Renting before buying allows individuals to test out the waters, explore neighborhoods, and get a feel of each community before making a long-term commitment. Like any major decision, renting before buying has its pros and cons and mistakes rookies need to know before proceeding with the big move.

If you're considering moving to Austin, you're probably wondering whether you should rent or buy a home. Both options have pros and cons, and in this blog post, we'll explore them all. 

How Much is Rent in Austin, Texas?

Downtown Austin Running Trail

Rent in Austin, Texas can vary depending on the size and location of the apartment. The average rent for an apartment in Austin is between $944-$1,835. A studio apartment in Austin is $944, while a one-bedroom apartment has an average rent of $1,533 and a two-bedroom apartment has an average rent of $1,835.

Where to Rent in Austin?

Based on the rent trends from the rental company Rent, the most popular neighborhoods in Austin are Central Austin, Downtown Austin, Warehouse District, West University, and Market District. The average one-bedroom apartment rent in these areas goes from $1,700 to $4,509. The most expensive neighborhoods to rent in Austin are Crestview, South Congress, Downtown Austin, and Warehouse District where rent goes from $3,682 to $13,167.

You can find affordable apartments for rent in Montopolis, Hancock, North University, Windsor Park, or East Austin where rent ranges from $1,043 to $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment. Utilize an apartment locator in Austin to simplify your search in different Austin neighborhoods.

If you’re looking for neighborhoods with proximity to major employers in Austin, suburbs in North Austin such as Round Rock, Leander, Cedar Park, and Pflugerville will be your best bet. For tech workers out there, neighborhoods such as Lockhart and Smithville has proximity to Tesla and Micron Technology’s new semiconductor factory.


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What to Look Out for in a Lease Contract?

It's important to make sure you understand what you're signing up for when renting a property in Austin. A lease contract is a legally binding agreement between you and your landlord that outlines the terms of renting the property. When signing a lease contract, there are several key points to look out for:

  • Term of Lease. Make sure you understand how long the lease is for and when it will end.
  • Rent Amount. Know what amount of rent is due each month and when it is due.
  • Security Deposit. Understand how much security deposit is required and when it must be paid by.
  • Utilities. Check who is responsible for paying utilities such as electricity, gas, water, etc.
  • Maintenance and Repairs. Determine who is responsible for maintenance and repairs in the rental unit, as well as any restrictions on making changes to the property.
  • Pets and Smoking. Make sure you know if pets or smoking are allowed in the rental unit before signing a lease contract.
  • Subletting and Guests. Find out if subletting or having guests stay overnight is allowed in your rental unit and whether there are any restrictions on doing so.
  • Termination. Early termination clauses state what happens if you leave before your lease is up. 

By understanding these key points before signing a lease contract, you can ensure that your rights as a tenant are protected and that you have all the information necessary to make an informed decision about renting a property.

Pros of Renting Before Buying a House When Relocating in Austin

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Renting vs buying a home in Austin has several benefits. It can be a smart choice for those who need time to acclimate to a new city before committing to homeownership. Here are some advantages when renting before purchasing a home in Austin:

  • If you’re not committed to mortgage payments, you have the flexibility to move around and discover different neighborhoods throughout the city.

  • Renting before buying a home in Austin has the advantage of lower upfront costs compared to the down payment required when purchasing a home.

  • Every neighborhood has its unique character so going out and being able to explore each can help you determine the type of environment you want to live in.

  • By not committing to a mortgage payment, renters can save up for a larger down payment, which can result in lower monthly payments when they do decide to buy a home.

  • Learn more about the local housing market by observing how it fluctuates and knowing which areas are popular and what the market trends are in terms of pricing.

Cons of Renting Before Buying a House When Relocating to Austin

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While renting before buying a house has its benefits when relocating to Austin, there are also some downsides to consider. These cons are the following:

  • Austin is one of the most expensive cities for renters based on the data from the financial services company, Moody’s Analytics. From Q4 2021 to Q4 2022, the report showed that the asking price for rent increased by +8.6%.

  • Each renter does not build equity in the property they’re renting nor do they have the potential for investment gains.

  • Renters have limited control over property modifications, as they are not the owners of the property. This essentially means that you’re unable to make significant changes to the property to meet the needs you are looking for in your own home. 

  • Another disadvantage of renting before buying a home in Austin is the possibility of feeling temporary or transitory.

RELATED: When Should You Stop Renting?

Mistakes to Avoid When Renting Before Buying a Home in Austin

Renting before buying a home in Austin can be a smart move, but it's important to avoid common mistakes to ensure a smooth transition into homeownership:

  • One mistake to avoid when renting before buying a home in Austin is not doing enough research on the city and neighborhoods.

  • When renting a home in Austin, it's crucial to budget for all living expenses and unexpected costs to build a savings cushion that can cover unforeseen events like repairs or medical bills.

  • Renters often make the mistake of waiting too long to start the home-buying process, but it's important to start planning early, save for a down payment, improve their credit score, and work with a real estate agent to find the right home even if the purchase won't happen for several years.

  • Working with a real estate agent is essential for renters preparing for a future home purchase in Austin, as an agent can guide the home-buying process.

Renting Before Buying a Home When Relocating to Austin

a couple preparing to relocate

Renting before buying a home in Austin has its advantages and disadvantages. It allows you to get to know the city better and understand the different neighborhoods before making a significant investment. 

However, it can also be costly in the long run and delay your plans to become a homeowner. By weighing the pros and cons and making an informed decision, you can find the best path toward homeownership in Austin, Texas.

If you’re considering relocating to Austin, Texas, click here to visit our Austin Relocation Services page or speak to a real estate consultant who can navigate you to finding your new home in Austin, Texas.

Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on
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