7 Tips for Finding Affordable Apartments near Campus
Finding cheap or affordable off-campus housing can be tricky, but being resourceful can help you discover that perfect space. If you find apartments near campus that you like, it’s important to secure one while it’s available. Inventory changes daily, especially just prior to a semester’s start. Here are some tips to help your hunt:
Look at Transportation Options to Increase Your Search Radius
Whether you walk or take your car to campus will “drive” a lot of decision-making. Ask some students for the truth about parking availability, then find out what bus system(s) serve the campus. Check the map; you may find that a city or university bus route stretches quite a ways from campus, giving you more options than campus apartments. Keep in mind that a two-block walk to the bus stop might open even more possibilities.
Check in with Student Affairs
This department at your college is typically where you can learn about campus apartments or dorms. You may find that dorms are your only option, in which case, you might wind up living with a total stranger or have to find your own roommate.
Consider Getting a Roommate to Increase Your Price Range
If you decide against dorms and definitely want an apartment, you may realize you need a roomie to split expenses. Sharing costs with someone else can open the door to apartments in a higher price range. Complete your roommate search before you sign a lease, so you know you can swing the rent. Have frank conversations about money, lifestyle, schedules, friends, overnight guests, allergies, smoke, drugs, cleaning and pets.
Check Reputable Sources
Look to reputable online real estate sites as a one-stop-shopping source if you’re in the market for apartments near campus. You can see photos and full descriptions (including rental rates) of dozens of apartment complexes. Check the rental rates of ones you like, then schedule a visit or check availability.
Watch Message Boards
Online message boards for students, as well as good old-fashioned bulletin boards (both on-campus and off) are great sources for sublets, roommate situations, and condos or apartments for rent.
Talk to People
Let your friends, classmates and employees in businesses within your preferred area know you’re looking for an apartment near campus. You’ll likely get recommendations or a thumbs-up on complexes you are already considering, which is always assuring.
Pay Attention to Advertising
We all tend to block it out, but you may actually miss out on a great deal. Lots of apartments advertise move-in specials. You might even become aware of a new apartment that’s just opened, or one you missed in previous searches.
Good luck in your search! Securing an affordable apartment will be a big load off your shoulders.