Brief yourself with these pointers to avoid embarrassment (“You need a copy of my driver’s license? Hmm, will you take my H-E-B card?”) or false expectations (who knew “wading pool” actually meant “bird bath”??).
Leasing: First off, there’s a pretty standard application fee of $35 for rentals through an agency. Then you need to decide if you’re willing to face long-term commitments. Most complexes will offer specials for a year lease or longer. That low price you’ve been quoted? Yeah, there are strings attached… Expect to spring a whole month’s rent (sometimes less) for a deposit, as well as renters insurance ($125 annually: hurricane season comes only once a year, right?). After you’ve budgeted for the above, you can start thinking about additional costs!
Extras: You want a complex with a pool. Hands down. (Let’s just say the Bay isn’t so squeaky-clean and you probably wouldn’t be too thrilled to cool off in it 365 days a year.) Washer/dryer units in your room will cost extra (usually around $80/month), as will new appliances. Covered parking is key unless you’re made from lava. Finally, CC is pretty pet-friendly; only the luxury units place restrictions on Fido (either a $100 non-refundable fee or monthly “pet rent,” which is never more than $30/month).
“Downtown” Corpus is located along the Emerald Cove coast, and its character varies (and eventually turning suburban) as one heads south. If you have to cross a bridge to get to Ocean Dr., you either live in the boonies or Touristown. West of the airport gets real rural real fast (But, if paying $100/month to live in a boxcar’s your thing, then knock yourself out!). Here’s the skinny on everything else:
Downtown and Upper Broadway. Like other ports of call, Corpus has a fair share of waterfront condos that start at $1000/month (all bills paid). If you fancy living in the Hilton, this is your bet. On the other hand, if you’d rather not have daily mints on your pillow and squeaky room service ladies knocking down your door, head inland a few blocks to Water St. You’re bound to find classy, single apartments for around here for $600/month if you look hard enough.
Six Points names an intersection southwest of Downtown with not a few cute eateries and commercial ventures. Rent here is average for the rest of non-Downtown CC: $350-450/month for a single, up to $1100/month for a 3BR/1BA.
South Side is a bit upscale, as it brings one close to the beach again (though further from the bustle of Ocean Dr.). If you have a large amount of money to drop on an incredibly nice, big place, the South Side is your place to do it. Thankfully, though the houses are big, spacious, and come with a ton of land in tow, you can still find some apartments that are relatively inexpensive. This place is known as “Uptown,” and it definitely is a good descriptor of the kind of living you’ll be seeing around here. Between Ayers and Ocean drive is where you’ll find the most some great proximity to popular shopping areas, uncongested roads, and some excellent tree-lined streets. A decent price for a 1/1 in this area is $450/month. Expect up to $630/month for newer, more spacious units.
Flour Bluff sits on the other side of Oso Bay. It’s probably the least suburban-feeling suburban area (which, in Texas, isn’t saying much, right?). Mostly folks associated in one way or another with the naval base live here. It’s a neat halfway point between the culture of Ocean Dr. and the nature of Padre Island, with all the necessary amenities at one’s disposal. Lots of homes and duplexes here, but one can also find a sizable 1BR/1BA for $500/month or under (utilities included).
Southern coastal cities, like Corpus Christi, are unfortunately pretty prone to storms. When we say storms, we mean big, windy, destructive hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. When signing a lease, make sure you have wind insurance, it’s essentially a must considering the weather patterns. A general rule to keep in mind is that the closer you get to the coast, the more risk you’re taking when it comes to hurricanes and flooding. If you settle further inland, the chance of getting hit by a watery cyclone is severely lowered. The low bays surrounding Flour Bluff and Portland offer some good protection against the elements, but nothing is certain. Be sure you have one of those nifty tornado emergency kits handy if stuff starts hitting the fan.
Alright, dudes and dudettes, by now you’re well equipped for your CC apartment seeking adventure. Do you feel lucky? Well, you oughtta. Now bust out your kite board and hit the Bay!