How do you want to live while you are at college? Are you the kind of person who wants to experience life on campus at all times or would you prefer a bit of peace and quiet when trying to study? If you want privacy and calm, you’d do well to consider an off-campus apartment.
Finding off-campus lodgings doesn’t have to be more expensive. In fact, it may even be cheaper in many cases! Here are some tips to help you find that perfect apartment for you:
1. Look Online
To begin your apartment hunt, take to the Internet and visit the following websites:
- Uloop – great for finding apartments in college towns specifically
- Craigslist – good for housing in general
- Rent – a simple, limited search site worth checking out
- College Rentals – more detailed, in-depth search for college students
Don’t forget to check out your university website as well. They’ll have a wide range of housing options available, both on and off the college campus.
2. Consider Budget and Location
It’s time to sit down and figure out how much you can afford for an apartment. How much can you realistically pay each month in rent and still have enough to live on? You don’t want to spend all of your money on your home, but you don’t want to live in squalor. You need to set a budget that is realistic and affordable, but still gives you options.
The closer you are to the college campus, the higher the monthly rent is likely to be. It’s not always the case, but it’s something to keep in mind as you are apartment-hunting. But remember, the farther you are from campus, the more you’ll spend on transportation (car, bus, train, etc.).
3. Roommate vs. Living Solo
Can you afford to live on your own? Even if you are attending college on a scholarship, do you really have enough to rent an apartment solo?
It may be worth looking into living with someone else while you are at college. Having roommates not only cuts the cost of living, but you may be able to share transportation and utility costs as well. Of course, you have to find the right person to live with, but it’s still an option to consider.
4. Make Sure it Has Everything You Need
You are going to need the following things:
- Hot water
- A stove for cooking
- Laundry facilities
- Access to public transportation
- Storage space for your stuff
- Door locks
- Proper wiring and plumbing
- Internet (you may need to pay for this yourself)
When viewing apartments, make sure to question the landlord about these things as they are vital to your life as a student.
5. Ask These Questions
All of these questions will help you to find the best apartment according to your wants and needs.
- Are there any other students living in the building?
- Are there any major renovations planned in the near future?
- What is the noise level like in the evening/at night/in the morning?
- Who covers the cost of repairs – me or you (apartment landlord)?
- Do I sign a yearly lease or is it a month-to-month contract?
Follow the advice above, and you’ll find an apartment where you can be comfortable and happy. You need your own space, and living off-campus is definitely a good way to ensure that you have what you need.
Got any tips on finding an epic off-campus apartment? Leave a comment below and share the wisdom…