What to look for when picking your next college home or apartment
While getting ready to move into your first college home or apartment is an exciting time, there are several things to consider before making a final decision on where you’ll spend the next year.
Everyone’s list of priorities may be a bit different, so we’ve developed a list of important aspects college students should be on the lookout for when comparing housing options and making a final decision.
Rent and other fees
Rent is one of the biggest factors that goes into a college living situation. Depending on the leasing company, there are usually three types of rent plans for students – monthly, by semester, and the full year. Pick one of the three options that you think best fits your financial situation. It’s also important to look at what other fees are included on top of your rent. Often times, college housing will have application fees and security deposits that are required from students before move in day. Be sure to be on the lookout for special college student promotions and discounts in your college town, too.
Much like the rent situation – utilities usually differ from by leasing company, too. It’s important to find out which utilities are included and which ones you’ll be paying for yourself. Often times, the main utilities include gas, electricity, water, cable, and Internet. Be sure to factor in the pricing of utilities when planning out your financial situation so you don’t find yourself paying more than you can afford.
What type of lease are you signing?
Sticking with the common theme of this article – not all lease types are the same. Some leases are individual leases – meaning each student is responsible for just their portion, while other leases are joint leases. Both types of leases have their pros and cons, which we’ve listed below:
Pro: You are only responsible for your actions. If a roommate doesn’t pay or is late on rent, you aren’t affected. Con: These tend to cost a little bit more in terms of rent since the leasing company is taking on a bigger risk with all of the individual agreements.
Pro: These are cheaper than individual leases because the leasing company is getting in all tenants at one rate. Con: Everyone is in this together – if one person is holding up their end of the deal, everyone else has to figure out how to cover the cost until a resolution is met.
Each apartment or college house will offer different amenities to students, so be sure to do your research and find the situation you feel is the best value. Amenities that are often featured in college housing can include: washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave, fridge, air conditioning, covered parking, gym/fitness center, tanning, laundry, and more.
Whatever the parking situation may be at your next college house or apartment, it’s important to know what it is and what the rules and guidelines are. More importantly – learn what the guest parking policies are for when people visit so that you don’t find yourself with a parking violation.
Location and Transportation
It’s important to factor in the location of your new house or apartment, as well as the transportation options available in your area. If nightlife, shopping, and entertainment are important to you and your roommates – it’s better to live closer to these, although the price may be higher. If you’re okay with living a little further out from the hub of campus, be sure there are transportation options that are either local, included, or something you can set up so you’re able to get where you need to go.