6 Essential Off-Campus Housing Search Tips For Students

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So you’ve decided to live off-campus and gain some independence. Living off-campus has the potential to be very liberating but it can also help you gain some great experience. However, before your new life really begins you’ll need to search for that ideal place.
Searching for somewhere new to live may seem quite daunting, however, the tips you can find below will help.

Choose Who You’re Going to Live With

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Unless you’re planning to live on your own, you’ll need to choose who you’re going to live with. Before you sign on that dotted line, everyone will have to agree to pay their share of the bills. The person or people that you’re going to live with will need to afford to pay for food, rent, amenities, utilities, and any other costs. They will also need to agree to the house rules and get along with everyone.

While living with your best friend might seem like a good idea, there are other people you can consider. Ask around and see if you can find someone who is also looking for a place to stay. Get to know this person and don’t be afraid to ask them about their:

  • Finances
  • Social life
  • Work schedule
  • Health issues
  • Smoking and drinking habits

You will also need to speak to them about how you’re going to share the 2-bed apartment, for example. Do they want the largest bedroom possible or are they happy with anything? Does the apartment need a private parking space or are they happy to travel by train to college?

When you know their preferences you’ll know what kind of apartment to look for at websites such as Bloomsburgstudenthousing.com.

Know What You’re Looking For

What type of housing are you looking for? Do you want a 1-bed apartment or a 3-bed house? Would you like to live close to the college/university or on the other side of town? Would you be happy with student-oriented housing or are you looking for something else? Would you be happy to live in a house full of 5 or 6 other students?

Some people don’t mind what type of off-campus housing they have, whereas others know exactly what they’re looking for. Consider what you want and start searching today.

Consider The Finances a Little More

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Knowing what you will need to pay is crucial if you want to find off-campus housing. Being aware of what you’ll need to pay out will help you to determine where you can live.

  •  Security deposit: Most landlords will want a security deposit. This deposit is likely to be as much as your monthly rent. Your deposit covers the cost of any damage that you do to the house or apartment while you’re living there. If you don’t cause any damage you should get the deposit back when you move out.
  •  Pet fees: Some landlords will let you bring your pet but they might charge a fee. Please make sure you know whether you can bring your Chihuahua before you sign your lease.
    – Utilities: Some off-campus accommodation includes the cost of the utilities in the rent. However, this isn’t always the case. You will, therefore, need to consider how much you’ll need to pay for internet, power, cooling and heating, trash services, and anything else. You will be expected to pay for these each month.
  • Renters insurance: Most landlords insist that you take out renters insurance. This is insurance that covers you in case your property gets damaged or stolen. The good news is it tends to be quite cheap.
  • Parking costs: Do you need a place to park? Some apartment complexes charge a monthly fee, others don’t. If you need transportation you should make sure you always have a place to park. Assuming that you’ll find a spot is a mistake as you could end up parking more than a few blocks away. You might have to choose between paying to park and paying to travel on the bus or train.

Start Searching Now

The sooner you start searching for off-campus housing, the better. Don’t leave it until the last minute as you’re not guaranteed to get anything. The sooner you start searching the more choice you will have. In addition to this, you could even get the chance to turn down some apartments that aren’t quite right.

Consider How You’ll Get To College

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Before you snap up an apartment that seems ideal you’ll need to make sure you can get to college easily. It’s no good having an apartment on the other side of the city if you’re going to struggle to get to college. Consider how you’ll travel, will you walk, take the bus or train? How much is travel going to cost you? Will you have time to get to class first thing in the morning?

The best way to travel is on foot. It costs nothing and you won’t be stuck in the morning rush. Don’t forget you’ll need to get to college in all weathers, so you will need to take this into consideration.

Stay Safe

Let’s imagine that you’ve found an apartment you really like. It has all of the modern conveniences you need and it’s not too far from college. While it might seem like it has everything it needs, you should make sure that it’s a safe place to live. What is the building like? Do you have your own key to the building? Can you lock your bedroom? Do any of the locks on the doors and windows work?

Think about the neighborhood, what is it like? Is it quiet and safe at night? Is the entrance to your apartment lit up? Is there a security alarm that you can rely on? It’s well worth considering all of these factors. If you don’t feel completely safe, trust your instincts, and look elsewhere.

Use the above 6 tips to help you find the right off-campus accommodation. You never know, you might find something that’s just right.