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Austin rent comparison: what $800/month gets you

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a column that explores what one can rent for a set dollar amount in various Austin neighborhoods. Is one person's studio another person's townhouse? Let's find out! Today's price: $800.

Rental rates in Austin have been dropping (slightly, slowly)—especially when one looks beyond the most popular central city neighborhoods.

There are plenty of homes to be found in this week’s range. And while few are luxurious, most are serviceable, clean, workaday places in good shape, with the essentials for middle class living and little interest in ostentatious display.

We start in the West University neighborhood, which is not unexpected. Hugging the west edge of the University of Texas campus, the area offers a mix of historic homes with rich heritages along with types of rentals suited (and priced) for college students.

One of the latter, a small one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in is in a sweet spot halfway between the Drag (as the section of Guadalupe that passes the university is called) and Pease Park, a green area just west of North Lamar.

1907 Robbins Place Apt. 105, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, $799/month. There’s no square footage given in this West Campus listing, but rest assured, it’s not grand. Still, it looks serviceable, and cats and small dogs are allowed.

Villages at Ben White, Unit A floor plan, 7000 East Ben White Boulevard, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, $801/month. Student living not your style? How about this 55+ senior community, which we imagine to be both different and kind of the same. This Montopolis complex offers a furnished clubhouse, business center, and exercise center, as well as the usual amenities at location that looks promising for growth.

7004-1/3 Twincrest, one-bedroom, bathroom unit in a house, $800/month. Another burgeoning student center—this one around the Austin Community College’s newest campus, created out of the repurposed Highland Mall (and therefor located in the neighborhood now known as Highland)—holds deep promise for affordable central housing. This looks like a single-family home that has been divided and offers a variety of options depending on size of the rental party.

2606 Ektom Drive, Apt. 5, studio with one bathroom, 432 square feet, $795/month. This Sunset Valley cutie is in a six-plex, which to us sounds like ready-made community (and barbecues!). Cats and small dogs are okay.

Mueller Flats, 1701 Clayton Lane, one bedroom, one bathroom, 504 square feet, $807/month. For our final Curbed Comparison this week, let’s go to Mueller; why not? Laundry is shared, and small dogs are tolerated/accepted. Nice design goes without saying. What else do you need for comfy, clever infill?