Friday, August 29, 2014

Criminal History and Qualifying for an Apartment

Criminal History is one of the criteria apartment complexes use to qualify applicants for an apartment.  There are two types of criminal history, misdemeanor and felony.  Apartment complexes will consider which type the crime is, as well as the seriousness of the crime, when looking at your criminal history.

In general, apartments are more flexible with misdemeanors, but it really depends on the type of misdemeanor, A,B, or C.  Generally, the more aggressive misdemeanors are going to be more difficult to find an apartment for, especially assaults and some drug charges.  DWIs and traffic violations don't really penalize you unless your DWI or DUI turns into a felony.  

A lot of apartment complexes will work with non-aggressive misdemeanors, but they especially frown upon misdemeanors that include a crime against a person or property, including theft.  Time plays a factor as well.  If a misdemeanor is more than five or ten years old, most management companies will be more flexible with allowing someone to rent an apartment as long as they meet the other qualifying criteria.  This is why it's really important that you talk to an apartment locator so they can place you at properties that will work with you.  

Felonies can be a little bit trickier to work around.  Only around one to two percent of the properties in Austin will work with a felony charge.  Most of the properties that will work with a felony charge are really going to consider the age of the felony.  Someone who has a twenty-year-old felony is still going to have a hard time finding a place to live, but you will have a few more options than someone with a much more recent felony.  If ten years or longer has passed, there are quite a few management companies that will consider your application.  However, sometimes if the felony is aggressive, like a felony assault, it will pose a problem no matter how much time has passed since conviction.

If you have any sort of criminal history in your background, it's best to divulge that to your apartment locator so they can help place you in the right place without wasting your time or your money on application fees.

Worried about qualifying for an apartment because of something in your past?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111 for the best possible chance at finding a new home.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hosting Parties in a Small Apartment

A small apartment can play host to parties, you just have to plan right. helps you have a successful gathering even in a studio or one bedroom.

Your best type of party to have is a small dinner party.  Keep the guest list short, around four to six people, and serve simple dishes that will allow you to play host or hostess rather than cook.  Pasta or soup, salad and bread are great choices that can even be eaten on the couch if you don't have a large table.  Throw in wine and dessert to please a crowd.  Other options are drinks and appetizers at your place before you go out for a big event. 

Cleaning your apartment for guests is much easier in a small space, but you have less storage space for stuff you don't want people to see.  A great storage option you probably haven't thought of is your bathtub!  You can store anything you don't want guests to see there.  Just don't forget to shower BEFORE piling in the clutter.  Moving large furniture out of the living room into your bedroom will allow  more room for guests to circulate.  You can throw guests' coats on your bed yourself so they don't see your furniture-stuffed room.  Also, keep the television off and put chairs in front of it facing away from the tv.

When it comes to food, choose stuff that won't stain if it spills.  In other words, save the red wine and dips for another time.  Snacks that don't require plates or utensils are great like chips, olives, cheese, crackers and fruit that's already cut up.  Beer and soda in bottles or cans cut down on glassware and food that can be prepared ahead of time keeps you out of the kitchen so you can enjoy your guests.  Rather than using a buffet, place food throughout the party so guests can get food easily from wherever they are.

Finally, be considerate of your neighbors and noise levels.  Warn them about the party ahead of time and ask them to let you know if it gets too loud or, better yet, invite them!  Choose some great tunes to be played at a reasonable volume and you're on your way to a lovely evening!

Looking for a new apartment where you can have a party?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving with Kids is even more stressful than a usual move.  Children often don't understand why they are moving and usually have little or no say in what's happening. has tips to help you make this upheaval smoother for the smallest members of the family

Make it clear to your children that they can ask you questions and answer their questions clearly and honestly with lots of specifics.  This will help your child feel more comfortable with this big change.  Make, or encourage your child to make, a plan for their room and tell them as much as you can about their new apartment or house.  Tell them they can use the plan, as well as paper representations of their furniture and belongings, so they can play with where they want to put things in their new room.

Help your child make an address book with addresses of all their friends and important people in their lives so when they get to their new city they can still contact them by email or mail.  Also, help your child say goodbye to their friends by hosting an event or events where they can see their friends one last time.  Involve your child in the process so the event reflects what they are most comfortable with. 

Need help finding an apartment where everyone in your family will feel comfortable?  Give Austin Apartment Specialists a call today at 512-241-1111.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Minimum Commute, Maximum Lifestyle: Where To Rent When You Work at Freescale Semiconductor

This is the eleventh in a series of articles titled ‘Minimum Commute, Maximum Lifestyle’ and will be focused on Freescale Semiconductor Ltd  (NYSE:FSL).  This series focuses on area employers and rental options located nearby so employees can reduce their commutes to work.

