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Frequently Asked Questions
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And the straight scoop (reality check) on Austin rentals!
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AUSTIN COOL PROPERTIES
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How do we look at any of your listings?   Just call or email us to set up a time for us to show them to you.  How we work is, we meet to discuss options and to make a fast game plan, and then drive you around to show you the properties.   We listen to your feedback and switch gears if we need to.  (many people don't really know what they are looking for until they see a few options)  We strongly believe that a few minutes discussing options saves time in the long run.  I know a lot of people have a strong urge to have us just start showing property (to save time they say),  but in a few minutes we can discuss dozens of properties (which we have seen many times) and eliminate many that won't work. We are a free service to you.  Please note that anything that says leased next to it has been rented and is no longer available.

See specifics on neighborhood pricing below.  Please note that we represent hundreds of
rental management companies and private owners in Austin.  The pricing information doesn't mean what we have, it means overall pricing in the Austin market.   You will not find a better deal through another leasing company.
 I am sorry if some of what we say below comes across as being blunt, but we would rather just try to be upfront and honest about current market conditions.  We always do have many options available to show you at any given time.

How far in advance should I look for a rental and what is the biggest mistake people make when looking for rentals?  

The biggest mistake people make when looking for a place to live is to look too early and get frustrated.  People start to think there is nothing available when they keep on hearing no, but they are just looking too early. Looking more than 75 days ahead of time is usually just spinning your wheels.  Also,
we can not show you around before we know what your options are, meaning usually max 75 days before move date.  (it all depends on exact day of month you are moving though, see below)  If you are in town for a visit, but moving further in the future than 75 days, we can possibly set up a time to sit down and discuss options and keep in touch.

What days in any given month are the most units available to be moved into?  Many assume the 1st is a good day to plan move, but it is actually the worst day of the month. The reason is that almost all leases expire the last day of the month in Austin.  It usually takes at least 7 days to clean and repair the unit, so the most units are available to move into between the 7th and the 15th of any given month.  If is available on the 1st it probably means that it was moved out 30 days prior. We always do have options for move in on any day of the month though.

What are the average rental rates in Austin?

The average rental rate in Austin is $1113 in August 2015.  This includes apartments 45 minutes from downtown, in less desirable areas and just cruddy apartments in general.  You will almost always pay more than the average for downtown, central Austin and popular neighborhoods such as SoCo or Clarksville.  Modern loft style units in the downtown area are starting at around $1300. (Sometimes less though)  For this price we are talking about a new-mid rise building with an open floor plan design with wood or concrete floors, high ceilings and big windows.  A view will add to the cost and anything unusual in the downtown area will cost significantly more.  Units in many of the higher end buildings start at $1700+, and the top tier buildings such as the Austonian or Four Seasons start at $4000+.   If you want to live in the downtown area or central Austin and your max price is under $1000, chances are available options will not blow you away.  They will be basic living.    Outside of the downtown area and central Austin though, $900 or $1000 can get you very nice options.

Anything that is not in an apartment complex or apartment building can also charge a premium over average rates, especially anywhere in central Austin.  See garage apartments below.  

Why are there no addresses listed?-  In order to give you the most choices, we work all open listings, not just ours.   We are a free service to you, but In order to receive credit for leasing the property and getting paid our fee, we have to show you the property.  In some cases, we can register you ahead of time, so we would not have to be there, but we have to arrange this before you look at the property.  If interested in seeing the property on your own, that is fine, but you still need to contact us so we can set it up.

Can you send me a list with pictures?  The sad truth is there is no true list of rentals in Austin. (I wish there were, it would make my job a lot easier)  There are hundreds of rental management and private owners in Austin, and they do not cooperate on a list.  As strange as it sounds, most rental vacancies in Austin are communicated verbally with nothing written down or pictures we can send you.  We have to research options and actually call the management companies the day of your appointment to request availability.  Because of this, we cannot send you a list 2 or 3 weeks before you can look in person, because what is available will change completely the time spent researching would be wasted.  Also, unlike many companies in Austin, we get our rental information from many different sources and we have no correlated list available. You can always check our website for an updated selection (but it only lists a small percentage of what we have) of available rentals.  Anyone who says they have a list, actually has a limited database of around 40% of what has been built, but not what is available! This is pointless, because 98% of the list is not available.  Don't be fooled by someone sending you a list of non-available units for rent!

