Are You Making These Mistakes When Shopping
for A Student Housing Apartment?
Are you a student looking for housing? Or a concerned parent wanting to make sure everything is ready for your child’s first time in college? Looking for an apartment can be a stressful time, especially if you’re busy with college or a first time apartment leaser. Student housing can get overly complicated very quickly if you’re not used to the process. We know people are passionate about their biggest bill of the month so we wanted to break down some beginner mistakes people make when looking for their next place.
Ask what utilities are included. We think the number one mistake is to get caught up on the first price you hear and comparing all apartments on that price. Some apartments have utilities that are all inclusive! This means you pay one person, one price, every month! You don’t have to worry about getting the utilities in your name or whether or not you’ll be in the dark because your roommate didn’t pay their share. Most of these apartments have caps on electricity so that you don’t go overboard, but for the most part you’ll be paying pennies against what you would if you paid for electricity outright. Do some research to see how much utilities typically cost in your area and definitely ask for an estimate when viewing a property. Calculate this into your cost!
Waiting too late to sign your lease and reserve your room for the next semester. Sort of like booking your classes, you’ll want to be among the first to get your housing sorted out. There are many benefits to leasing early and cons for waiting too late. If you wait until the last minute, you may be without a place to stay or paying the highest prices. A lot of student housing apartments work on a tier system where the price goes up after a certain number of leases are signed. Also, if you aren’t bringing your own roommates, you will likely be matched with your roommates based on information you listed on your application. The earlier you sign, the better match you will have. If you wait too late, the complex might only have a few or even only one option to place you in, depending on availability. This will likely result in a poor match, a small bedroom, a less than perfect view, and other disappointments. It is also important to note that one apartment complex may fill up a lot faster than the others. This is an indicator of a superior property with a good reputation in the community. The residents renew their leases because they love it, or it may be the newest, coolest apartment in town. The point is, if you hear that one or two particular properties in town are filling up fast while the others don’t seem to push much urgency, it is probably safe to say it is because those properties’ reputation, amenities, staff, and/or facilities are the best.
Check the market for specials. Student housing is known for having the best specials and give-a-ways than any other industry. Be sure to consider this in your calculations as well! However, you don’t want to go overboard and jump on the best special you hear. Sometimes, apartments throw out flashy specials to keep you looking in one direction and not considering the amenities, cleanliness, and other important items you’ll want in a home.
Try to find a place with a great staff. This is particularly important for students who are still going through the adulting process. Living near a college, you can usually find a complex with a staff full of other students that can help you navigate the surrounding area. How do you know if the complex you’re looking at has a great staff? Consider their attitude when you tour the property. Their smiles and friendliness go a long way, but also consider how personalized your tour was. Did they ask about your preferences and what you were looking for in an apartment? Do they care that you would prefer to study rather than party (or vice versa )? Did they help you talk to your parents if necessary or invite your parents in for a tour? These are all great indicators of a staff that cares about the community they are representing.
Consider whether or not you might get a pet in the next year. Are you a furry friend lover? So are we! During your apartment search it is important to take a second to look ahead. You may already have a pet, but if not, think about it. Over the course of the next year, are you likely to adopt or buy an animal? If so, you’ll want to make sure your apartment is pet friendly and consider the rates for having a pet. There are almost always upfront costs for having a pet and pet rent can cost you anywhere from $15 - $55 per month, if not more! Be sure to calculate that into your rent costs when deciding.
Want more tips and tricks? Open up a chat with us to ask any questions you may have! We hoped this information helped in your next search!