Hello, and welcome to Uptown Dallas! So many people are moving to Uptown Dallas apartments this year…it’s a higher number than ever before, even though several new Uptown Dallas apartments were actually completed this year. Uptown Dallas continues to be the BY FAR most popular area to move to for young professionals in Dallas. It’s truly not even a close 2nd to any other area in Dallas, because there just isn’t anything like what we have here!
So, are you thinking about moving here too? If so, I’m going to share with you some of my best tips ever in getting a great apartment in Uptown Dallas, so you can have a wonderful experience your first year here. And, I’m also going to share with you things that are super important to ask and research about as you are searching for your Uptown Dallas apartment here. It goes beyond just things like price and sq feet, floorplan, etc…although those are important. There are other things that will influence your entire experience here in Uptown Dallas, and I want to make sure you are aware of some of these key factors as you choose! Some of these may seem a bit “random”, but hang with me a bit as we explore them, because it will make things easier and more fun once you get here!
So, listen carefully, as I share these Four Tips to Avoid the Bad and Get the Best .
Tip 1: Look for the Age of Apartment
If you want one key to help you choose from the many apartments in Uptown Dallas, I would look FIRST at the age of the apartment! Uptown Dallas is not like other areas of the country, such as Chicago, NYC, etc. Uptown Dallas consists mostly of apartments built since the mid-1990s. Apartments are the primary way of living in Uptown Dallas and the most economical in most cases as well. Uptown doesn’t have any “old style” lofts or other types of buildings converted for living. And, Uptown Dallas apartments tend to be in the best locations as well.
Uptown Dallas Apartments have been built over a range of over 25 years now. Apartments built in the 1990s had very different features than ones built this past year. While older apartments were actually very innovative when they first came out, newer apartments have really honed the apartment experience for you to have more enjoyment, better amenities and more safety in some cases.
Apartments built in the last 10 years tend to have the newer features that make life easier. They tend to have better gyms, more security, and better access inside. They also tend to have better construction in many cases that gives a lower utility bill. Newer apartments tend to be built in the “mid-rise” style, which allows you to more easily meet people in your apartment, and provides you with features such as air conditioned hallways, elevators, etc. that are not found in older Uptown Dallas apartments. They also have better interior features, such as hardwoods, granite countertops and more. (Note: Some of the older apartments in Uptown have wisely updated their interiors and are potentially great values to consider. Two of my favorites in this category are McKinney Uptown Apartments and Riviera West Village Apartments).
So, as you are looking for your apartment, definitely consider the age. If you are comparing several apartments and they are similar in price, I tend to favor the newer apartments. It is similar to buying cars…newer cars just have more features that you enjoy for the most part. Go with the newer choices if in doubt.
Tip 2: Getting In and Out – Pay Careful Attention to the Fees
It’s easy to get caught up in how nice an apartment looks, a great location, when you are considering what a “deal” you might be getting. And, let’s face it, it’s important to feel terrific about your place here…you want to feel wonderful as you come in each day from work and enjoy Uptown!
But, one thing I always mention is to look at any fees with moving in…or moving out! Here are some of the best things to look for.
Here is a great example of where apartments might differ quite a bit, enough to maybe decide in favor of one vs. the other, if you have 2 apartments that are similar. For example, one apartment might be about $1400 a month and the other about $1430 a month…and they look pretty similar. If you feel the same about both places, then I would look carefully at the deposit fees. The GOOD news about Uptown apartments (vs NYC, Chicago, etc.) is that you don’t need 2 months of rent as a deposit here…it’s typically under $1,000 as a deposit for Uptown Dallas apartments (and often times much below that!).
But, one apartment may require $1000 as a deposit, while another may require $250. That’s a big difference in upfront money that you have to provide…and there is a chance you may not get some of it back in some cases.
Pet Fees & Deposits
If you are planning on bringing a pet, pay attention to this one. Uptown Dallas is very friendly to pets. And, having a pet is a great way to meet other people in Uptown Dallas too. But, there is a BIG difference in pet fees you pay in various Uptown Dallas apartments. Every apartment in Uptown is going to at least have a pet DEPOSIT or pet FEE. The deposits give you a chance to get that money back, while the pet fee is non-refundable. Pay careful attention to what the apartment calls it…
And, many places in Uptown have PET RENT. That can be a fee of anywhere from $10 a month and up for each pet. (You can typically have up to 2 pets maximum in an Uptown Dallas apartment.) Also, make sure to ask carefully about this cost as well.