We are also firm believers of seeing choices in person too.  Most of the time, we find what a person is looking for by showing them choices, listening to feedback, and then finding them exactly what they want.  This can't be done by a limited list.  Would you rather have a limited inaccurate list, or the most choices?

It is also important to be aware of the deposit scam of fake, to good to be true, ads posted online trying to attract sight unseen leases.  We hear it all of the time, I am moving to Austin, but don't have time for a one day visit to look.   Think about it though, average 2 bedroom is now $1190 x 12 month lease is $14,280.  It is probably worth a fast trip to Austin to look in person.

What is Yieldstar and how does it affect me?  Many property companies no longer have a set price for their apartments.  For lack of a better way to describe it, they have gone to an airline ticket type pricing model.  Just like an airline, when they have a lot of units (seats) available, the price goes down.  As they fill up, the price goes up.  It is possible now to look at a unit and geta price quote, go back a week later and the price of the very same unit is $100 more per month.   Even though the unit you looked at is still available, 5 other units might have rented, causing the price of the still available unit you looked at to jump.  This is another reason why getting a list a few weeks before you can look has become pointless.

What about furnished apartments?   Furnished apartments are extremely rare in the Austin rental market.  If you need a furnished apartment, the best thing to do is to rent an unfurnished apartment and then rent furniture from one of the furniture rental companies.   They will deliver and set up the furniture and prices are reasonable, starting out at around $150 for a one bedroom package.  We would be happy to recommend one.  There are also what is called corporate apartments, which are furnished, but they are more along the cost lines of a hotel room.  Prices on corporate apartments start at around $2K per month.

What about a short term rental?  A six month lease is the minimum rental that can usually be found, and some properties will not do less than a year.  We sometimes do have some 3 month options, but they are extremely expensive, usually charging a rental rate of up to $200 per month more.  Can I rent a unit for longer and then sublet it after I don't need it anymore?  Subletting is never allowed.  We do not have vacation or weekend rentals.

What is going on in the Austin rental market?

Please be aware that there is a lot of inaccurate information on the internet regarding rental pricing.  Many websites were created years ago, and have never been updated, so you are looking at prices from a long time ago.   In addition, many apartment rental sites list all apartments, not just the available apartments.  In extremely tight rental markets like we have in Austin right now, this is very confusing because most of the options they show are not actually available to rent.   (I just had a discussion with an agent from another Austin company who just could not understand how listing apartments that were not available was wrong!)  Many websites and advertisements (especially the national apartment websites and even the website of the property itself) quote prices of the base unit at a property, even if the unit is not available.  An example would be a downtown loft building with 300 units, but only 5 of those units are the smallest and cheapest floor plan.   Because of this, those 5 units are always occupied and seldom available to rent.  The next cheapest unit in the building might be $200 more per month, so instead of the still advertised price of $1295, the cheapest actual unit available is $1495.  All of these factors give people an unrealistic view of actual costs of truly available rentals.

It is also very common on the free to post internet ad sites for there to be ads with pricing from a year or two ago and for many ads to be not available at all.  (the same agent I just mentioned above also thought there was nothing wrong with bait and switch advertising!) The same exact unit might be advertised (especially on free-to-post internet ad sites) by 100 different agents, giving an unrealistic picture of the number of available units.  Austin Cool never advertises the base price, but only the actual price of available units. Options do change daily though.

The next thing you should know about the Austin rental market is that pricing is very location driven.  We constantly see stories on Yahoo & MSN about how Austin has such a low cost of living, and it does- in the suburbs with a 45 minute commute into downtown, but downtown (and central Austin) is expensive.  Every week we get people moving from other states saying they are excited about moving to downtown Austin and saving so much money over where they are currently living.  We tell them the truth about current pricing and they get angry. (They would rather be lied to?)  There are many areas just minutes from downtown that are reasonable though, and if you have a tight budget, you might need to consider that as an option instead of only downtown.  There is a lot of information on pricing in downtown and other areas under "Austin neighborhood information" below.

Rental rates are going up fast.  See this
Austin-American article & and this Austin American Statesman article.

