Ah, for some of you, this is the moment that you have been waiting for 18 years. Some waiting with great anticipation and others with great dread. As your college student gets ready to leave the nest, it’s important that the thought of the actual housing residence doesn’t get left by the wayside. Will they be living on campus or off? Let’s look at 7 tips which will help them and you find the perfect college housing.
- Start looking early.
You’re not the only student starting college this semester, which means there are plenty of people looking for housing too! It’s best to start looking as early as you can, that way you get more choice and best pick too. You can find the best places by picking up community newspapers or local advertising magazines, as well as looking out for “for rent” signs around close neighborhoods.
- Don’t pick the first apartment you see!
Every apartment is different, so it’s best to weigh in your pros and cons with each one you see. Find a few that fit your price range and have a close inspection of each one, taking notes as you go. One may be closer to college, but in a loud neighborhood, or you may see one that’s in a great neighborhood but a little too pricey. Don’t rush things just to be ahead of the game.
- Be ready to leave a deposit.
The competition is strong for student housing, so even though you should be scouting more than just one place, make sure you have enough for a deposit just in case you stumble upon a miracle place you need to snatch up before anyone else! It’s also a good idea to bring along a co-signer with you, as most landlords will require someone with a good credit history before letting you place a deposit.
- Read the lease carefully before committing!
This is an absolute must! Always read the lease carefully and thoroughly before signing anything. It should include important information such as when the rent is due, penalties for late rent and who you should contact for help with maintenance issues. It may also include if pets are allowed and subletting, which may be a big problem if you were hoping for roommates to help with the rent!
- House sharing.
It’s always great to plan ahead, making sure you know your monthly budget for everything you may need. This will include food, travel expenses, books and supplies for school and of course rent. If you’re worried about a steady income, whether it is a student loan, parents, or a job, maybe it would be a good idea to house share with friends or find a roommate. This could split your rent in half, or possibly more! Helping you save, or have more money for those little treats and luxuries.
- Inspect closely!
Make sure to inspect every apartment you see closely, making a list for each one. Include things like whether or not it includes any utilities, such as a stove or refrigerator, or if pets are allowed. There’s no harm in asking plenty of questions about plumbing, electrics, noise levels, anything you can think that may affect you living there. You can then compare each place, weighing in your pros and cons.
If you can, try and find the most convenient apartment possible. If you drive, it makes it a lot easier for you to get around, although if you don’t drive then an apartment closest to the college and a store would be great! If that fails, having a place close to a bus route would be super handy. Even if you do drive, if you’re lucky enough to find an apartment within walking or cycling distance to the everyday places you visit, then why not leave the car at home and save on insurance, maintenance, parking and gas!
There you have them, 7 tips that can make the whole college housing experience go much smoother. We had friends that had a daughter looking for college housing and found some great weber state university housing at Harrison Heights Apartments. They found it to be much more advantageous for their daughter to live off-campus than on. Need a little more information or housing listings? Check out www.studenthousing.org to see a great index of college/student housing that currently available in your area. It’s up to you to determine which kind of housing will work best with the tips above in mind!