Searching for that perfect college apartment can be fun. You’re embarking on a new phase in your college career, and living off campus gives you the freedom to do as you please and feel more self-sufficient. Finding your college apartment will be easier if you go into the process with some focus. Having an idea of what your needs and wants are will help you to find a satisfactory apartment faster. Here’s how to go about finding the right college apartment.
First Things First: Make a List
Before you even begin looking for an apartment, make a list of the things you’d like in your new place. For instance, many college students prefer to live in relatively close proximity to school. Is living within walking distance important to you? If not, how long of a commute are you willing to make?
Other considerations include the inclusion of a washer and dryer (not all apartments include them in each unit or even have a washroom facility), kitchen amenities (dish washer, adequately sized stove), adequate storage space and overall building security. Rank the list of things you’re looking for in order of importance. You may not be able to find an apartment that meets all of your criteria, but you can learn to live without a dishwasher and balcony patio if the trade-off is a secure entrance, second floor apartment.
Choose a Living Environment
You’ve probably heard from your peers where the rowdy apartments are located. Just like the party-focused dorms and houses around campus, there are bound to be several apartment complexes that cater to students interested in 24/7 partying.
Going into your apartment search, you should know what kind of environment you desire. There is no point in looking at apartments that clearly won’t provide you with a comfortable environment. If you’re looking to party and have fun, check out all kinds of places. However, if you want to escape the college feel and live somewhere with more of a mature and professional feel, don’t waste your time looking at apartments that primarily cater to students. Most people like a balance. Remember, you can always go to the parties without living amongst them!
Do Your Research Online and by Asking Around
Going to the Internet to do your research is the easiest way to find what you’re looking for. Checking out websites like Yelp.com and ApartmentRatings.com allows you to find out what others really think about various apartment complexes. Reading reviews will help you find the right fit. Oftentimes reviews will give you the information apartment leasing agents don’t share. You can also ask your peers and classmates about apartments. It’s always great to get firsthand information and recommendations from someone you know.
Advice on Viewing Apartments
Be sure to bring someone along with you when you go to look at apartments for a second opinion. Before you sign a lease on a place, try to view the apartment at least one more time. It’s amazing how many things you miss the first time around.
With a little bit of planning and thought, you’ll find a college apartment that fits your needs and wants.
Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.