3 Big Tips for Living Off-Campus

Winter Quarter, not only is it freezing, but it's super stressful. It's even more stressful for all of those study abroad students coming home, and it's very stressful being those study abroad students that come back to DU without housing. However, do not fear, fellow students, as shopping for an apartment close to campus is easier than it seems. The world of real estate moves fast, and with Colorado being such an attractive state for CBD medical patients and cannabis recreational users to move here, the real estate market almost always will have something in your price range (maybe a bit more) and general location.

That being said, here are three big tips to help you on your journey to a new home. 

1. Create a spreadsheet.

Yes, this may be a time consuming task, but it will always be worth it! Through this, you will be able to easily compare and contrast the housing options you are considering. Some of the most important aspects to consider when apartment finding are the following: 

  • Rent/Lease: How much per month? What options do you have for length of lease? Can you sublease if needed?
  • Utilities: How much? Included in rent? What might you pay separately? And for which ones? 
  • Location: How far is it from university? From grocery stores?
  • Specials: Are there any specials such as a first-month free? Or a monthly discount? 
  • Amenities: What is management providing? Grilling area? Clubhouse? Community garden? WiFi?

Of course, what is most important for you will be different, so remember to keep track of what matters most to you! 

2. Contact as many places as possible. 

Coming back from abroad, my friend and I searched for apartments. We contacted about 10 different properties, and from that we received about 7 callbacks and 4 showings. Having too many options is never hurtful; in fact, it is the exact opposite. Again, this may seem very overwhelming; nonetheless, it is necessary to ensure a wide range of options to find the best fit for you in this moment. As shown, we went from having 10 options to only 4 realistic showings. Then, from these showings we only truly liked 2 of them. Therefore, it would be best to sit down, contact as many possible options first, and then filter through the masses. 

3. Remember this is not a permanent home. 

Apartment shopping may bring you into house shopping. This is true especially around DU, since price goes down with the more people living together, and houses allow for that. However, you should remember that this is only a temporary living situation, and you can always move. Do not get too caught up in the action of shopping the market and trying to find the perfect place. Keep in mind that you will be living here for a period of time, so try to get comfortable, but do not worry if there are imperfections.

Have fun and test out the real estate waters!