Apartments in Dallas – Estimating your Utility Bills

When you are looking for apartments in Dallas be sure to remember the extra costs that can really add up. As a rule of thumb, utilities(including cable) will be approximately 25% of your rent amount in the north Texas area. In the Dallas/Ft dallas-apartments-utility-invoice2Worth metroplex, the vast majority of apartment communities do not pay for utilities. In fact, only around 3% of all properties are considered “all bills paid.” Another 3% of Dallas apartments offer “commercial electric,” a hybrid situation, in which the property purchases electricity at a commercial rate, receives a volume discount, then bills you each month at a discounted rate. Other Dallas apartment communities may or may not provide cable, water or trash collection. Whichever the case, before you sign on the dotted line, know which utilities you’ll be responsible for and approximately how much you’ll be spending each month. This will help you make a well informed “apples to apples” comparison between apartment communities and will save you regret in the long run.

Comparing Electricity Prices & Plans

In 2002, Texas deregulated the electric companies. As a result, you have an unlimited number of electric companies from which to choose. Whether we’re all receiving a better rate now is open to debate. Some of the larger local providers include Reliant Energy and TXU Energy. The prices and plans vary widely depending on your personal usage(the plans tend to reward more usage), so trying to calculate your monthly electric bill will be difficult. One piece of advice. When you visit the property, ask the property manager what the average electric bill is for a unit in the size you’re interested and also inquire about which electric company provided electricity to the previous resident. You can contact that electric provider and they can give you the exact amount of electricity usage for that exact unit over the past year. Take the average of the electric company and property manager’s estimate for all units that size and you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect.

Remember, especially if you’re new to the Dallas area, that summers are hot and your air conditioner will be running constantly. The properties hot water heater and main heater, especially in the newer complexes, may also be electric. In addition, many properties aren’t built with the same level of insulation or the insulating windows of a custom home.  So you can see why your utility costs are an important consideration for apartments in Dallas. A little homework researching electricity plans now will save you a lot of money down the road. A few more tips, an apartment with windows facing west can be brutal when the evening sun is coming through in the summer, top floor units at older properties can be tough to keep cool, and really high(the 20 ft variety) ceiling may look great, but in an apartment they’re also difficult to keep cool.

Know Before You Go

As mentioned previously, one of the most important aspects of your utility budget will be knowing which bills you’ll be responsible for paying. Big D Apartment Locators collects utility information for Plano apartments, Las Colinas Apartments, North Dallas apartments and everywhere else in the metroplex. Just email your apartment locator with your needs and they will run the apartment search specific to your utility needs.

Credit Problems and the Utilities

Credit problems with the utility companies have become an enormous problem for many people in the past few years. Most credit issues with utilities can be overcome with a large deposit, a co-signer or guarantor to the providing company.