College student apartments, Student housing, Student housing programs

How to Find an Off Campus House

Apartments in berkeley ca

Its that time of year again — school time. You’ve managed to get through two years of undergraduate college living in a cramped dorm with communal bathrooms and rowdy neighbors. Finally your parents have decided that you can look at off campus apartments.

Why an off campus apartment? As if you haven’t already tried convincing your parents to let you live off campus, here are a few reasons it could be a good move. Student housing on campus is cramped and a great vehicle for spreading sickness throughout the year. Students also have to endure people who may not know the meaning of “quiet” or “privacy.”

Many times, on campus housing becomes too full in most schools who accept more students than they can house. Having a back up plan will allow you to have a secure living situation. Off campus apartments are actually preferred in the U.S. because they offer more privacy and freedom.

Finding an apartment: Looking for this type of student housing should not be stressful for you or your family. However, apartment searches should also not be taken lightly; there are a number of factors to consider.

Finances: Students should financially plan for any extra costs that may be associated with off campus apartments. Understand how much you can afford. Will living off campus be cheaper than living on campus? Many students decide they will save more on food living off campus than on campus. Figure out utility costs and if you need to factor in student loans.

Look at local listings: Browse through online local listings using websites such as Craigslist or Zillow. Landlords should provide specific information to you and your school because they understand students will be looking at their properties. Finding houses with pictures is a big help. Check the square footage and if there includes a washer and drier and off street parking.

Keep safety in mind: Don’t just choose the coolest looking house in the best location even if it’s a dump of a place. Check for water damage and mold before signing the lease because these issues could cause serious health problems and end up racking up quite a bill.

Location, location, location: For your sake, you don’t want to be living on the other side of town (or the city) if you’re still going to school. Living closer to campus, but just far enough that you feel comfortable, will allow you to be more on time for classes and you have access to facilities such as the campus gym, the health center, and the mail room.

Of course, always keep in touch with the people you plan on living with to make sure that everyone is in agreement with this student housing arrangement because after all you’ll be living together for a whole year. More can be found here.

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