deposits may start at $150 for a cat or small dog, and increase from there for larger pets. It is standard procedure for a property to retain as much as half of your pet deposit to cover the costs of deodorizing and defleaing your carpet. Many properties may allow the total pet deposit to be paid in monthly installments... your Capitol City agent can usually help arrange for this payment plan option.
Q. What about larger dogs and exotic pets?
A. Our agents have been successful in finding people their "perfect place" in Austin for years. We know which communities will allow larger dogs, as well as so-called "restricted" breeds including pits, rotts, dobermans, etc.
We also know which places accept exotic pets such as snakes, lizards, and ferrets. So whether you have a talking gecko, or the regular kind that doesn't say much, we can help you find a place that will take them, too!
Q. My credit is not so good... can you still help me?
A. You bet! While properties do prefer to see satisfactory credit, rental history, etc., there are always exceptions to every rule. Our agents don't get paid unless they find a great place for you to move into... so we will search high and low to find you a property that will consider your application, no matter what the situation.
During your initial consultation, your Capitol City agent will ask you a few questions regarding your current credit status, previous rental history, etc. Remember, our agents are here to help you... the more they know about your qualifying circumstances, the better they can assist you in finding your new home.
Q. What if I have never rented before?
A. Well, there is a first time for everything! Some apartment communities may simply ask that you have someone "co-sign" for you. In this case, the lease will be in your name, with the co-signer signing an addendum to "guarantee" the lease. This addendum may be faxed, so your co-signer does not need to be present to sign. He or she will need to qualify under rental qualification guidelines for co-signers, which may vary depending on the property. In general, they must have satisfactory credit, successful rental history or home ownership, and a gross monthly income equal to 4-6 times the amount of your monthly rent. If you are unable to obtain a co-signer, your Capitol City agent can discuss with you other options that may be available to first-time renters.
Q. How can I qualify for free rent and/or rent discounts?
A. It's a wonderful time in Austin to be moving! Rental prices are very reasonable at this time, and many properties are offering fantastic incentives for you to lease with them. Some of these will be in the form of free rent. It is not uncommon for certain properties to offer you anywhere from one to four months free. They may choose to let you have it "up front", meaning you will not pay anything for the first month (or four!). Other properties may choose to "pro-rate" your free rent throughout the term of your lease, thereby lowering your monthly rent considerably.
Some properties may offer additional incentives if you lease on your first visit or within a specified amount of time. These may include free rent, rent reduction, deposit reduction, or they may waive the deposit and/or application fee. Your Capitol City agent can advise you on the best ways to take advantage of these specials.
Other rent discounts may apply if you work for a major employer. Some properties have a list of select companies that will qualify, while others may qualify based on the number of employees your company has. So be sure and tell your Capitol City agent where you work... it never hurts to try to save money!
Q. We want to buy a home in the future. Any advice?
A. As licensed real estate salespersons, our agents can also assist you in finding a home to purchase. We also network with a vast array of real estate professionals we can call on to assist you in any number of ways.
There are also several apartment communities in Austin currently participating in a program whereby they will apply a portion of your monthly rent (in some cases up to 20%) toward the down payment of a new home. As an added incentive for renting at these participating communities, you are building free home equity!
(some restrictions may apply... ask your Capitol City agent for details.)
Q. I'm ready! How do I get started?
A. This is the fun part! Simply click the link to Design Your Apartment. This is where you can tell us exactly what type of place you are hoping to find... and not just size, price and location, but also which amenities you prefer, whether you like to live upstairs or downstairs, what kind of view you would like to have, and lots of other little nuances that really personalize your home. After all, we want the same thing as you... to find you that "perfect place"!
If you prefer, you may also call us directly at 512.996.8888. We would love to hear from you! While we make every attempt to have agents available to answer our phones, at times we may, in the course of assisting other customers, find ourselves temporarily unable to catch every call. Should you happen to reach our answering service, please take a brief moment to leave us your name and phone numbers. Both your call and time are very important to us, and we will make every attempt to return your call as quickly as possible.
Also, feel free to email us with as much information as you like about what you are hoping to find, and a Capitol City agent will call or email you to get the ball rolling!