Rental rates skyrocketed in Austin unfortunately over the last few years.  Click here to see why rental rates skyrocketed. If you have not moved in a few years, be prepared.  Currently, the rental market is very tight.  Why?   There are a few reasons.  One is that are few new properties opening in Austin right now even though Austin is growing.  There are currently finally many projects under construction and many projects planned, but they will not be open for quite a while yet.  According to the US Census bureau, Austin was tied for 1st as the fastest growing metro area in the country in the late 00's with currently over 1.7 million people.  Financing on the national level for multi-family properties had dried up, even though there are markets like Austin that really needed properties built.  The 2nd reason is that people are holding off buying, even if they can afford to, and instead are still renting hoping that the price of homes & condos will drop further.  (They won't in Austin)  There are also a lot more people who just don't qualify to buy a home or condo now and are forced to rent because of tighter loan standards.  It is now in some cases cheaper to buy than rent.  If thinking about that option, we would be happy to talk to you about purchasing a home, condo or loft.

If your lease is expiring where you are at and they are raising the rent by a large amount, we probably will be able to find you a better deal than your renewal rate though.  For some strange reasons, property companies in Austin will give a better deal to new tenants than they will to current tenants renewing their lease.  If you are willing to move, we should be able to find you a unit much nicer for your same price, or cheaper for the same quality you have now.

A few words regarding rental advertisements.  Anyone in the Real Estate business knows what key features people are looking for in property and will put that in the ad.  Examples would be wood or concrete floors, washer/dryer or washer/dryer connections, (especially the combo of hard floors & W/D) fenced yards, large dogs accepted, short term leases allowed, furnished, etc.  If it is not in the ad, chances are very high that it does not have that feature. Also it is a mistake to assume that the property advertised is exactly where you want it to be.  i.e. -Ad says it is off of South Lamar, customer calls and says they are looking somewhere off of Lamar between Barton Springs Road and Whole Foods (extremely small area), they say the price they are looking for, and we honestly tell them we don't have anything in the area described for the price.  They say "what about this ad?  I guess it is just a false advertisement?"  We respond, no it is off of South Lamar one mile south of Barton Springs, we would be happy to show it to you if that location will work.    And last but not least, nothing in north Austin is close to downtown, no matter what the advertisement says.  US183 and Duval is "minutes to downtown"?  Does the agent advertising this have a Jetsons car?  Have they ever been on MOPAC at 5pm?

My agent mentioned a gift card as a bonus for leasing a certain property, how do I receive it?  Send an email to the agent that helped you with your mailing address.  Most property companies will not release your mailing address to your agent.

What are the general qualifications for renting in Austin? Please note that we do not actually make the decision on approving you for a rental or not.  The owner or management company >of that particular property makes the decision and criteria does vary by owner and management company.  The more upfront you are with us about your situation, the more likely we will be able to find a property that will rent to you.  In general though, most landlords in Austin check 4 things when making a decision on renting to you:

1-  Verifiable rental or mortgage history.  Please note that as part of the application process, they will verify that your lease is coming to an end at where you are living now and you have given a move out notice.  You will be denied if current lease has not been fulfilled or notice given.  If your lease is not over, please check with your manager to see what the process for getting out of it is.  It is usually much harder and expensive to get out of a lease than most people realize and can ruin your credit if not done the right way.

2-  Gross income of 3 x rent amount per month, $900 apartment = $2700 gross income per month.  Gross income means before taxes, or any other deductions from your paycheck such a health insurance.

3-  Credit history will be reviewed thoroughly.  Prompt payment history will be expected.  Minimum of more good than bad credit, and sometimes stricter than that.  If you don't know what is on your credit, you can get a
free credit report from this government sponsored site
once a year.  It is a good idea to check.

4-  Criminal background check- No felonies or certain misdemeanors.

Automatic denial if owe money to a past landlord or have eviction.  Some properties will take you if you pay off the money owed and have proof.  This needs to be done before applying.   Also Bankruptcies can cause denial, but some properties will take them if enough time has passed and good credit has been rebuilt.

Some (but not all) properties do allow a co-signer if you do not meet all of the criteria.  This is how most college students do it because of lack of income.  Co-signing can be done through fax.  Co-signer must have good credit.

Deposits are on average very inexpensive, somewhere in the $200 to $400 range.  No 1st month, last month, + month deposit in Austin.

