How to Transition From On-Campus Housing to Off-Campus Housing

So, you’ve decided you might want to live off campus. Maybe you want a single, or maybe you want to live in a house with your friends, or maybe you just can’t stand dining hall food. This is the perfect time to start your search. If you’re lost on where to even start to look for off-campus housing, this is the article for you.

1. Who are you going to be living with? 

Decide who you would want to live with for the entire academic year. Living in an apartment or a house is harder than living in the dorms because the demands are different. There's more room for mess and people will get lazy. You have to determine if someone's living habits are enough for you to handle because it definitely will not be easy. Remember, you are a busy college student and do not need to add additional stress into your life. Live with someone you get along with. 


2. Take advantage of the Off-Campus Housing Fair

The UConn Off-Campus Housing Fair has already passed, but definitely keep an eye out for it next year. It's helpful to go around and talk with the representatives from different apartment options, as they can answer any of the questions you have then and there. 


3. Check out online off-campus housing listings

Use UConn's off-campus housing website to browse through the different listings. Just create an account and utilize the filters to decide which listings best suit your preferences, or can accommodate all of the people you will be living with. You can also check out UConn's Buy or Sell page on Facebook (just make sure someone adds you into the group) so that you can message people directly to inquire about their listings. Make sure that you think realistically about the budget, location, and utilities included when you look at each listing. A lot of the listings that are beautiful or are really close to campus tend to have bigger price tags. 


4. Prioritize what are the most important aspects

Think about what's negotiable versus non-negotiable. If you and your apartment mate require that each of you get your own bathrooms, then make sure to consider that for each of the listings. As you compare your options, your priorities may change and you just might have to live with that. If your dream apartment is out of your budget, you may have to consider what you can live without. 

5. Make a pros and cons list

So let's assume you've compiled your top picks. Now, write for each listing the pros and cons of each. Perhaps you'll be further from campus but you'll have cheaper rent. Or maybe the rent is more expensive, but all utilities are included. Once you've made the lists, it becomes easier to compare and visually see which listings have more pros versus cons. It is a great time to contact each of the landlords to discuss anything that you need clarification on or an answer to so that you can learn more about each listing. This is a long process, but it's better to find out what's wrong with each listing before signing a lease. 


6. Visit your top picks

You can get catfished by online pictures of listings. Make sure you schedule a visit to your top choices to see if they are up to par. If they look nothing like the photos, that is not a good sign. Really consider the amount of space you're getting. If you know you're the type of person who wants a giant TV and a queen sized bed in your bedroom, try to take measurements or envision if they would fit. 


7. Decide which option is the best

Talk with who you plan on living with and your parent(s)/guardian to discuss which option is the best. You need to talk to your parent(s)/guardian because you will need someone to be your co-signer, and maybe a new perspective might change your opinion about a listing. 


8. Submit your application :)

Wooooohooooo! You decided on a listing that works perfectly for you and whoever you plan on living with. It's been a long process but now you just have to fill out the applications. Bust out that laptop and fill out your application with confidence. Try to submit your application as soon as possible to secure the listing of your dreams. You got this girl <3