The transition from living on campus to finding off campus housing is fun time that allows students to slowly take on more responsibility and learn some life skills for living successfully on their own. If you are moving into off campus apartments, you should talk to a landlord and make sure everything you need is in the rental. If it’s the first time you’re finding student housing, it can be hard to know what to ask for and what to look for in a place to live.
Apartment search engines conveniently list all of the available spots in one place. This is a great place to start, because you should browse several apartment search engines to compare prices and see what your options are. You can find roommates and look at pictures of the rentals, and if you’re interested you can schedule a visit. Here are a few things to look for in student housing programs.
1. Proximity to campus
It’s good to find a place that’s walking distance from your campus, because even if you have a car you might not always feel like driving.
2. Reasonable price
You should compare the cost of the apartment you’re interested in to other similar spots in the area, and if the price is too high try negotiating with the landlord.
3. Good appliances
You want to make sure there are working appliances and there aren’t any issues with the fridge or stove. If you have a dishwasher, that’s a bonus, and you should check to make sure everything works before moving in to protect yourself against charges when you leave.
4. Safe neighborhood
Check the crime statistics and also ask your friends who live off campus — is this generally a safe place to live? Are there lots of college students around? Safety is a top concern for college housing so make sure you get some information about the best locations.
5. Cost of utilities
Even if the cost of rent is low, don’t forget about utilities. The cost of things like heating, electricity, internet, and water can be anywhere from 15% to 25% of your rent, so remember to ask about the average cost of these services.
Make sure there’s a place to park your car nearby if you own a vehicle, because it can be inconvenient to walk a long way for parking.
7. Length of lease
Usually the lease is one year, but some locations rent by the semester or academic year, so read the lease closely.
8. Rules for pets
If you have a furry friend you’d like to bring along, make sure this is allowed in your lease agreement.
9. On-site laundry
This is one of the nicest conveniences of living in an apartment, so try to find a place that offers laundry services on site.
10. Security systems
You should make sure there is a working lock on your door, as well as a chain lock to protect yourself further.
Do you have any tips on how to navigate apartment search engines and find the best deals? What are some things a student should look for in their first apartment? If you have any advice, please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Research more like this.