College life can be pretty demanding. From signing up for the right courses and attending classes to working part-time and maintaining a decent GPA, a college student has a lot on their plate. Add apartment hunting to the mix, and you might find yourself on the verge of a meltdown, because finding a decent accommodation that suits one’s lifestyle and is easy on the pocket is no easier said than done.
To save you from the stress of apartment hunting while in school, we have some advice to make the process much easier for you. Here is a list of apartment renting advice for college students.
Make a List Of Your Needs/Priorities
Just because you are short on money doesn’t mean you have to settle on any housing option that comes with a smaller price tag, even if it doesn’t match your requirements. With sufficient forethought and planning, you can find a suitable property to rent out that will tick all your boxes without breaking the bank. That said, you might have to compromise on a thing or two, but that’s far better than renting a jerry-built property to save money.
So, the first thing we need you to do when looking for a place to stay is to list all items you hope to find in your college home. But be reasonable! Don’t go around wishing for a palatial villa with an in-house pool and gym. Things like distance from your campus, the population density in the area, proximity to subway stations, etc., should be on your index of priorities.
Visit All Potential Neighborhoods
Let’s say you want a quiet neighborhood so that you can study peacefully when home. To ensure that your rental’s locality is not too busy, you should visit all potential communities before signing a contract. Don’t take anyone’s word for it; check for yourself if a district is for you or not. While you’re at it, see if the place/area you’re considering is close to major roads and stations.
Ask Around To Get an Idea of the Residents
Many times some neighborhoods can be a little unwelcoming or rather not suitable for youngsters for any number of reasons.
For instance, a community of young families may not be too thrilled with the idea of sharing their street with a college student because they might think that loud parties are bound to accompany a college tenant. And generally, with parties come alcohol and drugs, which is not the most decent exposure for young kids. Long story short, before moving to a place, look into the population already residing in the area. Make sure that the area is compatible with your lifestyle.
Make a Detailed Budget
Making a well-thought-out budget with all possible expenses is pivotal when apartment hunting. Just considering the rent isn’t enough to make a rental decision because once you start living, you’ll realize that there are many more expenditures that you didn’t think about at the time of contract signing. This means you might find yourself in a financial crunch only a few months down the line. So be sure to account for all the expected and unlikely costs after you move into your new place. These include bus/train fares, utilities, groceries, rent, furniture, repair costs, and contingencies, among others.
Once you have a complete budget before yourself, you can better judge if a house is a good renting choice for you or if you should look for something cheaper. Such thorough planning might seem redundant at the time of apartment hunting, but trust us when we tell you that it will save you from some serious, future money troubles.
You don’t know it now, but you will be thanking us!
Look For Furnished Listings
Decent furnished properties are hard to come by, but if you are successful in finding one, it can make life much more convenient for you.
When in college, you never know if you’ll stay in the same state after graduating. You might get a job in some other state, and then you’ll have to move. In such a scenario, if you have a furnished house, you wouldn’t have to worry about transferring everything with you. You can just pack your belongings and be on your way. Once there, you can set up a life for yourself as you like.
Therefore, consider renting a furnished condo/apartment for your college days. If a bigger, fully furnished property is more expensive, consider choosing a smaller one for hassle-free relocation later.
Chart Out Your Future Activities
As a college student, knowing where you’d be in the coming months is possible because till the semester ends, you’ll have to be in school, and after that, you might go home for holidays. Long story short, when in school, you have a fair idea, if not crystal clear, of what you’ll be doing in the following few months. This means you can chalk out a calendar for yourself and use it to find accommodation that’ll help you with your plans.
For instance, let’s say you plan to study in the library for most of the semester; you’d want to live close by so that you can commute easily. Or, if you will be working a job, you might want to find a place close to your workplace. So, to avoid making any errors when choosing an off-campus accommodation, consider your plans for the semester, if not the year.
Choose the Right Lease
Let’s say you find a place and you absolutely love it, but even then, don’t sign too long a lease for it because you never know how you actually like the condo/apartment once you start living. Besides, you never know you might go to some other country for a semester in an exchange program, in which case a long-term lease would keep pulling your money even though the house is empty.
Therefore, be sure the rent deal you sign has reasonable conditions and doesn’t stay valid for too long.
Don’t make your already harrowing college life more distressing by not making the right apartment renting choice. Use our apartment renting advice for college students to ensure you find the best listing for yourself.
If you’re looking for more renter-relevant content, check out our other informative blog posts here.