Moving here without a job?  We have some properties that will make a decision based only on your credit, good credit means you are in.  Please keep in mind though that your options will be very limited and most of the listings you see listed on our site will not work.

What about pets?  Pet policies vary by owner and management company, but in general, most properties allow cats and dogs under 25lbs.  If dog is over 25lbs. we have plenty of choices that will take large dogs, except for the so called vicious breeds of Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobbermans, German Shepherds, Chows etc.  If you have one of these dogs, your choices are limited.  (Sorry, we don't make the rules, one of my dogs is a German Shepherd mix)  Most properties have a 2 pet limit, so if you have 6 cats, you are out of luck.  Pet deposits are on average $400 to $500, but many places allow payments split up over 3 months.  Yards are >unfortunately very rare in Austin rentals, and most duplex and house landlords in central Austin do not allow dogs.

What about wood or concrete floors in Austin? Austin has seen explosive growth since the 1960's and was really just a small college town before then.  Unfortunately, most rentals in Austin have been built since the 60's and this was past the hardwood floor era.  The rentals built in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's put in carpeting.  Some rentals though have gone back and replaced the carpeting with wood or concrete, but the combo of wood/concrete floors and W/D connections is still expensive.  Most of the new downtown apartments, condos & lofts have concrete or wood floors, but they are not cheap. (see pricing below)  I had someone tell me recently that the apartment they had just lived in Boston had original 140 year old floors.  There were about 12 people in Austin 140 years ago!  Austin is a new city, not historic.  Finding a reasonably priced historic apartment with wood floors is very rare.

What about old warehouses or factories converted into apartments? Austin was never a shipping hub, (like Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, Historic Eastern Seaboard cities, etc.) and what few old brick warehouses there were downtown were bulldozed in the 80's, or are being rented to restaurants or nightclubs for $5000 per month.  There are no old factories that have been converted into apartments in Austin either unfortunately.  The downtown lofts in Austin are new construction, not old warehouses!!!  There was almost no rental property in downtown Austin before 2000 and what has been built since then is targeting the high end customer, so it is expensive!  The Austin downtown area is also very small compared to most major cities.  Austin is nothing like the historic cities mentioned above, so if that is where you are moving from, be prepared.  Also there is a misconception that since Austin is smaller than most big cities, it should be cheaper to live here.  But size has nothing to do with it, it is all about supply and demand.  (Is Carmel CA more expensive than Oakland CA, but tiny in comparison?)   Yes people moving from Houston, Dallas, or any number of larger cities, it is more expensive to live in Downtown Austin!  We can only rent what exists in Austin, but if we can't find it nobody can!

What about Rent to Own?  Not an option in Austin

Why do you not rent houses or duplexes?  The old core central city with old historic houses is very small and that means it is very expensive.  The Travis county appraisal district values these homes at very high values.  Even a cruddy old home, not in great condition, in central Austin can be appraised at $500K. With the 2.5% property tax rate, just the property taxes are $12,500 per year, or $1042 per month.  That does not even include the mortgage, insurance, PMI, upkeep, etc.  Because of that, rental rates are very high on these homes.  As you get out of central Austin, the quality of rental houses and duplexes in Austin is very poor, and below the minimum requirements that we work with. (Ask us about the chicken story)

What about townhomes?    True townhomes, or row homes with yards, that exist in great numbers in parts of the country are rare in Austin.  Almost every townhome you see advertised for rent in Austin is actually a 2 story apartment in an apartment complex and does not have a yard unless it specifically states it does.

Why is your service free?-  We are paid a commission for leasing a property by the management company or owner of the property.  There is no cost to you, and the chances are we will find you a better deal than you would find yourself.  You just use our experience and expertise to find you the best property available.  Imagine showing property full time for almost 20 years, we know it well.  That said, even though most rentals in Austin work with agents, some do not.  It is possible that you could find a property that does not work with us with a lot of patience (or blind luck) and spending time driving neighborhoods.  If you do, that is great, but please don't get angry at us.

