The Rental Protection Agency estimates that more than 2,600 people enter the rental market every day in search of a place to live. In fact, every 80 seconds, a new unit is rented.
That’s especially true if you’re a college student. A New York Times article from 2016 found that nearly 90% of college students live off campus. What’s more, it’s estimated by the Rental Protection Agency that people aged 15-34 represent more than 40% of renters in the United States.
If you’re a college student, there are plenty of benefits to living off campus and opting to live in apartments for students. Perhaps the biggest among these is the freedom that comes with living in apartments for students. For many college students, going away to school represents the first time he/she is on their own and with no one telling you what to do, you get to take charge of your life.
Other benefits of renting an off-campus apartment include:
- The chance to have real world experience. Again you’re on your own, living on your own and you get to make adult decisions.
- You can develop a rental history, which will help you once you graduate and might be looking to rent a place in a new city.
- Apartments for students are sometimes cheaper to rent than paying to stay in university housing.
- You’ll have more space to study, more peace and quiet and hopefully fewer distractions.
- You get your own bathroom and get to make your own meals.
Of course, there are also some things to be mindful of if you’re leaning toward living off campus and living in apartments for students:
- While it can be cheaper at times, living off-campus can be more expensive too, since you’ve got to pay for utilities, groceries, appliances, etc.
- Living off-campus means you have to do chores, including cleaning the bathroom and shopping for food.
- You’re away from campus, which likely means you’ll need to make sure you have a way to get to classes.
- If you sign a year-long lease, you’re likely going to have to find someone to sublet with you.
Still, if you’re looking into living in apartments for students or other off-campus housing options, it’s important to keep these tips in mind.
- Keep a budget: Many campuses across the country can be off the mark when estimating the cost of living off-campus. If you’re living off-campus, it’s very important to create a budget and stick to it since there’s a lot of new costs for college students living on their own. Not only do they have to pay rent, move-in fees, and utilities, but there’s also the costs of food, Internet/TV, laundry services and perhaps even parking. If a student has a pet and can find pet-friendly apartments, they’ll have to factor in any pet fees they incur when they move in as well as the cost of pet care.
- Do some research: Rental companies offer plenty of options when it comes to apartments for students and off-campus housing. But it’s important for students to wade through all the options and find the perfect living situation for their needs. When looking at apartments for students, consider the size of a place and make sure to do a walkthrough before signing off on anything. The last thing a student needs is surprises after they’ve already agreed to lease terms. Other things to keep in mind include the amenities a complex offers, location relative to campus and how long a lease is for.
- BYO: If you’re renting an apartment, it’s very beneficial to bring your own items from home. If you can bring appliances, furniture, and other apartment essentials, it’ll make things easier in the long run. Keep in mind the size of the apartment and if you live with roommates, try to avoid having duplicate items, especially appliances.
- Keep things fair If you’re living with roommates, keep things fair. Split bills, share the apartment space and be respectful. It’s going to be a nightmare if you don’t.
Renting an off-campus apartment comes with plenty of benefits, but you want to be sure to take time to create a budget and consider your options. For University of Delaware students, Lang Development Group can help you find the perfect off-campus housing opportunity.