10 Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for Student Housing

When you're looking for student housing, there are plenty of things to keep in mind to make sure you find a place that's right for you. Some things to consider include size, rent and location. We'll go over there and other aspects in this article.

first apartment house hunting tips

Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for Student Housing

Living on your own has become a rite of passage in our society. It's a sign that you are entering adulthood and becoming able to stand on your own two feet. Still, picking out that first place to live is pretty tricky. There are so many things to consider, and some of those things might not be common knowledge to all students. So, how do you go about finding out if an apartment is right for you? There are ten basic things to consider, and some might surprise you.

Size

Sometimes we like to believe that bigger is better. That's not always the case, though. When getting an apartment, consider how many people are going to be rooming with you, how many rooms there are and how that might make the cost higher. If you are living alone, you don't need four bedrooms and you probably couldn't afford them anyway.

Month-to-Month Rent

Month-to-month isn't such a good idea after college, because it means you can be out on your ear with only thirty days notice. In college, however, it's pretty much necessary. You won't be living there for a full year or six months if you're going home for the summer. So don't get trapped into paying for a full year and make sure the place offers month-to-month rent.

Location Near School

In order to save yourself a little more money, check to see how close your place is to the college. The closer it is, the less you have to spend on gas in the future. If it's further away, make sure it's near public transportation or a major freeway. Who knows? You might even be able to find something that's within walking or biking distance.

Amount of Rent

This is a no-brainer. Shop around the area and get an idea for how much you're likely to pay based on how big it is and how many perks the place has. Then, check to see how the place you want stacks up against others nearby. You'll be able to decide whether or not it's a good deal and might even find a better place while doing your research.

Age of Building

In places like California where you have earthquakes, this is particularly important. While older buildings may have a certain charm about them, they are also likely to have maintenance problems and can be easily damaged by natural disasters. They might seem cheaper as well, but that's only because they can be more dangerous to live in. If you do decide to live in an old place, make sure you get renters insurance.

Age of Residents

There are two ways to look at this. If everyone in your building is older or has young children, they might not want you having friends over late at night for movie parties. At the same time, if your building is full of college students, you might find yourself with no time or quiet to study. Either way, consider if your lifestyle will be nice to your neighbors and if your neighbors' lifestyles will be nice to you.

Noise Level

Noise inside the building shouldn't be your only concern. There's noise outside the building, too. If you're near a building under construction, that could make your place noisy for the entire year. If you're next to a freeway, you could have issues sleeping at night. Decide for yourself what noise level is acceptable, and take it into account while looking.

Included Utilities

Something huge to ask your potential landlord is what utilities are included in the rent. If water, electricity, garbage and other necessities are not included in the rent, then it might not be a good deal regardless of how low the price seems. Students use quite a bit of power, and extra bills can add up. Ask about washing machines, cable and anything else you might want in your apartment to see if it's included.

Furnished or Unfurnished

This has upsides on both options, but it's definitely something you should consider. Getting an apartment that is already furnished means that you don't have to spend money on your own stuff and don't have to move it out at the end of the year. On the other hand, students are messy, and staining furniture means you don't get your deposit back when you move out. It's all up to you which you pick.

Safe Area

Students are often easy targets for pickpockets and muggers. They're unlikely to fight back and they tend to be a bit more naïve about where they walk at night. Keep this in mind when you pick a place. Think about if the area is one you will feel safe living in and if you'll have to walk very far at night to get to and from public transport spots or your car. If you feel uneasy, don't do it. Trust your instincts on this one.

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