Moving off-campus is an exciting experience for every student. It is the first taste of true independence. However, the task can be challenging for someone who is moving out for the first time. Therefore, before committing to an off-campus house, these seven things should be considered:
- Get Referrals
With the right contacts, it can be easy to get your hands on a good apartment. Sometimes, even your school will have resources. You can get the contacts of approved landlords, property management groups and also a list of places rented by students previously. It is also smart to talk to students that are graduating. If they are moving out, their apartment could be an option for you. This is a reliable method because you can get a first-hand glance into what the apartment is like.
Choosing the right neighborhood is the most crucial part of renting an off-campus apartment. A good location should have easy access to public transportation and be an optimal distance from the campus. Long walking distances should be minimized so that the weather does not alter your daily activities. It is important to see how close shopping centers are to you if you do not have a car so you can still easily get your groceries. The most important of them all is the safety of the neighborhood. There are many resources on the internet that will give you all of this information.
- Lease terms
If you think you have found the right house in the right locality at the correct price, do not rush to sign your papers. Here are the things to keep in mind:
- Don’t skim your lease, read it fully.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something.
- Provide the names of your roommates on the lease terms to avoid unnecessary problems later.
- Inquiry with the Landlord
Make sure the conversation with the landlord and any real estate agent, is direct and straightforward. Some owners may demand you to get renters’ insurance. It protects you against situations like theft, accidental damage, etc. It is not that expensive and can save you from losing out on a lot of money. If you have a pet, make sure you ask not only if it is allowed but if you will have an added charge per month. Also be sure to ask about amenities, rent, and safety provisions. Make sure you are clear about the facilities that will be provided to you as well as a clear understanding of the price of rent. It is important to collect a receipt for every payment that you make.
- Inspection of the Property
Do not sign the lease for the house without checking everything. The most important things to check are if the locks work, as well as the heating and cooling systems if that is an amenity you are paying for. A few things to scrutinize are the parking and laundry situation. Do you have to park a mile away and walk up 10 flights to do your laundry?
Choosing correct roommates is very crucial. There is a lot of added stress to students that do not live with compatible roommates. If you are planning to move in with a friend, make sure that conditions are clearly laid out and you both are comfortable living together. Some friendships can turn toxic if living situations are not well planned. If an issue occurs and a roommate leaves, you could be at fault to pay their rent. Make sure you fill in their names on the lease terms and tenant form so that you do not end up having to pay the entire rent yourself.
- Moving and Decorating
Moving is a tiring task. You are going to need some extra hands to make sure everything goes smoothly. Ask your friends and family for some help, or there is always the option of a moving company.
Apartments can sometimes be a tighter squeeze than the dorm. You may have to donate some items so that everything fits into your room. Most schools have spots where you can bring old furniture for other students to use.
Finding the perfect off-campus apartment might not be easy, but these tips will help the process go a lot smoother.