One of the most exciting times in any college student’s life is when they make the decision to transition from the dorms into an apartment or house off campus. And while it definitely marks a new level of independence, at the same time, it’s a huge responsibility.
So, if you’re planning to spend the next semester in your own place, here are some tips that can make moving easy and affordable too:
Research apartments and houses. Although you might be tempted to assume that the only thing that you will be able to afford is a studio apartment, the reality is that if you’re willing to do a bit of research, there are all kinds of affordable residential options for college students, including nicely-sized homes. The key is to look everywhere including bulletin boards at school, websites like Craigslist, and you should also ask some of your friends. In fact, when it comes to Craigslist, there is even a section for temporary housing and sublets if you’re only looking to stay somewhere for a few months.
Find responsible roommates. Say that you’ve found the perfect house, but the problem is that it’s a bit over your budget. No problem. All you need to do is look for some responsible roommates to help split the bills. So, how do you know who is truly reliable? They need to have a job. They need to have some rental history and they also need to have references. Individuals who can provide you with this information can usually be trusted.
Make sure you’ve got reliable transportation. Another thing that a lot of college students seem to overlook while making plans to live off campus is making sure that they can easily get back and forth to class. If you have a car, that’s great because this won’t be too much of an issue. But if you are without wheels, consider using a bike, carpooling, and check into how reliable the metro transit system is. Remember, there’s no point in living off campus if you’re not going to be able to make it to campus whenever you need to.
Budget wisely. Say that you happen to live in Salisbury, MD and you’re considering moving into the Fairfax Properties Student and Family Housing. If you were to ask a leasing agent for the property for another living off campus tip, something that they would probably tell you is that you should make sure that you have financially factored in all that’s required to live off campus. Unlike a dorm that offers things like electricity, water, and Wi-Fi with your room and board, when you live on your own, you have to pay these things yourself. That includes putting down a deposit and making sure you have enough money to pay for everything each month. Yes, you definitely need a budget in order to live off campus.
Thoroughly read through your lease. There’s one more thing that you should think about: reading through your lease. Some college students are so excited to get approved for a place that they quickly sign on the dotted line without really understanding all that the contract says. When it comes to your lease, it will take some extra time to read each section, but it’s worth it. The reason why is because breaking a lease can affect your credit and bad credit can take a long time to fix; therefore, you want to avoid making mistakes involving your lease as much as possible. For tips on what you should consider while reviewing a renter’s lease, visit Rent and put “before signing a lease” in the search field.