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Rental and relocation tools, tips and resources

 Moving Checklist, utility information, school district links 

Call today for your apartment search list, Free 281-414-5258

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MOVING CHECKLIST

  • All Required Fees and Security Deposits Paid, Pet Deposits/Fees Paid, Confirm Date to Pick Up Keys
  • Change of Address forms filed with your postmaster
  • Electricity provider scheduled for set up, cable and internet provider scheduled for installation or transfer box yourself, renter liability/insurance policy 
  • Temporary pet accommodations if needed; food and water bowls, food, pet meds, crates, leash, harness, toys, blankies, treats
  • Parking Permits/stickers, Gate Card, Key Fob or door keys, signed copy of new Lease Agreement  
  • Pool Pass or Key fob, mailbox key (Don't forget to return these to prior landlord or you'll likely be charged for them) 
  • Security cards and codes for community amenities
  • Moving Company Confirmation and Checklist - OR if you're moving yourself: Rental truck reserved w/deposit, confirm pick up hours, and drop off location, hours
  • Moving Supplies (boxes, tape, blankets, packing materials)
  • Return all keys and gate cards; schedule walk-through with the prior landlord if possible; take pictures; keep lease documents  


hands typing on a laptop searching for apartments

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AptExpert.com We work with properties to suit all lifestyles, budgets and preferences. So many properties to choose from, So little time! I can narrow the search list quickly and efficiently with properties that match what you're looking for, Free. Renters need help navigating a new city and that's where I come in. We're your best resource for all of your apartment search needs. Your apartment search package will contain exactly what you need to make the most informed decision from pictures and floorplans to prices, availability, assigned schools, rental requirements, pet fees, and maps.  

Simplify your next move! Moving is not easy but finding your apartment can be with AptExpert.com  

281-414-5258 Kathy Curtis, Texas Apartment Locators Houston

Tips To Narrow Your Apartment Search

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Rental Rate 

Compare the total rental price over the course of the lease term. Example, 

one apartment community may have a higher monthly rent but if they're offering a Free Rent Special of 1 to 2 months free, that can lower the total price significantly over a 12 to 15 month lease term. While not all properties allow prorating it over the lease term, you can do it yourself, call me, 281-414-5258 I'll explain how to do it! 

Lease Term

A 12+ month lease term is how we get the best special, locks your rate in and usually offers the lowest price. Offered specials rarely apply to any lease term that's less than 12 months and sometimes longer. While 6 month leases are still offered at the majority of apartment communities, it can increase the rental rate and those specials could then be off the table. 3 to 5 month lease terms are only offered at select communities and at significantly higher rates. Most properties use dynamic pricing software to set rental prices and are directly impacted by lease term additionally. 

Additional Fees - Paid by Renter 

Additional fees paid separately by the renter can include water, sewer, trash, gas, and pest control. The vast majority of communities charge these fees on a sub-metered or flat rate basis monthly. You may also pay an amenity fee and for parking. There are refundable fees for Gate cards, gym key fobs, parcel acceptance systems or concierge service if offered however some of the luxury communities offer these amenities included in your rental rate.    

Utilities Included Apartments 

All bills paid or utilities included apartments are not as plentiful but they are scattered throughout many parts of greater Houston. They are older-built communities, most have had some interior and amenity upgrades. This type of property rarely include a washer and dryer connections in the unit, however laundry facilities are available on site. A perfect choice for some, no high electric bills in summer or high heat bills in winter. 

Laundry facilities

You’ll be spending time doing laundry, and the convenience of having an apartment with a washer and dryer in the apartment is a big advantage over the complex that provides shared laundry facilities on site. If an apartment comes with washer/dryer connections, factor in the cost of renting $40 to $50 or  buying a washer/dryer. 

 Corporate Apartments

If you're in need of a short term lease, 3 months, a corporate style apartment may be the best alternative. Corporate rentals include rent, furniture, utility allowances, cable, internet, maid service and other features. They come at a premium rate since they're move-in ready, but less than an extended stay hotel with more lifestyle amenities and conveniences. 

Location, Location, Location

  • One apartment may be closer to work, ensuring a shorter commute. 
  • Another may be within walking distance of a grocery store, and shopping. 
  • Still another may be close to school, public transportation, a dog park or even a favorite pub or restaurant to meet up with your friends and colleagues. 
  • It's always a good idea to enter the apartment address into Google Maps to measure travel times for important daily destinations. 
  • I'll assist you with the most suitable location for your wants and needs and your apartment search package provides detailed maps with directions. 

