Finding a home after freshman year

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

 

After spending two full semesters in the dorms, it’s time to move out. Goodbye meal plan, roommate, crazy suitemates. But hold up, wait a minute! Before choosing student living next semester, take a look at some of these overlooked options.

 

Student living on campus should be a last resort for anybody that doesn’t have the thousands of dollars that come with it. Only consider living here if you can (a) afford it (b) get your scholarships to cover it (c) would rather have a meal plan than shop and cook for yourself (c) don’t have a car. Living on campus is nice if your car breaks down, but is it worth all the rules set by the university? If anything, this is probably the safest option for students as it comes with sprinkler systems, routine maintenance, and required security for access inside.

 

Student living off campus is all inclusive and sometimes offers free printing, a gym, and a shuttle to campus. The prices are pretty steep but compared to on-campus living it’s still significantly cheaper. Plus, each roommate has their own contract and if they don’t pay on time it doesn’t affect you. All the leases end based on the school year, and they’re usually accommodating about payment and school since their tenants are all students and funds sometimes come in through the parents.

 

Non-student living off campus often is an overlooked option. It might seem pretty scary knowing you’re living in a community of families and the working class that already graduated, but these apartments are usually quite a steal. The only disadvantage is paying separately for utilities, and sharing the responsibility of pooling money together for rent every month. Plus, a lot of these places offer pet leases and routine maintenance in case anything breaks down.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

 

A house can lease for as low as $900/month, and split with three or four roommates this ends up being quite a deal. Your neighbors are actually a few yards away instead of separated by a half foot of walls. Houses often allow pets, don’t have noise complaints, and have close parking space. But if something breaks down, it’s really up to the landlord when it gets fixed or if ever.

 

The trick to getting a good deal on rent anywhere in town is to rent after the semester begins. Apartment complexes raise their rates before the school year begins and often get desperate to raise their occupancy rate when fall comes around. This means they lower their rates by about 1/3 of the cost that it was in August or September.