How to Find Housing in Isla Vista

So you're living in the dorms during your first year and all seems great! You have the amazing dining commons, you're right on campus (if you don't live in San Catalina Towers), and you never have to worry about paying for utilities. Life seems great until January comes along and you begin to see the "For Lease" signs all over Isla Vista go up. As a freshman last year, I made a few housing mistakes, however with every mistake comes a lesson. I'm here to tell you some of these lessons.

Lesson 1: Choose your housemates wisely!


Your housemates are the people you surround yourself with for an entire year. I understand as a first year, it's difficult to get the right feel for who you might want to live with. I know, I was in the same predicament. Sometimes rooming with your current roommates could be a great thing, if you all get along. Housing with friends can be a bit tricky in the sense that seeing each other every now and then is totally different from living with one another. So when choosing housemates, really sit down and think if you can live with that person. 

Lesson 2: "If possible try to stay clear of DP."


This was the advice I received from fellow undergrads who were third and fourth years. DP is the place for a great night but not an okay place to live if you need a quiet place to study or sleep.

Lesson 3: Affordability


Figure out your price range! Think realistically! Can you afford $670.00 a month? Will financial aid cover this?? If you are unsure go talk to financial aid.

Lesson 4: Location

Image via Island View Properties

Where would you like to live? Close to or far from campus? If far, how would you get to campus? Choosing a location is incredibly important in your housing search.

Lesson 5: Be prepared.

Image via UCSB

Before applying make sure you have money saved up for a security deposit. Usually, security deposits range from $600 to $1,200 (depending on whether you get a house or apartment). You will also need to sign a contract. Before signing on that dotted line, make sure to READ the contract. If you feel like you need to take the contract home to read over, communicate that with the leaser.  Finally, you may or may not need a guarantor form. Most Isla Vista housing requires a guarantor form. This form is usually signed by your parents or legal guardian and then notarized.


Living in Isla Vista is fun and you do get that great sense of independence! Good luck in your search!

image via Isla Vista