Why do you not work the UT campus and Hyde Park areas?  The Austin area has become a very large city and to give the best service,  most companies specialize in certain areas.  There are companies located in the UT campus area that just specialize in student rentals in the campus areas of West Campus, North Campus and Hyde Park.  If you are looking for walking distance to UT campus, one of those companies would be much better suited to help you out.  Good source to find them is the Daily Texan classifieds, the UT student newspaper.  The campus area is also very overpriced for the quality.  We do not deal with cheap campus landlords who won't fix anything and don't care.  We would rather show you nice clean properties that are of good value.  There are also much cooler central neighborhoods with better quality, prices and location.   Keep in mind though that the campus area is so expensive, that we sometimes will have choices in downtown for just as cheap, and UT campus is just north of downtown.

What hours can properties be viewed and when is best day to look?  With rare exception, we cannot show property after 5:30 pm or on Sunday.  Weekdays are much better than Saturday for looking, we can show a lot more choices weekdays because many property companies are now closed on Saturdays and Sundays, and the ones that are open will not answer the phone on Saturday.  If planning ahead of time to visit Austin from another city, if possible, it will be greatly to your advantage to plan the trip to visit during weekdays.

Do we have pictures of the properties?  Unfortunately rentals in Austin, (especially anything unique) rent to fast for us to spend our time taking pictures.  We would rather spend our time finding the right place for you to live, than driving around taking pictures of property that will not be available tomorrow.  The pictures you see on internet rental sites and for rent postings are almost never pictures of the actual unit that is for rent.

What about garage apartments? Garage apartments are rare in Austin because of a few factors.  They were actually not allowed by zoning laws in Austin for around 25 years starting in the 70's.  Existing garage apartments were grandfathered in and allowed to stay though.   The garage apartments that were allowed to stay were all located in the old core central Austin neighborhoods such as Travis Heights, Clarksville etc.  The average home price in theses old central neighborhoods is now over $500,000 and anyone who can swing a $500,000 mortgage probably doesn't want someone living in their garage for $600 per month.  Most of these people have converted these garage apartments to other uses are not renting them out anymore.  Because of this, finding a garage apartment is almost impossible, and we rarely have them for rent.  (You never know though, we do rent a few, it all depends on timing)  Garage apartments are no longer against zoning laws in Austin, but very few people have gone back and converted their garage into apartments.

Why should we use Austin Cool instead of one of the rebate agencies?   The rebate companies can only show you the limited number of large apartment complexes that allow them to pay a rebate.  We show you the properties that are best suited for your needs and price.  If we can save you $50 a month by showing you a place a rebate company can't or won't, you save $600 over a year.  That $150 rebate doesn't make much sense, does it?  Also, the information on these national websites is almost completely inaccurate and most listings not even available to rent.  Downtown pricing information is especially wrong and totally misleading on these sites.

Why do you not prelease for summer/fall?  We do not work the campus area, and that really is the only part of town that will prelease for summer/fall.  By preleasing, you also lock in at full price,  but by waiting until closer to your move date, you will receive a better price for the same unit!

AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOOD INFORMATION AND RENTAL PRICING

Pricing information on Austin Rentals and property for sale:  Rental and for sale prices vary tremendously in Austin, as well as the occupancy rate, by area.  Central Austin is the most expensive part of the city (especially downtown) followed by south Austin, and then north Austin is the least expensive. Please note that rental rates have been rising so fast that is hard to keep the prices listed below for the different neighborhoods accurate.

Downtown Austin is extremely expensive currently, with one bedrooms starting at around $1300 and two bedrooms starting at over $2000.  We sometimes have units downtown for as cheap as $1100, but it all depends on timing, and if you are in town for one day looking, we probably will not be able to find you that rate.   To get the best price downtown, you have to be open to move in specials and what the net cost will be.   You have to keep in mind what the rent will cost you over the lease term, because that is what really matters.  Sales prices downtown are even more expensive with one bedroom lofts at most properties starting at over $300,000, and then you have to pay property taxes and homeowner association fees.    We sometimes hear people say if they are going to spend $1000 on rent, they would just buy a place instead, but you have to compare apples to apples, and you can buy a place in Round Rock for $1000 per month, but not downtown Austin or really anywhere central.

