Students living off-campus gain life experience they wouldn’t get if they stayed in dorms. Head off-campus and gain more independence.
If you want to leave the dorm but don’t know where to find off-campus housing, we can help. In this guide, we’ll go over how to find a college apartment.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Choose a Roommate
Before you begin your search, consider if you will live alone, share a place with a few people, or have one roommate. Sharing a home with someone will cut down on costs.
If you do move in with others, make sure you’re all on the same page about your budget. Consider living with a close friend, or look online to find someone.
Learn about the other person’s smoking and drinking habits and work schedules. Talk about how you will share household items and spaces. Ask your new roommate if they would like to share groceries or buy their own.
What’s Your Budget?
In a lot of cases, off-campus housing will come out of your or your parent’s pockets.
You’ll want to know what you can afford to pay before you begin dreaming about finding an apartment. The cost of your off-campus housing shouldn’t be more than 30 percent of your income.
A lot of apartments will charge a deposit. You might need to pay the first and last month’s rent along with your moving expenses.
Utilities are sometimes included in the rent bill but sometimes aren’t.
Utilities will include things like the internet, water, electricity, trash services, and heating. Add these to your costs per month.
Do you or your roommate have a pet? You may need to pay an extra fee for your pet. Find out what the policies are when you call the apartment management company.
Start Searching for Places Right Away
Don’t wait until a month before school starts to find a place off-campus.
You will need to give yourself a couple of months. The rental market for students is quite competitive. Start searching a few months early so you can find the right spot.
If you’re moving in with someone, make sure you meet a few times to look for places together.
Consider a Furnished Apartment
Getting a new apartment and buying new appliances and furniture is too expensive.
Some off-campus housing and student housing units will come fully furnished. You won’t have to worry about kitchen supplies, decor, or bedding.
If you’re looking for a fully furnished room, you could find a place where the bathroom, kitchen, and common area are shared.
You don’t have to leave behind communal living when you head off-campus.
A co-living space means you’ll have access to an environment with high-speed internet. You’ll have a community of students, artists, and professionals to meet.
You’ll also end up sharing common spaces and resources. Co-living areas are popular and available in bigger cities. Most options will combine utilities and housing-related bills in one payment each month.
During the pandemic, these spaces boosted their cleaning and health measures. Specific co-living spaces will ban or limit outside guests.
Some spaces will hire daily maid services and increase the frequency of cleaning. If you’re concerned about this, make sure you ask the property manager.
Consider a Hotel
As a student, you might wonder how staying at a hotel long-term could be an option. Yet, some hotels will offer extended stays. You can live in a furnished private room that has internet, a kitchen, and cleaning services.
Rooms will often have a discounted monthly rate. If you commit to staying for an extended period, you can negotiate a better rate.
If you want quiet and private housing without community distractions, consider this option.
What About the Commute?
Before you choose a place, you’ll want to consider the commute. Can you still walk to your class or the library?
If you need to drive there, will you have access to a vehicle? You’ll need to consider any costs related to parking on campus.
If you need to take night classes, you will need to prepare for traveling in the dark. Does the city or town have reliable public transportation? A lot of people will bike to class.
Make sure you budget if you can afford to pay for car insurance or a monthly metro pass. Consider how you’ll get to and from classes when searching for an apartment.
Before you sign a lease, you’ll finally want to consider the different safety factors. Does your apartment building have security?
How will tenants enter and exit the building? If you feel more comfortable with security, look for an apartment with a reputable team.
Next, you’ll want to think about the community. Is the neighborhood safe? Ask people who know the town or city if they would recommend the area.
Are There Amenities?
When moving off-campus, you will need to make sure you have access to a laundry facility. Some people want a space where they can work out.
A lot of college students love dorm life because everything is near where they study. Start searching for off campus housing now.
Now You Know How to Find Excellent Off-Campus Housing
We hope this guide on college housing was helpful. When you look for off-campus housing, consider the neighborhood, your budget, and amenities. Give yourself a few months to find the perfect spot.
Do you want some more tips? Check out our resources on health, fitness, and more.