A new trend in Uptown Dallas in newer apartments is bigger and bolder amenities…but many Uptown Dallas apartments also charge a monthly fee for them! The fees are not huge, but they are included on top of your rent each month as a mandatory fee. So, as you are considering Uptown Dallas apartments, make sure to ask if there are any amenity fees and how much they cost. TIP: Sometimes you might be able to negotiate on reducing or even eliminating these fees!
Most Uptown Dallas apartments do NOT include a washer/dryer, but most apartments do include washer/dryer connections. This means you can take care of all of your laundry conveniently in your own room. Most apartments will also pair you up with a local provider that will rent you a washer/dryer, but that is usually $40 to $50 a month. But, a few Uptown Dallas apartments have the washer/dryer included! So, always ask about if they have a washer/dryer included, because that’s a great amount to save each month if possible.
Tip 3: Changing or Getting out of Your Lease – IMPORTANT!
One of the most overlooked things, yet ultra-important features of your stay, is how easy is it to give notice on your lease and get out early if needed. If you have a job transfer, or need to move to 2 bedroom vs a one bedroom, this is important!
I’m told that in most other cities outside of the US, such as NYC, getting out of a lease is next to impossible. The only way to get out of a lease is to pay out the full portion of the lease remaining. And, the penalties for not doing so are pretty severe. Most apartments or other landlords won’t lease to you if you have not fully taken care of this on your current apartment.
In Dallas, it is typically easier to get out of a lease than outside of Texas. Many apartments offer a “diplomatic clause”. That clause typically allows you to get out of a lease with a 2 month notice, and with a “relet” fee. The relet fee varies between apartments. A starting point for the relet fee is 85% of one month’s rent. Terms may differs between each apartment, so make sure to understand this very important part when you are looking over a lease before you sign.
Another scenario that may happen to you: What if you want to lease a one bedroom apartment for a while, but then you decide to get a 2 bedroom for whatever reason, including getting an Uptown Dallas roommate? Well, you always have the diplomatic clause mentioned above. But, want to know another less expensive way?
Many apartments give the ability to do what is called a “transfer”. This transfer will let you out of the current lease, as long as you lease within that apartment community (or sometimes even a sister community in uptown). They basically end your lease in your current apartment, and then start your new full lease (12 month term) with the new apartment. This is a very convenient way to make a change, because the transfer fee is typically minimal (try $400 or maybe less). As you are signing a lease, you might also check to see if they allow for transfers!
Tip 4: Look Carefully at Safety Features
As you are looking into Uptown Dallas apartments and comparing them, take a close look at safety features to keep yourself and your valuable protected.
If you are living in a major metropolitan area such as Chicago, etc, you may have a widely used and appreciated feature known as the “DOORMAN”. A doorman is important primarily for safety.
The clients we help in moving to Uptown Dallas are surprised to find that there really aren’t doorman here in Dallas. Part of the reason is that generally reported crime in Uptown Dallas is lower than in other major cities. The area is a good one and is generally safe overall. But, you should still take precautions.
So, since we don’t generally have doormen here, what takes its place here? One of the best ways to help with keeping safe is to choose a mid-rise or high rise building, vs a more traditional apartment. A mid-rise is going to have some key features, such as:
– Secured parking in a garage building connected to the building
– Secured hallways
– Secured entry points to the building
– Limited entry points to the building
A mid-rise can focus on more security at less points within the building. Entry is usually granted only with an electronic KEY FOB that is used for individual access and also for automobiles.
Additionally, a few buildings have live “CONCIERGE” staff, even covering 24 hours. A concierge is a great feature because he/she can give you many tips about what to do, where to go, and even how the building staff can help make your life easier. There are few buildings that have this, and they are all high rise buildings more located near downtown…but they do exist. They are also more expensive than traditional buildings or mid-rises, so take note.
One of my favorite buildings with a true 24 hour concierge is the ASHTON Dallas apartments. Their concierge staff is typically at least 2 individuals, not just one. And, they are trained by an outside company that takes care of posh hotels in downtown Dallas. They provide a true professional experience.
Buildings with a concierge are NOT necessary to have safety, so don’t fret if you don’t want to pay for a building that has one. However, do definitely look at the other features I have mentioned and compare what your apartment offers that you are considering.
Ready to Experience Uptown Dallas?
I hope these tips have helped give you more ideas to consider as you search for your Uptown Dallas apartment. Uptown101 would love to assist you further in your search…we can provide you with fast service and expertise to choose a perfect Uptown Dallas apartment for your needs.
If you would like more personalized help or have questions, use our easy CHAT service (on this page). Or, to send us your needs, simply click on the Get Help Now link above and send us your needs or give us a call. And, welcome to Uptown!