Tips For Finding Off-Campus Housing

Next year, my junior year at BU, I will be living off campus with 4 of my best friends. We found an amazing apartment in South Campus, right near Fenway Park! The process of finding off-campus housing can be EXTREMELY stressful, but hopefully, these tips can help you out.

1. Find people who you are committed to living with!

Before you can even start looking at listings, you need to have a solid group of roommates. Whether this is one person, or in my case, 5, having people that are 100% committed to finding a place together is key. Agree on a neighborhood that you want to live in, and on the “necessities;” the things you REALLY want in your apartment.

2. Figure out your budget before you start your search.

If you don’t have a set budget, apartment hunting is a lot harder than it needs to be. You might find a place you love, only to realize it’s WAY too expensive. Luckily, everyone in my group agreed on the same budget, but if this isn’t the case, take some time to figure out what is reasonable in the neighborhood you want to live in, and compromise!

3. Tour, tour, tour!

Even if you don’t think a specific apartment is right for you, tour it anyway! Most tours take only 30 minutes or less, and you can never really get the feel of a space from the pictures online. An apartment could be everything you ever dreamed of, but you might not know it until you visualize the space. The apartment that I’m living in was not on our original list of tours, but we ended up loving it and committing to it right away.

4. If you find a realtor that you like, stick with them.

Using a new realtor for every apartment that you look at can get extremely tiring, and having to explain your budget and wish list over and over again is hard as well. My roommates and I found an amazing realtor that was able to show us tons of apartments in the same few days and worked with us to fill out a lease right after finding the perfect place.

5. Don’t wait if you find something you love!

Although it is good to look at tons of places, the market for off-campus is competitive. If you find a place that you love, make sure to talk to your realtor right away about filling out a lease. My group found a place that we really wanted, but couldn’t get it because another group had already begun the process of filling out the lease.

I am so excited to live off campus, especially with my closest friends. The process is hard, but these tips can help make your search a little easier.


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