Houston is the land of opportunity for young professionals, growing families, students, entrepreneurs, and retirees. Thousands flock here daily, and their positive experience propels the city to more growth and favorable public opinion. Known as Space City for its historical contributions to the United States space program, Houston is the country’s fourth-largest city, affording its population impressive job opportunities, low cost of living, zero income tax, and year-round warm weather. As in the rest of the country, though, Houston transplants may find affordable housing elusive and the search for it time-consuming, especially when there’s a need for speed.
What if you must find housing NOW?
Sometimes, the need to relocate comes as a surprise to everyone. Whether as an employment requirement or for more personal reasons, a sudden need to move can mean you have limited time to search for affordable housing. So, when time is short, what are your options?
Extended Stay—or PadSplit
Extended-stay hotels have some appeal. Facilities typically include basic amenities like utilities and for an additional fee, a kitchenette. They come furnished, so you can show up with just your luggage in hand and move in. There are often no contracts or long-term commitments. You pay; you move in. That convenience often comes at a substantial price, and not just monetarily. Tenants undergo little, if any, vetting. It’s often a roll of the dice whether neighbors are courteous and respectful.
When you need to move to Houston in a hurry, you have another option. PadSplit single-occupancy rooms have many of the advantages of extended-stay hotels, but with more flexibility and built-in security measures. PadSplit is serious about safety, so the occupancy of the homes is exclusively limited to members who have undergone background checks. Applicants must provide basic information such as name and email address to begin the approval process. To further ensure renter suitability, your PadSplit team uses your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to confirm employment and income.
After the approval process—sometimes within 24 hours—you can search for rooms for rent, secure your booking, and often move in within 48 hours.
Another advantage: When you’re accepted as a member, you’ll be able to select the room you want, in the house of your choice, based on availability. Unlike extended-stay arrangements, you’re in control. The rooms are tastefully furnished, and you can preview the lodgings online before you make your selection. Member Terry recalls how she was sold on PadSplit when she viewed her shared bathroom’s beautiful granite countertops. Because of PadSplit’s knowledge of Houston’s extensive sprawl, its rooms are close to major thoroughfares and public transportation hubs. Thanks to PadSplit, you have options to get where you need to be, including park-and-ride and Metro lines.
Crashing with roomies—or PadSplit
Of course, one of the quickest ways to find affordable housing is by moving in with acquaintances or family. But ask yourself if you’re ready to give up privacy and independence for the long haul? Adhering to someone else’s schedule and arbitrary house rules will probably curtail your freedom. Knowing what’s expected of you in the way of performing chores, paying for room and board, and contributing to insurance and other costs can get complicated. There’s also the matter of maintenance and upkeep. Who pays if the refrigerator goes on the blink? There are also legalities to observe. If your roomie rents, you should check the landlord’s rules for additional tenants and whether they are even allowed. Get it in writing—a signed lease can help pave the way to recourse if either party falls behind on their share of the rent because roommates, however well-vetted, may come up against unexpected hardships that put their share of rent and utility payments at risk. Have roommates sign an agreement stating that, should they leave mid-lease, they will pay the remaining rent and utilities for the entire term of the lease. However, even with such an agreement in place, collection is often difficult. It gets complicated.
Sound awkward? It is. If you’d rather avoid the tensions of rooming with friends or feeling obligated to family, explore the PadSplit affordable housing option. Members appreciate that not only does their all-inclusive rent payment cover a private furnished room and all utilities—including Wi-Fi—PadSplit builds terms into their rental agreement. There’s no ambiguity. And you’ll notice that as with many services, making a longer-term stay-commitment has the advantage of lowering your rates. The longer you stay, the better the rate. To increase your privacy and security, you’ll have a unique keypad code issued via email on move-in day. You and your Padmates are thoroughly vetted and approved, giving you peace of mind. If you run into an issue that needs immediate attention, there’s 24/7 customer service.
Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway—or PadSplit
Like thousands of Americans who seek safe and convenient move-in ready furnished rooms to rent in and around large cities like Atlanta, Tampa, and Houston each day, many are drawn to the ease and availability of vacation rentals. What could be better than having an entire house to yourself? Because owners supply items needed to set up housekeeping, from linens to cookware to cleaning supplies, moving in is as easy as showing up with clothing, toiletries, and food.
You’re likely to find that vacation rentals have their own disadvantages. When rents and fees aren’t shared with others, vacation rentals are costly. The privacy and homey atmosphere you enjoy come with a hefty price tag. Additionally, once you’ve settled into your accommodations, don’t get too comfortable. Vacation rentals are meant to be short-term, so it’s likely that owners have booked future occupants and will require your vacating, often without much warning. To add insult to injury, you’ll probably be responsible for paying a substantial cleaning fee when you leave.
You may also find it troublesome that while staying at a vacation rental you won’t have a permanent address. PadSplit member Wilford discovered while staying at an Airbnb that he did not have a mailing address to use as he applied for employment and later when he landed a job. All while high Airbnb rent payments ate away his savings. With PadSplit, Wilford has the permanent address he needs.
According to Forbes, PadSplit rooms go for 40% to 50% of the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in PadSplit’s markets, with no required minimum credit score or security deposit. Plus, homes are typically located near job centers and public transit. Forbes goes on to report that in addition to having an affordable place to live, residents save an average of $516 a month. That’s allowed many to build credit histories and move into their own apartments—some even save for a down payment on a house.
There’s another financial advantage—as PadSplit members bank savings from their once-a-week all-inclusive bill, PadSplit membership includes free credit reporting. PadSplit reports membership payments to help members build their credit histories and financial footprint. Through a partnership with Esusu, 95% of PadSplit members have seen an improvement in their credit scores. More than 2,700 members have established a credit score for the first time and 95% have seen an increase in their credit score.
PadSplit members also appreciate perks that include free access to Teladoc, a virtual health care company that allows them to talk to a doctor, therapist, or medical expert anywhere by phone or video. Once the free account is set up, there’s always an expert available to help. Check out the Member Perks page to explore Teladoc and other free and discounted benefits.
Moving to Houston? Save yourself time and hassle with PadSplit
As hospital systems, tech giants, oil companies, and other industries continue to hire at a rapid pace, millions are flocking to the city and now call Houston home. As you explore Houston’s affordable housing options, find more than a rental—find a place to call home.
Experience Houston with PadSplit.