Pet Friendly Apartments

  • Whether you have a cat or a dog, small or large, I can help you find pet friendly apartments to rent. 
  • Do you have a dog on the restricted breed list? Call Kathy Curtis, your local apartment expert at AptExpert.com
  • From bark parks to pet washing stations, apartments in Houston have some impressive perks for pet owners.

Contact Us

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We make it so easy to contact us and even easier to find your apartmentCall 281-414-5258, text, email or submit the contact form and I'll get in touch with you asap! Thank you. 

Electricity - Hi-Speed Internet - Digital and Cable Tv - Furniture or Washer/dryer Rental

Call to get contact information at 281-414-5258 for electricity providers, Hi-Speed Internet services, Cable TV services,  Appliance Rental, Washer and Dryer rental and, or Furniture rental services. These are highly rated providers and services. I can also provide you with a company that can "do it all with one phone call"! Email or call me 281-414-5258  

  • Your leasing office will discuss utilities that you'll be responsible for at the time of lease - Water, Sewer, Gas, Trash Service, Pest Control services are the items you will have to pay additionally at many properties but not all. You'll receive a monthly statement from your apartment's utility billing provider for fees mentioned above.  
  • The leasing office will inform you of policies regarding trash and fees - some properties have valet trash included in the quoted rental price and others are additional, prices vary by property.

  • Water is usually billed on a sub-metered basis or the number of occupants, gas may also be an additional submetered item if the property has gas. Some newer built properties offer gas ranges, only a handful of the older communities have them.   

  • Hi-Speed Internet; Cable; Digital TV - the leasing office will inform you of the companies that provide service at your community. 

  • Washer and Dryer rental and furniture rental are available. Call me for contact information. Your leasing office can also provide you with contacts.   

Houston School District Links


Clear Creek Independent School District - https://www.ccisd.net/ 

Pearland Independent School District - https://www.pearlandisd.org/

Alvin School District (Some of Pearland properties are zoned to Alvin School District) - https://www.alvinisd.net/ 

Friendswood School District - https://myfisd.com/

Pasadena School Information - https://www1.pasadenaisd.org/ 

Deer Park School Information - https://www.dpisd.org/

LaPorte School Information - https://www.lpisd.org/

Humble School Information -  https://www.humbleisd.net/

Spring Branch School Information - https://cms.springbranchisd.com/district  

Houston School Information - https://www.houstonisd.org/

Alief School District - https://www.aliefisd.net/

Katy School Information - http://www.katyisd.org/

Klein School District - https://www.kleinisd.net/

Fort Bend School District - https://www.fortbendisd.com/

Lamar Consolidated School District - https://www.lcisd.org/

Cy Fair School District - https://www.cfisd.net/en/

Spring School District - https://www.springisd.org/ 

Conroe School District - http://www.conroeisd.net/

Magnolia School District - http://www.misd.org/

Other School Information and Ratings  - https://www.greatschools.org/

Storage - Moving and Relocation Tips

Self Storage - There are many storage companies throughout the area, this is one that I have worked with.

Storage Choice, 14640-B Hwy 3, Webster, Tx 77598 See Website at https://storagechoice.com/texas-storage-locations/webster/14640-b-hwy.-3/ 

Renter's Insurance

Your landlord/apartment management/apartment owner is not responsible for your personal belongings or any property losses as a result of natural disasters, theft, fire, pipe bursts, etc. 90% of landlords require that you purchase a renter insurance/liability policy. Your leasing office will advise where to obtain the minimum requirements and you can also add on to a liability policy for personal property coverage. 

Call 281-414-5258 or email me for Renter's Insurance contacts  

Cable, Satellite or Digital

There are a handful of communities which offer cable as part of your rental price. Most do not however, I can provide you with a reputable company who can set up everything for you and get the lowest rates! (electricity, renter insurance, cable, internet, furniture or washer/dryer rental). 

I can also provide a coupon for Xfinity/Comcast cable and internet. If you're contracted with ATT-Uverse, be sure to ask if they're able to provide service to your new apartment. ATT has a high speed fiber optic network being installed at several communities throughout certain areas of Houston, and the new 5G network from Verizon has also been announced with a date to be determined. 

It's best to ask your leasing office prior to leasing if you're a satellite TV user, some properties have rules and guidelines regarding a satellite dish or Direct TV; follow the rules regarding location or placement of the dish; they may also have insurance liability requirements!  

