There are many people who choose to live in an apartment unit instead of purchasing a home across the United States and even in different country’s around the world.
In America, and especially Texas, there are several reasons why apartment living is such a popular choice. Renting an apartment means that there is less responsibility for you, the renter when it comes to maintenance and repair. Homeowners have to deal with issues like burst pipes, roof shingle replacement, and appliance repairs or purchases, which can turn out to be quite costly. There is also a lot of flexibility in renting an apartment, as most buildings only require you to sign a six to one year lease. After that time is up, you have the option to move anywhere you choose! Finally, there is no debt associated with renting a unit either; you simply pay a fixed amount every month and the utilities you use.
Key Stats on Apartments in Texas
If you are thinking about renting an apartment in Texas, there are several things you need to consider. Location is an important factor, as well as ease of transportation, schools, proximity to grocery stores and more. Here are a few quick stats to help to gain a broader picture of the apartment rental scene in Texas:
Total Number of Housing Units in Texas: 8,157,575
Total Apartment Units in Texas – 10 to 19 units: 351,859
Total Apartment Units in Texas – 20 units or more: 819,101
Top Apartment Energy Type: Electricity
Average Residential Rate of Electricity in Texas (2015): 12.7 cents per kilowatt hour
Average Apartment Rent Payment: $500 to $749
Where to Rent in Texas?
Apartment rental options in Texas are pretty much endless. In fact, the highest rate of construction of apartments in the United States (over a long period of time) happens right in this Lone Star State. It is for this reason that Forbes has ranked San Antonio at number 4 on their list of best cities for apartment rentals, with Houston not far behind at number 6. The average rent in both cities is under, $800 with a 6.7% vacancy rate in San Antonio and 8.1% vacancy rate in Houston.
Like any other state, there are some cities within Texas, where the cost of living and renting an apartment is a little bit higher. Based on several factors including, gas, housing, utilities (electricity), health insurance, and transportation the most expensive places to live in Texas are:
- University Park
Based on similar criteria, there are also several cities that are rated as the best places to live and rent in Texas outside of San Antonio and Houston. These cities include:
- New Territory
- Sugar Land
Electricity Rates for Apartment Tenants
When you get your electricity bill you will see that it is separated into two parts. The first part is handled by your local utility and includes charges for the delivery of electricity to your apartment building. Likely, the owner of the apartment complex or building will have already set this up prior to your move in, which does mean that you do need to pay for those pre-set rates.
The second part of your electricity bill pertains to the supply of energy. Depending on where you live, you might have more flexibility on the rates you pay. Many areas in Texas have a deregulated energy market. What this means is that you have the option to choose or select your retail energy supplier from Texas PUC’s official site (although we’ve previously said why this wasn’t a great idea), or from a site like ours, ElectricChoice.com.
If you’re unfamiliar with and/or moving from an area that had regulated energy markets, know that retail energy suppliers are companies or organizations that specialize in the supply of electricity to residential, commercial and industrial areas. Since energy deregulation came into effect in Texas around 2002, many retail energy suppliers have entered the market, which has generated a highly competitive space within the market. This means that rates, pricing, services, contracts, etc. all need to appeal to you, the consumer. You have the option to pick the retail energy supplier that suits your needs, as well as the option to switch to a new retail energy supplier – without any disruption to your service.
As someone who is renting an apartment, it is important to make sure that you inquire with the building owner or superintendent about the average cost of electricity for your unit (prior to signing a lease, ideally). While having the option to choose your own retail energy supplier can increase your electricity savings, old or inefficient wiring and appliances can have a significant impact on your consumption regardless of who supplies you with your electricity.
Knowing how much energy you typically consume or what the average electricity consumption is for an apartment is another way to gauge just how much you spend or will spend on this utility. Once you have a clear idea about what this average looks like, you can then determine different ways to save on consumption. For example, running the air conditioning unit for less time in the summer, or unplugging appliances like the microwave when they aren’t in use.
Top Developers, Contractors & Builders in Texas
Part of ensuring that you pay fair rates for electricity has to do with the apartment developer, contractor and building company. Newer buildings are likely developed and built using the latest and greatest in energy saving technologies. In the long run, renting a more energy efficient apartment unit will have a significant impact on your utility bills.
Some of the top developers in the state of Texas include:
- Alliance Residential
- Mill Creek Residential Trust
- Trammell Crow Residential
- Lincoln Property Company
- StreetLights Residential
- The Dinerstein Companies
There are also many well-known contractors within Texas who provide exceptional contracting services including:
- Balfour Beatty Construction
- Rampart Construction
- Galaxy Builders, Ltd
- KWA Construction
- BEACH Project Management
- Jordan Foster Construction
In 2013, the following Texas building companies were rated within the top 50 companies in the nation:
- Mill Creek
- Rampart Construction
- BBL Builders, A Bette Co.
- The Dinerstein Cos.
- American Campus Communities
- CF Jordan Construction
- Camden Property Trust
- Hunt Cos.
- Oden Hughes
- TDI Lifestyle Residential communities
- KWA Construction
Ready to sign up for electric service or switch your current apartment’s electric rate to something lower? Give us a call today at 800-974-3020 or shop online for rates.