4 Things Students Should Look for When Renting an Apartment
Posted By: Anica Oaks on August 27, 2019 |
Welcome to one of the first steps in becoming an adult—renting a place away from home. Though school will still provide you with a comfortable daily routine, figuring what to rent can be a challenging process. Don’t fret too hard. These four things will guarantee you find a place that works for you.
You can’t shop for apartments unless you know what you can afford. On a monthly basis, you’ll be expected to pay rent. How much can you actually afford each month? In addition to this, when you pick out a few places to check out, read the fine print. Some places will add things like sewage and waste management on top of the price they advertise. Look into creating a student budget, keeping track of things like how much you spend on food and clothing items. Try to cook as much as you can from home and pack lunches as opposed to eating out—it will make it easier for you to afford rent and other necessities.
Most students turn to roommates to make living more affordable. Imagine paying $500 per month for a townhouse with three other people that’s closer to campus instead of $1,000 for a single bedroom that is further away and in poorer condition. The potential downside of this, of course, is the rare bad roommate who won’t carry their weight or their financial responsibility. Luckily, horror stories are rare and most roommates end up forming lifelong friendships. If you decide on a place to live that has a detailed application to screen tenants, while it may be more trouble for you, it also insures that you’ll be less likely to have troublesome roommates.
Before signing anything, be sure to get the paperwork for a location and read through everything. You will be held responsible for certain maintenance issues in your apartment. This can be as simple as changing out lightbulbs or as complex as needing to have the carpets cleaned each year. Look into whether the property is managed by a landlord directly or by a property management company. While a landlord directly managing the rental might mean that it’s a smaller, cheaper place where you can have a closer and friendlier relationship with the landlord, property management companies are a good sign that the rental is functional, well-maintained, and has low tenant turnover. A management company also screens tenants, meaning your roommates will be more likely to be decent and trustworthy.
You should now have a good list of possible matches. Next you need to figure out what the best location is. Even if you’ve never lived in the area, there are still things you can determine to maximize the efficiency of your distance from campus. Do you have a car and plan on driving? Were you hoping to walk or bike instead? If your car breaks down, is there a bus stop nearby? Where is the nearest grocery store? A lot of where you choose to live will depend on how you decide to move around town. Generally speaking, living further from the center of town and your school will be cheaper, so that’s always a good way to lower rental costs, especially if you have access to public transit or other reliable methods of transportation.
Life is all about living and learning and renting as a student is no different. Follow these four bits of advice and you’ll have a much better time choosing a great place to fill with fantastic memories during your school years.
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