Contrary to traditional college life, more and more students decide to live away from their University campuses than before. It helps to build independence more than living on campus, and they do not have to abide by University housing rules. For example, students attending a dry campus can have alcohol in their off campus apartments while they would not be able to in on campus dorms. In fact, a New York Times article put the percentage of students living off campus at 87%. Also, 40.6% of renters in the U.S. are from ages 15-34. If you are looking to live off campus at your university, attached is a list of things to look for (Once you know the rent, security deposit, and what you can afford):
It cannot be overstated how important this one is. One of the first things that you should consider is how much parking is available. Is there off-street parking? Is there a garage provided, or does it cost extra? Will you have to park on the street? How secure is the parking lot (If the neighborhood is not the greatest)? Is there a parking garage nearby, and how much does that cost? You should call the property management company ahead of time to get the answers to these questions. The answers to these questions could help eliminate some of your options right away. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with an apartment, save parking questions for last, and end up stuck parking a block away every day. Remember to check parking first before even going into the apartment.
2. Proximity To The School
This might seem like a given, but it is also a give and take. While most student rental units are very close to the University, your budget, parking, and other factors might make finding an apartment adjacent to your University hard to do. If you cannot find an adjacent unit, you should find off campus housing options that have access to an expressway or other highway that will get you to the University.
This one is not quite as important, but, especially if there are roommates, you may be able to afford student rentals with nice amenities. Is there a pool or hot tub? Do you have a pet? What is the square footage? Is there storage offered? Is there a washer and dryer in the unit, or is it shared (Does it cost money?)? Is there a garbage disposal? These are all questions that you should have answered before signing the lease for any off campus housing options.
Some apartment complexes cover certain utilities making the rent more affordable. Research these questions: Do I have to pay for water? What about gas, internet, electricity, garbage disposal, snow removal (For rental houses)? These questions can be answered prior to your visit, and you can focus on finding the right space for you and your roommates, if you have them.
These and other questions that are on your mind should be answered before considering signing a lease for off campus housing options, so you can have a more fun and enlightening experience at University.