There are a few properties left that include free basic cable channels as a part of your rental price!      

PARKING

Apartment parking accommodations vary from property to property. The Houston apartment hunter can expect to find one of the following types of parking situations at every apartment property in Greater Houston. 


Be sure to ask how many parking spaces you're allowed!

The number of parking spaces will be specified in the terms of the lease but it's best to ask upfront if you own more than one vehicle. Even the highest quality apartments may have limited parking especially when the property is at a high occupancy and most are. There may be additional parking spaces available for a fee. Some properties charge for parking even on open, unassigned parking.

 

Exposed, surface parking is standard with most communities, some offer carports on a first come first serve basis or assigned carports for an additional fee, some also offer detached garages for an additional fee. Many newer built properties, mid-rise and high-rise offer community parking garages. Select communities have private detached or attached garages included in your rental price.  


Guest Parking

Ask where your guests should park! Many apartment properties have a limited number of guest parking spaces. Parking in a non-guest space can result in unauthorized vehicles being towed at the vehicle owner's expense.   

If you expect many visitors, check out the guest parking situation before you sign the lease.

FITNESS

The majority of apartments feature exercise and workout facilities for residents as part of their rental amenities - some include separate pilates, spinning and yoga facilities. Newer built properties and luxury apartments feature commercial grade, state of​ the art equipment including cardiovascular, treadmills, free weights, techno-gyms with flat screen televisions, water, towels, scheduled fitness classes, personal trainers and more. 

In the event the apartment of your choice does not have a workout facility, consider a membership at one of the many fitness clubs in your area. Houston is home to hundreds of fitness facilities and recreation centers. Contact me for information in the area you choose to lease your new apartment!      

SWIMMING POOL

The majority of Houston apartment properties feature swimming pools 

Pool Safety

Pool safety practices are common sense and rules are posted. 

Very few, if any Houston apartments provide pool lifeguards. Residents use apartment pools, at their own risk.

Apartments with pools require an adult resident to be present at the pool, with the child or children for their safety, same rule for apartments with hot tubs. 


Emergency

POLICE or FIRE EMERGENCIES

Houston Police Department 

Link to HPD  https://www.houstontx.gov/police/ 

911

To report an emergency requiring the attention of the police department or fire department, please dial 911

911 is the emergency reporting system for the entire Houston, Texas metroplex.  

Neighborhood Crime Stats

There are online sites to review crime statistics in all greater Houston neighborhoods.  

FIRE EMERGENCIES

Houston Fire Department Mission Statement

Link to the HFD https://www.houstontx.gov/fire/

OTHER EMERGENCIES

Emergency Medical Services 911

Emergency Fire 911

Emergency Police & Law Enforcement 911

Poison Control

(800) 764-7661

SECURITY

Here are some things to think about before you decide on the ideal apartment: 

Security is a cooperative effort. No matter what type of security effort an apartment landlord or community management company makes,  the apartment communal environment dictates that all residents share in the responsibility for effective security and safety. A helpful idea is to get to know your neighbors through social events or community activities, at the amenities, and even while walking your dog. No community can guarantee your safety. 


Report Suspicious Persons

Tailgating is the most common form of unauthorized entry into apartment property grounds. When entering and exiting at controlled portals, be aware of unfamiliar or suspicious situations. Report any suspicious activity to the property security office, when in doubt call 911 for emergency concerns and situations.


Safety vs. Convenience

Many communities offer electronic digital keypads or limited access gates, exits, gated pedestrian entrances and perimeter fencing. While these are an added benefit, it's not a guarantee of safety. Limited access gates break and or become damaged, and it happens more frequently than you may expect. They can also be down for repair for extended times in different circumstances. People often follow other vehicles into the gate. It's recommended to be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye out - no property owner or management company can guarantee your personal safety.  Don't give out your gate code. 


Key Fobs and Smart Home Technology

Select communities offer key fob entry mechanisms or smart locks for entry, mostly in new construction, mid-rise and high-rise properties. Smart Home technology has quickly become a sought after amenity with apartment owners and developers building them into new luxury communities all throughout the Houston, Texas metroplex.     


Check Out the Neighborhood

The neighborhood surrounding an apartment community should be a primary factor of consideration for your apartment search. You can check crime statistics for the apartment community or area you're considering by contacting the local police department whether it's a local police storefront or Houston Police Department, or the various police departments that serve the city, town or neighborhood you're interested in. That is honestly the most reliable source for the latest information.   

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