If you’re a UT student currently living in West Campus, you’re likely going to have to decide during your Fall semester if you’re going to renew your current lease for next year or move to a new property.
As a UT student myself, I have faced the same decision, and understand that finding a student apartment can feel overwhelming.
With new properties opening every year, boasting new, state-of-the-art amenities, it can be difficult to decide which apartment best fits your needs and lifestyle.
At Rambler, our leasing team has helped hundreds of students sign leases. We have gotten many questions about moving to a new property in West Campus vs. renewing.
In this article, we will discuss the advantages of renewing your lease versus exploring other options to help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences for the upcoming school year.
Moving to a New Student Property in West Campus
Pro: Newer Amenities
The student housing market in Austin is extremely competitive. Therefore, new student housing developments offer increasingly new and unique amenities in an effort to beat out their competitors.
These amenities range greatly in size and scope, from a fitness center or a pool to an indoor basketball court or a golf simulator. In your apartment, you can look for features like floor-to-ceiling windows and modern finishes.
If you value new amenities, then a new development may be right for you.
Con: Moving Fees and Expenses
One of the most dreaded parts of moving is all the fees and expenses that are associated with this process. The cost to rent a moving truck, hire movers, or for a storage unit in between move-outs can become costly. On top of these added expenses, it’s important to consider all the first-time fees associated with moving into a new apartment complex, such as the application and administration fee. All of these costs can add up to affect your budget.
If you choose to move to a new development in West Campus, you get to be a part of the first group to live in that apartment complex.
The entire building is brand new, so you are one of the first people to use the communal spaces and amenities. Your new apartment will offer a sense of novelty, as you are the first person to call the space home. If you’re looking for this sense of novelty, moving into a new building may be the best option for you.
While a new development may offer newer amenities and novelty, these things often come at a higher price point. The typical cost of student housing near UT Austin tends to range from approximately $800 to $2,000 depending on a variety of factors.
New, luxury student housing developments in West Campus tend to fall on the mid-high end of this price range. On the other hand, renewing your West Campus lease may fall on either end of the price range.
It is important to consider which option better fits into your budget while offering the best value for the cost.
Pro: New Roommates and Community
A new development not only offers newer amenities, but it also provides a new community of students.
Since you get to be a part of the first group to live in your apartment complex, you and your neighbors will set the tone of the apartment’s community.
Additionally, if you are planning to live with new roommates or change the number of roommates you have, you will likely have to move to a new space that accommodates your new living situation. In this case, it may be worth considering a relocation, since you would have to move units within your complex anyway.
Con: Disruption and Stress
Many students agree that the most draining aspect of getting a new apartment is the process of moving. The time and energy spent packing, organizing, and moving can be very tiring and often requires a full day commitment, if not more. This process can often involve logistical challenges and unforeseen complications that can make this process even more time-consuming and stressful.
Renewing Your Current Lease in West Campus
When you choose to renew your lease, you choose to stay in a comfortable environment. You likely have a good understanding of your property’s amenity offerings, community and staff. There will be few surprises, so you will know exactly what you’re getting into.
Con: Same Environment
By renewing your lease, you choose to remain in the same environment for another year. Though having the same staff and amenity offerings can provide a sense of comfort, this comes with a lack of novelty. Depending on when your apartment complex was built, your amenity offerings may not be as modern or efficient as newer developments.
Pro: No Moving Fees
Arguably one of the best perks of renewing your lease is the ability to leave all of your things in your apartment. Since you are able to remain in your apartment, there is no money or time spent on moving out.
Plus, since West Campus leases tend to last from mid-August to the end of July, there are typically a few weeks between leases that can pose a great inconvenience to students who are looking to stay in Austin. If you renew your lease, you will typically be able to remain in your apartment during these weeks. Be sure to ask your apartment about their renewal policy to make sure you’ll be allowed to stay in your apartment between move out and move in.
Con: Potential Rent Increase
Most student housing apartments need to raise rent prices to keep up with the increasing costs in the market. For this reason, choosing to remain in the same apartment complex may cost a bit more than it did the previous year. If you are interested in renewing your lease, be sure to ask your leasing staff about pricing for the upcoming year.
Pro: Keep the Same Roommates
Roommates can have a huge impact on your university experience, especially in the first couple of years. Many UT students live with their friends, and prefer to keep the same group of roommates for multiple years. For those who would like to keep the same group of roommates, it may be easier to renew your lease, as you will be living with the same people.
Moving vs. Renewing: Things to Consider
At the end of the day, you’ll want to ask yourself:
- Do I like my property’s management? Are they responsive and trustworthy?
- Does my property feel safe?
- Do I need (or no longer need) access to parking?
- Does the rental rate work for my budget?
- Can I afford something better?
- Is leaving worth the hassle of moving?
- Does this apartment still fit my needs?
If your apartment still meets your needs, and you value staying in the same place, you may want to consider renewing your lease. However, if you value newer amenities and novelty, you may want to consider moving to a new development in West Campus.
If you are a current resident at Rambler and are hoping to renew your lease, reach out to our leasing team to lock in your apartment for the next school year.
If you are interested in living in Rambler, join the waitlist to be the first to know when Rambler begins the leasing process for the 2024-2025 school year.
While both student housing options have their selling point, we hope this article helped you better understand the pros and cons of moving to a new property in West Campus vs. renewing your lease near UT Austin.
If you have any questions about West Campus living or want to learn more about Rambler, contact our leasing staff, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have during your student housing search.