Moving Far, Far, & Away: How to Move Off-Campus

First, you need to find some roommates. Any realtor you contact about a potential place is going to ask if you have roommates and if you guys are committed to this decision. It’s especially important that you talk to your parents first. Make sure this is the right decision for you and your family financially, personally, and physically. I suggest creating a budget and a radius from campus that you all are comfortable with. 

Next, you need to create a budget. This is an especially important factor to consider when making the move from Terrier Town. You’ll need to consider the rent of the apartment, the cost of food and utilities (like electricity, hot water, heat, and wifi), and the potential for subletting. Remember that you will be leasing this apartment for twelve months, in comparison to the nine that you would be paying for on-campus housing. You want to make sure that you’re being realistic for everyone involved. Talk to your parents! They will help you. 

Then, it’s time to begin apartment hunting. First, I suggest looking online and filtering based on your preferences. Want a cat? Great. Make sure the apartment allows pets. Want to walk to campus? Check the distance. Want to have free laundry? Make sure there’s laundry in-unit. It might be hard to find everything that you’re looking for within a reasonable price range. However, if you and your future roommates make a shared list of priorities and are willing to compromise, it will be okay. You will be okay. Some great sites to begin with are Zillow or BU’s Off-Campus Services

After you find a place you like, it’s time to schedule a showing. The contact number should be attached to the listing. Before attending, make a list of questions to ask the realtor. Some examples may include: Is there a broker fee? Do you allow pets? Is there an option to sublet? 

Once you find an apartment you like and could see yourself in, talk to your parents. Again. I know it seems redundant, but they could point out something that you may have missed in your excitement. 

And finally, once you’re all in agreement, you can sign the papers (or application)! Be aware of the broker’s fees. Most Boston apartments have them, but they can be surprising once you get to this step. Once your application is approved, the listing is taken off the market and you officially become an off-campus resident.

Now there’s nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and continue to follow up with your roommates and landlord prior to move-in. Congratulations! Enjoy your new apartment! Or townhome! Or brownstone!

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