Going to college is another challenging but significant, memorable adventure. You’ll experience what it’s like to live far from your home, family, and friends and attend difficult lectures. Though it can be tough to be in an unfamiliar environment, you’ll be able to adjust in no time and meet new people.
Besides, part of what makes college life exciting is living off campus. You’ll have the freedom to explore what you’ve always been interested in and enjoy privacy. Even searching for the perfect accommodation adds to the fun.
To find suitable off-campus housing, you can visit sources, like https://www.myamericanave.com/. Read on to learn about how you can pick the right off-campus housing.
Explore The Neighborhood
One of the first things you should look into when finding off-campus housing is the neighborhood. Select not only a safe but also a well-located neighborhood. To figure out if the place is secure, ask current residents about what’s it’s like to live in the area. Apart from talking to residents, observe how people enter and exit the building and inquire about when the locks were last changed.
The ideal neighborhood should be accessible to walking paths, major roads, or public transportation drop-off or pick-up points so that you can attend your classes on time. Check too if it’s close to essential establishments, such as a hospital, a grocery or a convenience store, and a coffee shop.
Staying in a neighborhood with a good location will be convenient since you won’t have to travel far to do errands. It will even help you cut commuting costs. You just have to bike or go for a walk if you want to dine out, stock up on supplies, or grab a cup of coffee.
Consider The Commute
Determine how far or near the place is. Since you’re going to reside off campus, you might need to use public transportation to get to school daily. Can you bike, take the bus, or walk to your school? If the accommodation is a bit far from your school, check if you’ll have public transportation options, such as the bus, taxi, or train. In addition to public transportation options, take the commuting costs into consideration to see if they’re within your monthly budget.
But if you’re going to drive, find out where you’ll park on and off campus and how much parking fees cost.
Knowing how you’re going to commute or drive will help you prepare for night classes as well.
Confirm Rent Inclusions
Some rent prices might sound incredibly high, especially if you have no idea about their inclusions. Before deciding on a housing option, you should first confirm the rent inclusions with the landlord, such as security, laundry, and even electricity and water bills. While these might sound costly at first, calculating everything will help you save more.
Another fee you need to take into account is the security deposit. A lot of apartments require a security deposit in case of damage caused to the property. The security deposit can cost as much as the monthly rent, so make sure your budget will be enough.
Other accommodations only offer rental fees, keeping everything else separated. If you’re going to stay with roommates, split the electricity and water bill with them.
Check Out The Amenities
Having a place where you can fully relax and do something you enjoy during your free time is always ideal. Thus, it’s crucial to check out the amenities. Though some amenities will come with added costs, they’ll be worth it.
Ideally, you should look for off-campus housing that features a designated study area. This will help you study better, especially if you’re living with several roommates. In addition to a study area, strong internet connectivity is just as important. An on-site laundry shop will also be convenient since you won’t have to visit a laundromat close by.
If you have a big budget, look for housing that boasts a gym, an indoor swimming pool, and a basketball court, so you can stay fit anytime you want.
Decide If You Want To Live With Roommates Or Solo
Living with roommates has its pros and cons. One of the advantages of having several roommates is reducing your monthly expenses by half. Since you’ll be sharing the space, you can split the bill. However, you’ll have to deal with their household routines or habits, which you might find difficult or uncomfortable. While having roommates will require some major adjustments, it will give you the opportunity to make new friends who may stay with you long after graduation.
To search for roommates, you can take advantage of social media. Before picking your roommates, though, learn about their lifestyle preferences. Here are some questions you can ask them:
- Do you have drinking and smoking habits?
- Do you have any health conditions?
- What’s your work schedule like?
- Are you early birds or night owls?
- How often do you entertain guests?
Knowing about their lifestyle preferences will give you a clearer idea of whether you’ll be on the same page as them.
But if you want to enjoy the place all to yourself, renting a room or a small apartment will be a great idea. On the downside, you’ll have to prepare yourself for the added costs.
Choose Between A Furnished Or A Bare Unit
Looking for off-campus housing involves choosing the type of accommodation as well: a furnished or a bare one. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of buying furniture and carrying it to your place, opt for a furnished unit. However, you’ll have to shell out more on rent and ensure that all furniture pieces are kept in tip-top condition.
On the other hand, a bare unit will allow you to save money. You can add multi-purpose furniture to maximize space and reduce costs. Though multi-purpose furniture is expensive, you won’t have to spend a lot on separate furnishings, such as a nightstand, a dresser, or a sofa. Alternatively, you can borrow furniture from your family. Who knows, your parents may be looking to renovate the home or get rid of some old furniture.
Choosing the best off-campus housing can be tricky, as you’ll have to do extensive research and ensure everything fits your budget. But it can be fun too since you’ll get to explore a wonderful neighborhood and discover exciting places, like popular restaurants or trendy coffee shops.
To make the search easier, plan your budget first and then pick the safest neighborhood. Everything else will follow seamlessly.