Arlington’s attractions, amenities, and neighborhoods appeal to a wide range of demographics, including:
Students. Roughly 33,000 students from around the globe are enrolled at the city’s University of Texas campus, lending a distinct college town vibe to certain parts of Arlington. The hallmarks of any university town – bookstores, coffeehouses, cafes, and, of course, watering holes – are situated on the streets surrounding the university. Some of Arlington’s most affordable leasing options can be found here as well, although we should warn you that many campus area crash pads offer minimal living space (500-600 square feet) and only the most basic amenities.
Working professionals. During the early 90s technology boom, DFW was flooded by tech professionals, many of whom have hung around and become permanent Metroplex fixtures. Several manufacturing, financial, and medical corporations are headquartered in Arlington, while the city’s various retail destinations, entertainment attractions, and educational institutions continue to employ large numbers of local residents as well. Considering the flourishing job market, it should come as no surprise that the city’s population has spiked nearly 15 percent since the year 2000.
Married couples and families. Married couples with children account for approximately 40 percent of Arlington’s residents, and it’s not hard to see why: The city offers tons of amenities, including supermarkets or convenient stores at practically every corner and countless shopping and dining options. Many areas of Arlington (Mansfield, Lindberg, and Dalworthington Gardens, to name just a few) are custom-built offering easy access to entertainment destinations, and major employers. Other popular family destinations include an amusement/water park and a variety of parks, trails, and sporting fields. Arlington is also home of the Dallas Cowboys’ gargantuan super stadium and the Rangers Ballpark (cheer up, Texans, the pain of the 2010 and 2011 World Series will eventually wear off!)
Arlington holds the dubious distinction of being the largest American city without a bona fide public transportation system (nifty, eh?). Unsurprisingly, traffic is a multi-headed monster during afternoon/evening rush hour, and each of the four major freeways that service the city experience a daily dose of uber-aggravating gridlock. Our advice: do some Jedi mind tricks or something and convince yourself you actually like traffic, because it’s about to become a regular part of your daily routine either way.
Arlington is, generally speaking, a good place to live. The more modern ‘hoods and apartments are generally clustered in the far northern, far southern, and western districts. But don’t take our word for it. Visit a neighborhood in advance (both under the sun and moon) to see if it feels like a good, comfortable fit for you before signing a lease.
A few things to keep in mind before embarking on the search for your dream apartment:
A wide range. Arlington apartments range from simple studios in the $400 range to sprawling lofts, condos, and townhouses for close to two grand. Generally, the more reasonably priced rentals are centrally-located near the urban core (though not always), while the more spacious, pricey rentals are situated by the country clubs and lakes near the outskirts. But whether you’re spending two grand or two hundo (how’s that for a leasing special?) for your apartment, plan on spending an extra chunk of change on utilities during the summer months, when temperatures routinely surpass 100 degrees, sending tenants’ air conditioning units into hyper-drive.
‘Tis the season. Move-in specials are easy to find throughout Arlington, and apartments are available at the majority of complexes throughout the year. If you want the absolute best deals, though, wait until the end of the spring and winter semesters. Rental properties throughout Arlington (not just in the campus area apartments) typically experience drops in occupancy rates during these periods, and landlords often try to entice new tenants with dynamite move-in specials.
Pet-friendliness (but at a price). The good news is that it’s not hard to find landlords in Arlington who allow pets, including dogs. Unfortunately, most property managers charge some pretty steep one-time pet fees (up to $500 non-refundable). So don’t hesitate to bring along Fido. But encourage him to get a part-time job or something to help pay the rent.
The basics. You’ll need the usual documents and credentials to score an apartment in Arlington, including a respectable enough renting/credit history, proof of income, and a list of previous residences. Most apartments require an upfront (usually returnable) security deposit from new tenants, while some charge one-time cleaning/maintenance fees as well. If you’re a student who lacks money, credit, or a renting history, you’ll need a cosigner to sign the dotted line alongside you.
And now for the exciting part: scouring the Lone Star State for the apartment of your wildest dreams (assuming your wildest dreams involve apartments). Anyhow, best of luck, happy hunting, and welcome to Arlington!