Every college student needs a roof over their head. It is unavoidable and tedious researching, but it pays off to find affordable student housing in a safe area near campus. Typical apartment hunting will include visiting various sites and a process of elimination so thorough that it could come down to an additional amenity.
College students plan according to their interests and convenience. While some may argue that they never plan anything, they may be doing it subconsciously.
For example, when a place seems like too much per month, a price range has been determined. To decide distance, we have to take into consideration if there will be traffic during the times we are trying to get to campus. It’ll be easier to have clean clothes if there’s a washer and dryer in the apartment. Will living on a higher floor bother me in the long run?
This is probably the first thing you think college students do when looking up anything. And it’s true. Google has become everyone’s one-stop for information. For college students, Google is our library. Simply typing in keywords will generate at least one useful site.
Many apartment sites like to boast about their renovated gyms and swimming pools. Former residents will leave more honest and helpful information than anything else the site could mention. After more than a couple reviews mentioning how maintenance took too long to repair a broken pipe or broken down washing machine, people tend to move on to a site with better reviews.
Apartment Finder Sites
The easiest way college students estimate how much rent or how relatively far they’d like to be from school is by checking out apartment finder sites. Zillow and Apartments.com are two of the most popular sites for this one task. Most sites have interactive maps and details that can narrow a search.
After much searching, college students might broaden their search to the most popular classifieds forum on the internet — Craigslist.
This site will feature anyone’s posts and offers. The site itself is easy to use and displays great offers near you.
However useful this site may be, there are still scams that can trap an eager student that believed in a too-good-to-be-true offer. If a post seems a bit sketchy or lacking information, it will simply be ignored.
Facebook is particularly helpful to students when the time for apartment searching comes around. There are various groups that are dedicated to helping college students find subleases or roommates. While some may be private and you need to be either invited or accepted to join, most students will take into consideration what areas and complexes are being posted for rent or sublease.
Word of Mouth
Connecting with people through small conversation is the best way to learn something new. When a friend tells you about someone who has a room available, you’re more likely to trust their word than an online ad. Knowing that there is a familiar connection to a potential roommate can ease the decision-making process. When a friend recommends an apartment complex they used to live in or heard good things about, it’s more likely that I’ll search it myself and find out more.
Finding a real estate agent is honestly easier than most students think. While searching, I might come across an agent’s page because their listings caught my eye. They have the information a student wants and more. They’ll even set up apartment tours with the interested person and help ask the right questions. Some agents may even get the student a better deal on the lease or waive the application fee.
Getting to see the apartment for yourself will definitely seal the deal for the person. The apartment’s layout may not be to a person’s satisfaction. The distance from the front door to the parking lot could be the deal breaker. How far the bedroom is from the kitchen in one apartment compared to the previous showing could help.
Weighing the pros and cons before making a decision helps students. Figuring out where to live is a tough call to make.