Finding the right home for lease in Austin can be a difficult task, especially if you are looking at the wrong time. Starting too early can mean calling dozens of dead-end zillow ads and wasting full days driving around neighborhoods calling signs. Starting too late can mean you’re stuck with the “leftovers” in one of the most rapidly growing real estate markets in the country. When is the right time to start looking for a place?
The right time to start looking depends on what type of Austin property for lease you are looking for and when you are looking to move. This article is particularly about the Austin leasing market, because in different local markets you may have a different time-frame that leasing occurs. In the Austin rental market, typically properties are either vacant, on a 30-day notice, a 60-day notice, or they are for August pre-lease. We will discuss what to typically expect for Austin leasing availability based on what type of property you are looking for. Keep in mind that availability policies vary for each property. You can expect the information in this article to be generally accurate, but you will also encounter properties that deviate from these norms.
Single-Family Homes For Lease
The market for Single-family homes for lease in Austin can be very competitive depending on the location. Typically single-family homes are on a 30-day notice. During the last 30 days of the lease, most single-family house landlords will then list the property for lease and put a lockbox on the property, while the current tenant is completing the final month of the lease. Because these rental houses are only on a 30-day notice (and sometimes less than that), many times these houses will be vacant. When I take a client out to see single-family homes for lease in the Austin area, we will usually see 5-6 houses and almost all of them will be vacant. Usually when a house is vacant, the average landlord will accept a lease with move-in date no more than 2 weeks later than the application date. This is why we advise clients seeking single-family homes for lease to start viewing places 2-3 weeks before their planned move-in date.
We understand that waiting until just 2 weeks before you need to move can cause a lot of anxiety. If you speak with a Realtor® early on, you can confirm that what you are looking for is realistic enough that you’ll have plenty of options to choose from once the time is right. We can even set you up with an MLS auto-email search that will notify you via e-mail as soon as houses become listed matching your criteria. This means you will be first through the door of your favorite rental homes and you can lease them before anyone else can. When you begin a relationship with a hard-working Realty Pros of Austin Realtor®, you can be sure that you will not be wasting time calling stale listings long before it is appropriate to start looking. You will have instant access to properties the moment they are listed, so you can be the first person to lease the right house.
Duplexes / Triplexes / Four-plexes / Condos For Lease
Typically with these type of “boutique” listings, the rules will be similar to single-family homes. Most of these properties are also on a 30-day notice, and they will be listed on the MLS about 30 days or less from when they will be available. Many times these properties are also looking for applications with move-ins no more than 2 weeks past the availability date. So for these property types, we also suggest viewing properties 2-3 weeks before your move-in date.
Your Realty Pros of Austin Realtor® can set you up an MLS search that will alert you as soon as these properties become available as well. When you are alerted to new listings, all you have to do is call your agent to gain instant access to any property you like. The Austin rental market is one of the fastest moving markets in the country, and these boutique listings are always in high demand. This is why when you call on these properties when they are on zillow, it can be a very frustrating experience. Your Realtor® will have the most updated information, so you don’t waste your time spinning your wheels on these internet fantasy properties that no longer exist. The easiest way to lease a specialty property like a duplex or back-house is by enlisting the help of a trusted Realtor®.
Austin Apartments For Lease
Apartments for lease in Austin are usually on a 60-day notice. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to view properties 60 days before move-in. Most of these properties are on a “dynamic pricing system” such as Yieldstar. The leasing professionals at these on-site managed apartment complexes always push that the rent price is “only good for 24 hours,” because that is the truth. The rental prices change daily at these properties based on availability and move-in/move-out dates for the units. If you are sure that you want to live in one particular property, then you may want to show up 60-days ahead of time so you can have the highest selection of units at that exact property. Most people are not decided on one particular property before they even start looking. This is why we suggest viewing on-site managed Austin apartments 30 days before your desired move-in date.
Even though these properties are on a 60-day notice, scheduling your showing appointment with your Realtor for 30 days before move-in will ensure you will have the highest number of potential properties. Most apartments are on 60-day notice but still some will be on 30-day notice, as well as boutique properties that may be possibilities. Also, when the 60-day notice properties have units that are only 30 days or less from move-in the rates may be lower. Usually an apartment 60-days from being vacant will be more expensive than one 15-days from vacancy, because the risk is higher that they will not lease it. Starting your Austin apartment search 30-days from move-in will minimize the risk of overpaying and will maximize your options. It is not possible to schedule e-mail alerts for apartments like we can for single-family homes and boutique properties. When you schedule an appointment with your Realty Pros of Austin Realtor®, your agent will call each property prior to your appointment to confirm availability. Then, you will meet at our office to go over your options and select the best ones you’d like to view. When you come prepared and with the right timing we can make your apartment search very easy, even enjoyable.
UT Campus Pre-Lease Properties
The University of Texas at Austin has a unique leasing market, that we call the Pre-Leasing market. In the areas closest to UT Campus, leasing for August begins as early as October of the previous year. Large houses and other unique properties always lease first. The best deals for Pre-Leasing are leased between October and March, all of them with August move-in dates. The West Campus, North University, and Hyde Park areas are the areas most saturated with pre-lease properties, with some outlier properties in East Austin and Tarrytown, as well as Far West Blvd and East Riverside. If you are looking in these areas for an August move-in, the best time to look for properties is between October through April.
Pre-leasing availability does not depend on property type. In these areas, whether you are looking for a single-family house or a 1-bedroom studio your timing will basically be the same. It is worth noting that large (6+bedroom) single-family homes will usually be leased in October/November. By December almost all of the large houses worth leasing have been taken. For 1-2 bedrooms you can find a good deal all the way through April and even into the summer. 3 bedroom houses that are on the affordable side of the market tend to go by February or earlier. You will still find these houses later in the season, but the quality will typically diminish through the summer, as this number of bedrooms is usually very in demand, versus the amount of inventory. No matter when you start, with the right Realtor you can usually find what you are looking for. These guidelines will improve your odds of getting the most value in your next pre-lease properties.
Currently no database exists for pre-lease properties. Properties in the UT campus area that are on Pre-Lease are almost exclusively leased by campus area companies (such as Realty Pros of Austin). Only companies with experience in this area will have access to all of the properties up for pre-lease. Instead of having a centralized database such as the MLS, pre-lease properties are sent out via pre-lease lists to participating Austin real estate companies and then they are usually leased by these companies without the properties ever seeing an online database such as the MLS. This is why, if you are looking to lease in the UT campus area it is very important to get established with a Realtor® early on in your search, so you can make sure you have access to the entire pre-leasing market.
Other Real Estate Transactions
If you are looking for a type of rental home that we have not discussed in this article, give us a call and you can discuss your specific needs with a Realtor®. We can also help you with buying or selling an Austin home. If you own a home in the Austin area and would like us to sell lease or manage that property, give us a call during normal business hours. We will go above and beyond to ensure your real estate needs are met. Call us today: 512-401-3330.