So, you’re off to college or found a new job and looking for an apartment is high on your priority list. Where do you even start with the plethora of options at your disposal? Is it wise to choose the cheapest on the list? Is a roommate you don’t know a good idea or would you rather proceed on your own? These questions can be overwhelming for a beginner starting out on their journey to adulthood, but rest assured these are just a few stumbling blocks on the new life you’re crafting and you’re far from the only one searching. Below are the top five tips to finding campus housing or a general apartment, from day-to-day safety to signing your first lease.
You’re Not Alone!
Looking for an apartment is a rite of passage in the United States, as everyone will eventually have a new school to transfer to or a new job to start working at. Census data gathered in the year 2012 saw over 50,000 people living in college housing, with gender demographics firmly split half and half. The next year saw well over 14 million students enrolled in various undergraduate programs throughout the country, with the majority pursuing Bachelor’s and Associates degrees. Many people like you are trying to find a reasonable living situation to better help them get where they want to go in life.
Location, Location, Location
But where to actually live? A major part of looking for an apartment is finding a location that suits you. If you’re going to school you’ll want to be somewhere in the neighborhood, as it will save you both money and time commuting back and forth week after week. College student apartments are situated close to universities, as well as various stores and malls, so you’ll rarely be at a loss for both transport as well as day-to-day necessities like shopping. Some people, however, are less inclined to party culture and student life and prefer to have some distance between them and their studies. Do a little soul-searching and see what suits you best when looking for an apartment.
To Roommate Or Not To Roommate
Roommates can be a significant boon when you’re low on cash and living options. However, they don’t always work for everybody. One of the most common ways of finding student housing arrangements is scouring your university resources for easily accessible lists of potential roommates, double-checked and promoted by the college you’re attending, to better help you get your start. A roommate can provide you with a mutually beneficial partnership, splitting costs as well as exchanging responsibilities throughout the school year. However, some students still prefer to live alone off campus for more privacy and independence.
Give It A Once Over
All apartments look good on paper — that’s why you need to double-check! Before you moved into a new place, be it campus housing or an off-campus apartment, make sure all the appliances are in working order. Give a good, hard look for any water or mold damage, as they can cause both health issues (such as aggravating pre-existing conditions like asthma and allergies) as well as create potential bills in the future. It can also help to read reviews concerning the apartment company at large, to give you a better idea about how they treat their tenants and how up-to-date they are on repairs and safety regulations. A little goes a long way when finding a good apartment.
Last, But Certainly Not Lease
Not the funnest step, but definitely one of the most important — the final paperwork before moving in for a length of time. Make sure to look over your lease very carefully, as tempting as it may be to sign and be done with it, as there could be certain regulations you might not be aware of. Do you smoke? Do you have pets? Do you have a curfew? All these questions and more you need to be clear of before signing, as the last thing you want during the school week is to be scrutinized or even kicked out because of an oversight. Whether you have a roommate or prefer to live off-campus, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be just fine!