Finding an Apartment in Texarkana
Finding an apartment in Texarkana is a matter of knowing what you want. Even the most expensive neighborhoods offer reasonable apartment rentals, ranging from 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom apartments and beyond. Some more rural neighborhoods put a premium on space, privacy and quiet, while others offer a more active, urban existence. By identifying your own wants and needs, you can narrow down your search areas before setting out, thus trimming valuable time while increasing the possibility of finding the home of your dreams in the town about which Michael Stipe once wistfully warbled.
How much will it cost?
Texarkana’s rents are shocking, but not for the reason you might expect. While rental rates do vary greatly by neighborhood, they are nearly all lower than the national average, some significantly so. Be sure to ask about vacancy rates, though. High rates of vacancy can be a simple factor of life in a college town, but can also represent a larger problem in the area.
When to rent
While it may not exactly be Boston in terms of colleges and universities, the greater Texarkana metropolitan area, comprising both the Arkansas and the Texas halves, has quite a few colleges. The result is a lot of seasonal turnover: when the semesters change, so do the students. Landlords may delight in the demand at the semester’s start by hiking up rates, so try to focus your search outside this window in order to seek out stability.
What you need
Renting in Texarkana is simple enough, and just a matter of having your ducks in a row. There are plenty of options, so it’s the renter’s market as much as it is the landlord’s. That said, some things are not negotiable, such as filling out an application, credit check requirement, security depositoften times first and last months’ rent--and whether or not pets are allowed.
Texarkana, a medium-sized city, comprises 11 distinct neighborhoods. Some are remote with fewer people, limited traffic and little noise and population, while others have more hustle and bustle--typically appealing to co-eds and avowed urbanites. Wherever you live in Texarkana, diversity abounds, and your neighbors are likely to come from all walks of life--ranging from from college students to young families to retirees, in a variety of professions including a large number of officer workers and service providers.
Sugar Hill Road/Sanderson Lane: The most expensive place to rent in Texarkana, this suburban neighborhood offers everything from single family homes to apartment rentals. Immensely walkable, this is a popular area for college students.
Garland: Less expensive than Sugar Hill Road, the majority of properties here are homeowner-owned. Still there is a high vacancy rate, which signifies either weak demand or seasonal variation due to student comings and goings. The landlord's loss is your gain: lots of availability may mean room to negotiate!
E. Broad Street/ Sanderson Lane: This suburban neighborhood offers diversity of housing options--everything from 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom apartments. A diverse mix of owners and renters exists in Texarkana, including the large community of people with African and Sub-Saharan African ancestry who call this neighborhood home.
Sanderson Lane/ E. 50th Street: This quiet suburban neighborhood has a comparatively low vacancy rate, indicating that it is an in-demand--and relatively pricey--place to live.
Gertrude/Mount Pleasant: This suburban, mostly owner-occupied neighborhood, consisting primarily of single family homes and mobile homes, has the distinction of residents who stick around. Most people who reside here have done so for years. If knowing your neighbors is a priority and you plan to put down roots, this is a great place to be.
City Center: City Center delivers the true urban experience, and high vacancy rates may indicate a renter’s market at the moment.
Garland Street/E. 35th: This urban neighborhood is at the upper end in terms of price, but offers a great mix of rental opportunities, including a variety of apartment rentals.
East St./Forest St.: Homes in this urban enclave date back to the 1940s. Prices, meanwhile, are low, but there are trade-offs.
South Texarkana: Perhaps the lowest cost place to live in all of Texarkana, South Texarkana offers older, well-established homes. An extremely high vacancy rate despite the low cost may set off alarm bells for some renters.
E. 9th Street/N. Oats Street: If you are thinking of taking advantage of low rental costs in this neighborhood, be prepared for the fact that many people who live here struggle to make ends meet.
Jim Walter Drive/E. 19th Street: This remote neighborhood offers many historic homes broken up into apartment rentals. Houses are spread out with lots of open space, and many residents stay for a while (or forever), as evidenced by very low vacancy rates.
Living in Texarkana
While many of the neighborhoods here are walkable, others are remote, and getting from one place to another can be difficult without a car. Texarkana is a regional hub because of its premier, central location--not just for Arkansas and Texas, but also for southeast Oklahoma and northwest Louisiana. In fact, many locals work in one state while living in another.
Texarkana is undergoing unprecedented growth--both in terms of commerce and construction. _Forbes _predicts that Texarkana is runner-up for the title of the country’s fastest growing metropolitan area. With the arrival of Texas A&M’s and Southern Arkansas University’s new four-year campuses in Texarkana, the growth promises to continue.
Arkansas residents who reside within Texarkana’s city limits have an added benefit: they can claim exemption from state income taxes.
Overall, Texarkana is a city on the cusp. While this may have some trade-offs, it also offers great potential.
-By Kera Zacuto
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