Right outside of downtown, and within walking distance of downtown, prices come down with one bedrooms available in the mid to upper $900 range.   The key to this area though is washer/dryer connections, and for these prices they will not have connections.  To get W/D connections in these areas, prices go up to over $1100 (sometimes more, and in rare cases, less) for a 1 bedroom, and over $1500 on a 2 bedroom.  All of Central Austin, including the neighborhoods of Travis Heights, Bouldin Creek, Barton Hills, Clarksville, Tarrytown, and Enfield are very similar to the prices just mentioned with the same W/D criteria being the big difference in pricing.  In all of these central Austin neighborhoods it is a lot cheaper to rent than it is to buy.  The reason is most landlords in central Austin bought at much lower prices than today's market, and therefore can rent for a lot less and still make money.  Small two bedroom 1000 sq ft homes in central Austin are now selling for over $375,000.  Keep in mind that the SoCo area has become much more expensive over the last few years, with 1 bedrooms over $1200 not uncommon anymore.  Areas such as Clarksville and Tarrytown also have seen mind numbing price increases over the last 2 years.  Another thing to keep in mind is that a rental anywhere central will be more expensive then a further out same exact unit.  We get people saying they want to move to Central Austin from the northern suburbs and get the same quality for the same or less price.  Chances are very slim that this will happen.

South Central is a very eclectic area that many people consider to be true Austin.  From shopping on South Congress, eating outside at Shady Grove or any of the dozens of local restaurants, swimming at Barton Springs, hiking or rock climbing in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, going to concerts at Auditorium Shores or Zilker Park, jogging or biking the Town lake Trail, being minutes to downtown, it is the best of Austin.  Prices vary tremendously from super high end units to little one bedrooms for cheap.  Normally to get under $900 currently though, you have to go south of Oltorf Street.  North of Oltorf to downtown is going super high end and apartments are disappearing because they are being converted in condos and being sold only.  Also, this area is mainly houses and not many apartments.  South of Oltorf on South Congress, South First Street, and South Lamar are becoming the new hip areas with coffee shops, restaurants and eclectic stores and boutiques.  South Lamar especially has become a hot spot of locally owned stores, cafés, & shops.  These areas are still just minutes to downtown and still reasonably priced.

Southwest, West and the Capital of Texas Hwy Northwest area are all nice hilly and woodsy areas.  Prices in these areas vary tremendously based on age and quality of the units.  Southwest is much closer to downtown and parkland such as Zilker and the Barton Creek Greenbelt and can be slightly more expensive than northwest, but with half the drive time to downtown.  Prices in all of the western areas start at mid $800's for 1 bedrooms, and around $1000 for 2 bedrooms, again prices vary by quality and age.

Southeast is very affordable and close to downtown.  In Southeast Austin you can still find one bedrooms in the $700's and 2 bedrooms in the mid $800's.  Getting W/D connections is slightly more expensive in these parts of town.  This is the cheapest part of town with easy downtown access.   Southeast Austin has a large student population because of the closeness to UT campus and downtown, while at the same time being very affordable.  Southeast Austin also has many UT shuttle Routes to campus.  The Southeast area is changing rapidly though.  Almost all of the old apartments along Lakeshore Drive have been bulldozed and the area is being redeveloped.  Expensive mid rise units ($1200+) are going up in areas that recently had older, and in some cases, run-down, 60's and 70's built properties.   Some of the older properties in the area are also now being renovated.  There also has a been a movement of some of the historical music clubs into the Riverside area.  (Emos and Antones's are 2 of the more famous ones)  Along the lake they are working on the new Town Lake Boardwalk, which will make walking and bilking into downtown much easier. All of this is causing prices to rise in this part of town, so getting the above mentioned prices is getting tougher.

South Austin is popular with students from Texas State University, because of the ability to live in Austin, but be an easy drive to San Marcos. (20 minutes or so)

North campus, west campus, Hyde Park and North Central  areas are very overpriced for the quality.  We do not deal with campus landlords who will not fix anything.  We would rather show you nice clean properties that are of good value.  There are also much cooler central neighborhoods with better quality, prices and location. Recently though, there has been a lot of brand new modern mid rise building in the campus area that are not cheap, but very nice.    A lot more high density redevelopment is planned in areas such as west campus, so landlords who own the older properties refuse to do any repairs because they know the property will just be bulldozed soon anyway.

North Austin and the northern suburbs of Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park and Leander are far from Downtown and activities of Austin and traffic is worse.  These areas are very close to major tech employers such as Dell computer, IBM, Samsung, 3M, etc.  The Domain and the Arboretum areas are great for shopping.
 

