For many people, going to college is one of the best experiences of their lives. For some, this experience is all about living in a dorm but there is not one path that works for everyone. In 2016, The New York Times reported that about 87% of all college students live in off campus housing. Whether they are living with family or have one of the student rentals near campus, one size does not fit all in the world of student housing options. Here are some tips to help you find what you really want:
- Look over your options. Every university has its own options in terms of what kinds of housing students can take. Some have great dorms. Others are surrounded by a plethora of student rentals. Before you can decide what you want and where you want to live, you need to understand what your options are available to you. If you are not sure what you want, you should talk to the student housing office to get the lay of the land.
- Know your rights. Every city and locality has its own rules regarding rentals and rental agreements. In some areas, the law is written to protect the tenant but in other areas, the landlord holds all of the cards. While most landlords are decent people, some do try to take advantage of students who may not know what they are responsible for and what they can expect their landlord to take care of. Before you look at student rentals, you should look into what the rules and regulations are in the area where you are studying.
- Research the area and find the right area for you. There are universities where the school is the biggest thing around. There are other cities and towns that have more to offer than the university life. When you are considering student rentals, you should check out the different neighborhoods or areas in the area. Think about what you want and then do your research. You should also visit the areas during the day and at night to see what the place is like. A very safe neighborhood may change at night or on the weekends to someplace that s not as safe or welcoming. Make a list of the amenities you need in the area (public transit, grocery stores, etc.).
- Look at what you can afford. Experts in this area say that student rentals should not cost more than 30% of the student’s income. Remember to factor in your other living expenses such as utilities, internet, transportation, etc, into the costs of renting a place. The rent is just a portion of what you will be paying every month. Many students share a bedroom with other people to save money on the rent. that is totally normal. This may be a good way to get a good place for the right price.
- Decide what kind of experience you want. Some students want the social life that goes along with being a college student. For these people, living on campus or in a more social building may be the way to go. Some students are more interested in having a quiet space to get their school work done. For them, getting a place alone may work better. To have the experience you want, you need to know what you are looking for. Only you know what makes you happy and will be the kind of place you want to spend your college years.
- Have the lease looked over by a lawyer. Before you sign anything, you need to have it looked at by an expert. Even if you know the laws that govern student rentals, you should have someone with experience in leases look over yours before you sign anything. You do not want to sign anything that signs over your rights.
Looking for housing can be fun. It can give you the chance to explore the city or town where your university is. You will also get to look at different kinds of real estate and interior design. If you take your time deciding what you want and finding it, you will have a better experience.