Off campus housing comes with a lot of benefits you can’t have living in a dorm room. However, you’re taking on the added challenge of trying to find a decent place to live before the semester starts. Most college towns either have apartment complexes intended for students or single apartments in town meant for student rental. Finding places to rent shouldn’t be difficult. Narrowing down which apartment will be best for you poses more difficulty. Before you learn how to choose a college apartment, you’ll need to determine if off campus housing is right for you.
Benefits of Off Campus Housing
- Learning responsibility for things like paying bills on time, keeping a place clean and in good condition, and preparing your own meals.
- More privacy. Even if you have roommates, it will be nothing compared to living on a hall with 20+ other people.
- You don’t need to find a place to stay for summer courses.
- Build rental history. It will be much easier to rent an apartment after college.
- Continue renting the same apartment until graduation, rather than moving in and out of a different place each year.
Downsides of Off Campus Housing
- No Resident Assistants to assist with normal college issues or questions.
- It may take a bit longer to get in touch with a landlord as opposed to a contact at campus housing.
- You might end up with a 12 month lease even if you’re going back to your parents or elsewhere for the summer.
- Depending on the distance from campus, it might be more difficult to take part in campus activities.
- It will take longer to get home rather than if you lived on campus.
If off campus housing seems like the best decision for you, there are three details to consider when figuring out how to choose a college apartment.
How to Choose a College Apartment
To determine the best location for your apartment, consider your own circumstances/situation first. Do you want to be able to walk to campus? If you have a part time job, how far is it from campus? Do you have a car that could get you to both classes and work? Can you utilize public transportation?
Even if you have a vehicle, you may still want to live within walking distance of campus. Driving to classes means you’d need a parking permit, and they can cost roughly $500 for a year. But the closer to campus, the higher the rent, so it may end up evening out.
The word “utilities” is not defined equally by every landlord. For some, it means it includes heating, trash removal, and water. For most, it may just mean one of those things. Make a list of each separate cost and calculate the average monthly payment for each. Do the math to make sure the apartment you’re looking at is still within your budget.
If you’re living by yourself, you solely are responsible for payments, along with any co-signer you may have. But if you’re living with roommates, you’ll be presented with one of two kinds of leases.
Individual Lease: Every roommate signs their own lease and is responsible for their portion of rent.
With this kind of lease, you’re not responsible for your roommate when they’re late on rent or decide to break lease. However, each share of rent is usually a little more expensive than if you all signed a lease together. This is because the landlord has more to lose with this type of lease. The extra cost gives much more security to you.
Joint Lease: Every roommate signs one lease together. You and you roommates manage splitting and paying rent.
This kind of lease tends to be cheaper than an individual lease, but if you have a roommate who decides to break lease or not pay rent, you’ll be responsible for that. And if you decide not to pay your roommates share, that will cause damage to your credit and financial history for years, even though you didn’t do anything wrong.
Once you’ve determined the best college apartment for you, you may want to utilize a moving company to make your move much less stressful. We at Moving U & Junk U believe we’re the movers for you. We provide packing, moving, and junk removal services. Whatever you need help with, we’ll tailor our services to meet your needs. Looking for us to only move the bulky items to your new home? We can do that. Are you interested in a hands off, full service packing and move? We can do that too. Our professionally trained, friendly movers are here to make your life easier on moving day so you can focus on a fresh, well rested start to your semester.
To get your free estimate for packing, moving, or junk removal, give us a call or text at 484-301-2442 or email us at email@example.com.