If you are considering relocating to the Dallas Fort Worth area and are looking to lease a home, condo, or town home in the area instead of an apartment there are distinct differences you will want to be aware of.
With an apartment there will be a written application, a fee paid to do a credit and background check, this will also be the case for a home or other residential property. The difference becomes apparent with the amount of the security deposit due to your personal credit rating. With an apartment the cost might be a slightly larger security deposit or an extra month of rent due up front making your move a little more costly than with good credit. With an individually owned owned home your upfront cost with good credit will in most cases be one months rent as security deposit, and the first months rent or pro-rated amount of rent due at move in along with any application fee and pet deposit if it applies. In the case of poor credit the owner may require a security deposit of two months or more if the credit is poor enough.
With an apartment you may be able to "hold" the property for in excess of 30 days with a small deposit, In the case of an individually owned home once you have paid your application fee and have been approved the owner will require the security deposit (of at least one month's rent) to take it off the market usually for no more than a period of 30 days and they may ask for any pet deposit at that time also. Here is another difference at an apartment there may be pet rent per month in addition to the base monthly rent, in a few cases there will be monthly pet fees at individually owned homes though rare you may see this usually at 25 to 50 per month on top of the monthly rent. The pet fee so far is the exception rather than the rule, the pet deposit at at apartment tends to be somewhat less than the typical 250 to 300 per pet at an individually owned home(there are cases where you will see higher deposit required). These deposit can be partially refundable or completely non-refundable.
The Dallas Fort Worth area is red hot for relocation's so when you are looking at the monthly price of a home versus an apartment the leases on apartments tend to be more flexible based on what the property management company has at their disposal so what you see in print might have some wiggle room. On the other hand with an individually owned property these homes typically have a mortgage so the owner has little if any wiggle room in many cases and depending on the area (for instance Collin County) homes may me on the market for a few days sometimes less than 5 days on the market and have multiple applications. This will also affect the owners view of the value of their property so in many cases trying to save that 50 dollars a month may cost you that property you were in love with.
You need to keep in mind that with every application you make there is a fee involoved so you need to be upfront with any credit or other issues that affect you and document this. You also need to make sure you have the proper income documentation for your situation , i.e. 30 days of paystubs if you are an employee or tax returns if you are self employed. The bottom line is that you need a competent agent to help you in your hunt for that right lease property for you! I hope you find this information helpful and look forward to your comments positive or otherwise are welcomed and encouraged!