We specialize in more upscale options in the Downtown, Central, Northwest and Southwest areas.  If you are looking for extremely cheap options, we are not the best source as we have very little knowledge of that part of the rental market.  There are also many companies that specialize in that market, and they would be a better source.  Try searching "austin cheap apartments" on search engines.

Other

Why did I start corresponding with Jim, but than someone else started helping me?  Jim is the initial email contact, (someone has to be) and then distributes leads to the other agents at Austin Cool.  If you call instead of email, whoever answers the phone can help you.  We are all friendly and helpful!

When are the units listed on your website available to move into?  They are usually available sometime between ASAP and 60 days.  Please do not assume that they are available to move into today, or if they are available ASAP, that they can be held for 60 days.  Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.

Please don't be insulted if we tell you the truth.  We don't want to waste yours or our time.  If you have found the best deal, we will honestly tell you that.  We sometimes have people tell us they still want us to show them around anyway.  The agents at Austin Cool work on commission only and if we know you have seen something already we can't beat, we cannot spend time and gas money showing you around when you have already found the best deal.   Just be happy we are not wasting your time.  Also we cannot show you around before we know what your options are, meaning usually 75 days before move date.  (it all depends on exact day of month you are moving)   Having us show you around 6 months before your move date, "just so you can get an idea", actually means we lose money, and we cannot do that.  Agents work on commission only, and only make money if you rent from them and are not reimbursed for car or gas expenses, so sorry, no 10 month ahead of time tours available.

We cannot guarantee safety. We sometimes have people ask for a "safe" place to live.  We can show you what we consider to be the best option for your price, but understand we can NEVER guarantee safety.  Things can and will happen everywhere.  It is actually against the rules of being a Texas Real Estate Agent to say a property or location is a safe place to live.

We do business in accordance with fair housing laws.  It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, or National Origin. WE WILL NOT BREAK THE LAW AND DON'T INSULT US BY ASKING!

We sometimes get complaints that our website is plain and basic. (Usually by web designers who for some reason think if they insult me and say our site is garbage, I will give them money)   Unlike every other real estate websites in Austin,  the broker of Austin Cool personally updates the website on a constant basis to reflect current market conditions.  We could have a flashy, but never updated, site like most companies (there are web sites out there 10 years old that have never been touched.  I guess they think it is helpful to see prices from 10 years ago), but we would rather keep it plain, but updated & accurate, and right to the point.  The broker knows Austin and Austin real estate like no one else, but never was trained as a web designer.

Please understand that we are human.  I had someone complain we were terrible about contacting them back.  They send an email on a Friday night of a 3-day holiday weekend and sent us a complaint on Monday!  Please understand that we have lives and family too (and babies, lots of babies) and actually do sometimes take time off and enjoy this wonderful city we live in.  The best story is the person who called when my wife was in labor with our 2nd child.  I answered thinking it was a relative, but it was someone calling regarding a rental question.  ("maybe, but not sure,  moving to Austin in a few months")   I said my wife is giving birth in a matter of minutes, I had to go.  Their response was, but no wait, I just have a few questions!    And yes, I took some time off of work.   

We also do drop the ball sometimes, and I apologize for that.  Email's get marked as read accidentally. (my phone has a nasty habit of doing that)  Phone messages are garbled or the machine has a meltdown, messages are written down but lost under a shuffle of paper, people talk to more than one agent here, and they both assume the other is handling it.  We just plain forget to call someone back.   We are human and it does happen, but we really do try hard to help everyone.  My sincere apologies to anyone that this has happened  to.  We are also just a small office and it is easy to have 1 agent on vacation, 1 agent with a sick toddler, 1 agent showing some people from out of town on a whirlwind sales tour, another 2 showing rentals all day, and we have no one free.  We are not one of these giant agent mills with 20 agents sitting around staring at each other all day.    If you have had a problem, please consider contacting me to discuss it.  I know nowadays everyone wants to rant and rave on the internet, but maybe giving me a shot 1st would be better for everyone.  Jim   512-693-7231
See pricing information under Austin neighborhoods below
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Another older property along the lake with construction fence, ready to be bulldozed to make way for newer and more expensive.