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5 Things to Consider When Apartment Hunting

It’s an exciting time as a student when you get to move out of your old-school dorm and into a new apartment with your besties. Having movie nights in and decorating for the holidays with your roomies is an essential to college life. But without your parents here, without a real adult that understands leasing and utility pay, there are a few things to think about before signing that lease.

Utilities 

When you go through every one of your tours, make sure to ask about the utility bill and what is included within it. This includes items such as electricity, water, trash, internet, etc., and you should ask if this is a part of the rent. If possible, ask a current resident of the apartment/house what their average is per month. 

Neighborhood

When you’re close to a university, you’re basically paying for the location. As you live closer to campus, the higher the rent. The farther you go off campus, the lower the rent, BUT you need to make sure the neighborhood is safe. Going farther off campus can be a blessing, but it’s important to do research beforehand. 

Touring

Pay attention to the actual residents and the parts of the apartment that they are not showing you. Obviously when they show a room, they are showing you the most actively cleaned place, while this may not be true to the rest of the building. If you are paying a high rent, make sure that the building fully demonstrates the reasoning behind that. 

Reviews

Reviews can be a key factor in whether or not you sign into a lease that you absolutely hate. The reviews come from previous and current tenants that are actually experiencing living there. Take into consideration the reviews before going in for a tour. 

Options

Think about all your options first. In the beginning of the year, you feel this immediate pressure to sign to a place to live. You’re excited to live with these new pals of yours and everything is all sunshine and rainbows. But there is still a lot of time for things to change- someone could transfer schools, a friendship can turn rotten, or you may not want to live at that place anymore. It’s best to think the decision over first before rushing into anything. 

Be sure to ask your parents what they really think before signing. They’ll notice in a tour whether or not this is a good place to live, or whether those new roommates of yours are reliable. Living with friends can be a phenomenal time, but it’s important to make sure you’re signing to a place that you truly like with people you care for. 

Marissa is a current senior majoring in English with a double minor in creative writing and human development. Originally from Sacramento, California, she loves meeting new people and learning about different environments. When she's not rereading Jane Austen, she loves being a coach for little kids and petting dogs all day.
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