Apartment Hunting in Ann Arbor is HARD: 5 Tips for Surviving the Leasing Process

Dorm life has its perks: the easy payments, the unlimited meal plans, the community, and so much more. However, many upcoming sophomores and juniors are likely to consider what more the housing market in Ann Arbor has to offer. 

The first thing you’ll realize when you start apartment hunting in Ann Arbor is the prices. According to Apartments.com, the typical rent price for a two bedroom apartment is around $1,763 a month. That’s almost $900 a month per room! This trend is pretty similar no matter what size apartment you’re looking for. 

Another thing with Ann Arbor is that housing is very competitive. Around early October, leasing offices all over the city will start releasing their rates for the next year. When this happens, spaces fill up FAST. 

This process may sound daunting, but fear not! Here are 5 tips for making your apartment hunt as smooth as possible!

1) Start the search early! Even though most available apartments won’t be posted until later, it can be so helpful to learn about the different leasing offices and how their leasing processes work. Check out popular apartment websites such as offcampushousing.umich.edu, Trulia, Zillow, and Apartments.com to keep up with what’s available. Get a feel for what you want and what you can afford, and by the time leasing starts, you can have a head start on figuring out where you want to live! 

2) Reflect on what’s important to you!  Do you have a set price range? Would you prefer to live somewhere on South Campus or in Kerrytown? Do you need a place that’s pet friendly? Is a quiet neighborhood a priority? Making a list of your priorities, preferences, and nonnegotiables will help you weed out a lot of places on campus!

3) Find more housemates! Even though housing prices in Ann Arbor are insanely high, living with more people does help cut down costs! Rent will most likely be cheaper when you live with more people. It may not always be preferred, but sharing a room with someone is also a great way to bring down costs!

4) Consider a house over an apartment! While it may be nice to live in a bigger apartment complex, living in a shared house can really help you cut down on rent and utilities. It might also be worth it to look into living in a co-op! 

5) Take a walk! Something I’d highly suggest during your apartment hunt is to go outside and learn about Ann Arbor. Last year, I’d often listen to music and wander around the city, making a note of the different leasing offices I passed by, writing down apartment addresses that looked interesting, and reflecting on which part of town I’d like to live in. Most apartment hunting is done online, but nothing beats seeing the apartments and neighborhoods in person. The apartment search can be really stressful, so a change in scenery really helps!  


Images courtesy of amsterdamnews.com and rackham.umich.edu/admissions