A lot of college students decide that dorm room living simply isn’t for them. So how can you choose the optimal housing off-campus? Because a lot of college students looking for off-campus housing are also moving out on their own for the first time, it can be somewhat scary and overwhelming. Here are some tips for selecting the ideal off-campus rental:
Know your limits
Living beyond your means is never a good thing, but doing so during your college years will only set you up for financial hardships throughout early adulthood. Know just how much you can afford for rent, and don’t underestimate the cost of bills and college expenses. It’s also important to save money in case of an emergency—for example, a job loss—so that you know you’ll be able to pay your rent.
Work with a real estate agent
Real estate agents don’t just help those looking to purchase a home—some will also help with leasing. A real estate agent can make the search easier for you by finding properties within your price budget and desired location. And as the renter, it’s completely free to use their services.
Try to stay near your school
Even if it means sacrificing some space to afford housing that’s close to campus, you’ll thank yourself for making your commute to school an easy one.
Don’t live alone
Depending on your financial situation, you may be better off finding a roommate (or multiple roommates) to share off-campus housing with. This can allow you to live somewhere that you may not have been able to afford otherwise. You can either find a home and then search for a roommate, or you can find someone who always has an apartment and is looking for a roommate.
Check bulletin boards on campus
If you’re going to live with someone, why not live with someone who also goes to the same college as you? Bulletin boards around campus can be a great source for finding students that are looking to rent out extra rooms.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.