The Downtown Dallas Guide to Finding an Apartment

Located in the geographic center of the city, Downtown Dallas is undergoing an epic revitalization, making it a prime location to consider for apartment living. Here are some tips for finding the perfect apartment for you in the area.

Downtown Dallas is undergoing an epic revitalization, making it a prime location to consider for apartment living. Located in the geographic center of the city, downtown Dallas is also nestled among a series of highways in the area (Interstate 345, Interstate 30, Interstate 35E, and Woodall Rogers Freeway), making it easily accessible. Since 2007, the city of Dallas has worked to improve the downtown environment and create an area that is pedestrian-safe, green, diverse, and appealing to residents and visitors from around the world.

With the 2012 completion of Klyde Warren Park (a five-acre deck park that connects Uptown and downtown Dallas and the Dallas Arts District), as well as the completion of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, now is a great time to live in downtown Dallas. Here are some tips to make your apartment search more successful.

Know Your Budget

Downtown apartments are available in a wide range of rental prices, from $500 a month for a small efficiency to the $4,800-a-month-plus penthouse with a Dallas skyline view. Knowing what your price range is will help you determine what amenities and location you can afford. Financial expert (and US senator) Elizabeth Warren recommends following the 50/20/30 budget plan, which allows you to budget 50 percent of your after-tax income for all necessary expenses. This should help you determine what you can afford for rent each month.

If you’re new to renting and it’s feasible to do so, it’s a good idea to save up by setting aside an amount equivalent to your monthly rent for five or six months before you move into your first apartment. Not only does this help you get used to the expense, it also makes a nice nest egg. Don’t forget to plan for those initial one-time moving expenses.

Research the Area You Want to Live In

When starting your apartment search, research the downtown neighborhoods and attractions while keeping your priorities in mind. Do you want to be close to work or school? What about cultural activities like art and music? Transportation is an important consideration. Dallas offers robust options through the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, which uses a mixture of rail, bus, and trolley — and if you do want to go the public transportation route, think about how your apartment location would affect your commute. What about apartment amenities? As with everything else in downtown Dallas, available apartment amenities are numerous. Create a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and optional features to help focus your search.

Look at What’s New

Downtown Dallas has undergone massive changes over the last few years, including new developments in Victory Park and the Trinity River Corridor. Here’s what apartment-seekers should know about these two key locations.

  • Victory Park: This planned urban community boasts more than 1,000 residences, as well as office buildings, retail spaces, and restaurants. It’s also home to such attractions as the American Airlines Center and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
  • Trinity River Corridor: Dallas’ largest public works project focuses on flood control and other environmental initiatives, recreation sites, improved transportation, and economic development. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Trinity River Audubon Center have already been completed, and many other Trinity River Corridor developments are currently underway — including the Margaret McDermott Bridge (part of the Horseshoe Project), which will create pedestrian and bicycle access for the downtown area.

Image Source: Flickr/Robert Hensley