Now that you are off to college you will have to live independently for the first time in your life. Finding a good place to live can either make or break your first year as a college student so it should be taken seriously.
Here are some things to think about before signing your next lease.
Dorms Are Not Always the Best Choice
If the school you’re going to doesn’t require students to live on campus their first year then you might want to consider looking for a place off-campus. Depending on where you’re going you might be able to find an apartment for a much better place. Calculate what would be the monthly cost of your perspective dorm room and check to see if there are any apartments in the area close to that price.
Some schools will have off-campus directories that you can use to look for apartments, but if they don’t you can still use websites like Apartments.com and Apartment Finder to look for possible housing locations.
Don’t Forget About Furnishings
Don’t forget that an apartment doesn’t always come with basic furnishings like a washer & dryer, air condition or even a fridge and stove! Always ask what amenities and furnishings come with the unit or else you might be in for a rude surprise when you move in and realise that you have nowhere to wash your clothes.
In addition to the basics, some college apartments come with all furnishings included. This means that the apartment comes with a couch, lighting fixtures, bed frames and even shower curtains. Depending on the cost this might be worth the investment. Don’t forget the one of the most exhausting days of the semester is move-in day.
If you don’t already have all your college furniture picked out take some time to look at some furnished apartments.
The Price Says A Lot About The Place
When you find a great apartment at an incredibly low price you might want to be careful. Low prices usually mean that there is some kind of catch. The price might not include hidden costs like parking, utilities, maintenance and other costs that can dramatically raise the price.
College housing isn’t just about finding the lowest price, but the “right price”. You don’t want to spend too much on your apartment since you will only be living there for a short time (most leases are a year), but you also want to make sure that it is a comfortable place to live so that you can have a place to relax after a long day of studying.
Location Matters More Than You Think
You might think that the apartments that are a bus ride away from the main campus are a great choice since the prices are so low, but you might soon regret this choice. Having an apartment that is close to campus isn’t just convenient it can be a great way to save money and reduce stress.
If you live close the campus you can go home for lunch and dinner instead of having to buy something from the restaurants on campus. Also if you want to spend a long night in the library you won’t be forced to leave early to catch the last bus if you have the option of walking home.
It’s not necessary to live right next the main campus, but housing that is within walking distance of your campus can make your college life much easier.