Ever since renting became a cool lifestyle (thank you housing crisis!), Austin apartment developers have been eager to offer an enhanced life experience for renters by building one upscale apartment community after another. They’re doubling down on amenities and employing every type of service that potential residents (both human and four-legged) might desire.
But as much as apartment communities are thriving to offer an all-in-one live-work-play experience, the neighborhood where they are located still has a major say in the quality of your day-to-day life. And Austin has been blessed with some truly amazing neighborhoods. It’s hard to know where to even start when looking for your next place to rent.
With the help of RENTCafé, one of Austin’s best resources for renters providing listings of hundreds of properties with real-time availability, we compiled a quick list of 5 best Austin neighborhoods that offer not only a good selection of rental apartments, but also unique dining, shopping, atmosphere, walkability and all the other stuff that makes a community worthy of calling it “home.”
If you like being in the center of all Austin activity, having your choice of speakeasy bars hidden behind unmarked doors, eclectic dive bars with jazz playing in the background that you enter by sliding a book shelf, and casual craft beer places with soothing outdoor beer gardens all within walking distance of your apartment, then you must live downtown.
There you have more than 20 large-scale apartment buildings to choose from and about 12 new ones tagged to be opened soon, offering the best high-rise living that money can buy. Rents in downtown Austin average $2,200/month, which makes it the most expensive neighborhood for renters in Texas. But many argue it’s worth it. For that price tag, you get to enjoy things like a roof top infinity pool at The Bowie, 311 Bowie Street, where studio apartments rent from the $1,800s.
Image via RENTCafé – Aerial view of The Bowie, Austin, TX
Central Austin is very “University of Texas – centered” in every aspect. Heavily populated by students, faculty members, and young professionals, the neighborhood has a lot going for it, not the least of which is its proximity to downtown. This is reason enough to attract an ongoing influx of new apartments, both student housing and regular rentals. As of today, the area encompassing Central Austin, West Campus, and Hancock is home to a whopping 47 large rental communities to choose from, mid-range to high-end and everything in between. Come to Central Austin for a bite of the best (and affordable) Latin cuisine in town, and stay for the young, lively, colorful atmosphere on the main streets and the quiet laid-back living on tree-lined residential streets. Just know that all the benefits of living here come with a hefty rent tag of $2,100/month on average.
Image via www.atmtxphoto.com – Guadalupe Street, Central Austin, TX
Clarksville may not be the first neighborhood to pop into your mind when you say “rental,” as it has a more historic vibe and its residential structures are primarily single-family bungalow homes. But the historic feel and the oak-tree-lined streets are all the more reason to rent in this neighborhood. You’ll come to love one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods and reminisce about the old times with a burger and shake at Nau Enfield Drug — which will, by the way, also serve as your corner drug store (a true original) if you move to the neighborhood. Clarksville is also perfect for artsy-types as it has a host of art galleries and is home to a large percentage of Austin’s creative crowd. Perfectly located in between downtown and the MoPac Expressway, rentals in Clarksville cost on average $2,100/month. The neighborhood offers a few nice rental communities, like Pressler Apartments on the corner of Pressler Street and W 5th Street, where apartments start at $1,500/month, plus you’ll also get to enjoy a trendy restaurant, an oyster bar, a Bikram Yoga studio, and an upscale salon on premises.
Image via RENTCafé – Pressler Apartments
A neighborhood very popular with renters is South Austin’s Zilker. Located in zip code 78704, Zilker is in a highly-valued area in real estate terms, yet significantly cheaper than downtown, with average rents around $1,400/month and nine large-scale rental communities to choose from. But if that’s not an incentive for you to move here, there are a ton of other reasons to check out this neighborhood. Active-types are right at home here with Zilker Park, Barton Springs Pool, and the river in their hood. Home bodies can enjoy their own pool and their own fully-equipped gym at one of the many new apartment communities opened recently in this amazing part of town. Gibson Flats is one example, offering one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor-plan designs starting in the $1,500s.
Image via RENTCafé – Gibson Flats Apartments in Austin, TX
Another great neighborhood in South Austin, Travis Heights is known for being weirdly cool, with lots of character. If you’re the type of person who appreciates no pretense and no nonsense, you might want to check it out. Sprinkled with funky shops, live music bars and restaurants (try C-Boys on SoCo for some funky fresh tunes even on weeknights and great drinks), the neighborhood exudes good vibes all over. In spite of its enviable location, the neighborhood is somewhat underrated, so you might still find some good deals on apartments in a city where the cost of housing has been creeping up along with its coolness factor in recent years. The average rent price in Travis Heights is around $1,400/month.
Image via ATM Photo – Streetscape SoCo, Travis Heights, Austin, TX
For the safest way to search for apartments in Austin, head over to RENTCafé, where all listings are 100% verified and listed directly by property managers.
Featured photo via Pixabay, creative commons licensed.