Did you know that there are almost 7 million students enrolled in four year programs in the U.S.? Not surprisingly, these students often need new places to life. Though some students are able to continue living with their parents, the majority need to move in order to be close to campus. Commuting can get especially difficult for full time students who often have a very full on-campus schedule, and about 62% of students identify as full-time.
The problem many students encounter when looking for an apartment is two-fold. Not only are they fairly new to the apartment searching game, but many landlords are hoping to take advantage of the relative naivete of students looking for off campus housing.
For this reason, we?ve compiled a list of easy tips for you to keep in mind. Happy apartment hunting!
1. Take a Lot of Photos
Anytime you move into a new apartment, you?re going to want to take photographs right away — especially of any pre-existing damage. Why? This will be your proof that the damage already existed, in case the landlord tries to charge you for it months down the line. Look for water damage in bathrooms, and holes in walls in bedrooms. Check that everything in your kitchen and bathroom works correctly.
2. Understand the Local Going Rates
Although having a college in the local area often encourages many apartment complexes to be built, at the same time, landlords know they have a fairly captive audience — there are only so many apartments in the local area within a close walking or driving distance to school! For this reason, it makes sense to know the average cost of student rentals in your area. For colleges, landlords will often quote semester prices, rather than yearly — make sure the number they come up with is within your budget. Additionally, make sure you know whether energy and water usage is considered a part of that price.
3. Look for Student Rentals Early On
When you have a lot of tests and other things to consider, it can be tempting to put off your housing search until later. Doing this, however, can get you into a pickle where the only places left are either far away, too expensive, or in a questionable location. When you?re looking for student housing apartments, the search needs to start several months ahead of time, if possible.