Thousands of people move to Austin or relocate within Austin every year because of job changes.  In a city growing by 110 people per day, the complaint we hear most often centers around traffic.  The majority of the renters we see are hoping to find an apartment that fits their lifestyle and allows for a reasonable commute to their place of work.  With that in mind, we wanted to give some insight into Austin’s largest employers and the rental options that surround them.

Freescale Semiconductor designs and produces hardware and software for the automotive, networking, industrial and consumer markets at its Austin headquarters.  Started as a division of Motorola, Freescale became its own company in 2004 and was one of the first semiconductor companies in the world.  Freescale is going to begin manufacturing an accelerometer designed to more easily monitor how industrial machinery is working. 

Freescale employs people in a wide variety of positions at its Austin headquarters, including Photo Equipment Engineers (Median Annual Salary $58,738 for an Equipment Engineer I), IT System Administrators (Median Salary $86,491 for a UNIX Administrator), Manufacturing Operators (Median Salary $29,316 for a Manufacturing Technician I),  and many more.  All salary information from for 78735, Freescale's zip code. 

Freescale employees have many options for lunch near their Southwest Austin headquarters.  Jack Allen’s Kitchen is less than two miles away and is a locally owned restaurant serving creative twists on American fare using all fresh, locally sourced and in-season ingredients.  Just a mile away is Thai Taste, which cooks flavorful Thai food like curries and Pad Thai in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

For getting together for drinks after work with coworkers, Red’s Porch is just five miles away on South Lamar and has delicious pub food, a large beer selection, and fantastic sunset views from the second story bar.  Hecho in Mexico is another popular choice for Mexican food and anything from beer to margaritas.

Save time on your commute to work at Freescale by living at one of the gorgeous apartment communities close to Freescale.
  • Hudson Miramont Apartments were built in 2004 and are just five minutes away from Freescale off Southwest Parkway. Units range from 1-3 bedrooms and 704 to 1,327 square feet and feature full-sized washer dryer connections, ceiling fans, and vaulted ceilings.  This gated community has covered parking, a pet park, scenic views, and a fitness center.
  • IMT Monterey Ranch Apartments are just 6 miles away via William Cannon Drive and Highway 290.  Built in 2001, this beautiful community features apartments ranging from a studio to 3 bedrooms and in size from 498 square feet to 1160 square feet.  IMT has hiking trails, five sparkling pools, 2 playgrounds, complimentary tennis lessons, and indoor basketball court, and  a kids' club activity room and learning lab.  Units feature large walk-in closets, private balconies or patios, and short-term leases are available.
  • Estancia Apartments are 9 minutes from Freescale via 290 and 71 and were built in 2009.  Apartments are from 1-3 bedrooms and 686 to 1,310 square feet and feature open floor plans, garden tubs, washer/dryer connections, and faux wood floors.  Estancia is a gated community that welcomes pets, has stunning hill country views, door to door trash removal, carports and garages.
  • Vineyard Hills Apartments are a quick 7 minute drive away on 290 and have 1-3 bedroom apartments ranging from 640 to 1,315 square feet.  Built in 2000, this gated community has a clubroom, heated spa, wireless internet by the pool, movie rental service, and garages.  
  • The Park at Monterey Oaks were built in 2000 and are 10 minutes from Freescale off Loop One.  Apartments range from 1-2 bedrooms and 696 to 1,267 square feet and feature washer-dryer connections, available attached garages, granite countertops, available fenced backyards, and ceiling fans in the living and bedrooms.  This gated community has a large nature park and walking trail that is also a dog park, resident lounge with complimentary coffee, tea, and breakfast bar, two playscapes, and boat parking. 
  • Sedona Springs Apartments, built in 1996, are three miles from Freescale via William Cannon and Mopac.  1-3 bedroom apartments are available from 647 square feet to 1,248 square feet.  Units have large walk-in closets, all electric kitchens, 9 foot ceilings, private balconies and patios, and wood burning fireplaces are available.

These communities are just a few of the rental choices available to Freescale employees.  Our database features the most accurate and up-to-date pricing and availability for thousands of apartments across the city.  We know that finding an apartment that allows for a short commute to work, has the amenities you want, and fits into your budget can be difficult.  Our job as apartment locators is to provide valuable insight into each of your rental options so you can choose the best apartment the first time.  Our services are free for our clients and can save you valuable time when you are searching for a rental.  Call (512) 912-8000 today to schedule your appointment or visit to find out more about our apartment locator services.