Photo by Nate Watson on Unsplash
Anyone who is looking to sign an apartment lease is making a huge decision, no matter what juncture of life they are at.
I wanted to address those looking to get into apartments for college. It may be the first time you are looking to do so, or maybe you are just looking for an upgrade over last semester’s experience.
You should always thoroughly research any place you are thinking about moving into. Here are a couple of things to do or consider before dotting the i’s on your lease.
Don’t just consider a tour, take one. Tours are nice because you can actually get into an example of an apartment and see how it looks and feels. Pictures are great, but they can be used to tell a different story than reality at times.
For many college students, you will be attending school far enough away that it isn’t possible to visit in person. The answer here could be a virtual tour. Most places will be honest about the look of an apartment, and taking a virtual, or walk through tour can allow you essentially the same experience. A lot of places make these tour by walking around and videoing the apartment, so it is different than looking at a picture slideshow.
Reviews of apartments can also be helpful when determining what the living conditions and experience are like.
One thing to consider on literally every purchase you will ever make the rest of your life is price. Here are some questions you might ask yourself when considering what apartment to live in. How much does it cost total? Is it worth how much it costs? Why does it cost so much/little?
These questions help you to be wary. If an apartment is super cheap, there is probably a reason for that. A more expensive apartment usually indicates that it is nicer, but you have to ask if it is really worth it.
Another huge factor to look at is how transparent the apartment owners are about pricing and fees. They may just be private, but in my experience, people who are not upfront about this information are the same ones that try to hit you with hidden fees.
Check out how The Landing lays out rent and fee totals, all right where you can see it. To me, this says that they are honest and open and will treat you right financially.
Check for Convenience
I knew many people throughout my college experience that saw a nice apartment and jumped in, based off of looks or nice amenities. One such individual lived about a 15-20 minute walk from work, and while in college that is not abnormal, he never made it on time.
You need to consider how this apartment will play into your everyday schedule. If there are housing options on each side of campus, it is probably best to pick the one closest to where your classes will be, or where you work. This will allow for convenience and punctuality.
As a freshman, your classes will probably be all over, but keep this in mind for later on when your whole life happens inside of one building.
What do they offer?
When it comes to college housing, apartments are constantly trying to win students over. You have permission to be selfish here, what can they do for you?
Many apartments have really nice amenities that make the living experience nice. Others offer discounts, in rent or other things, or free parking. I knew an apartment complex in school that would shuttle its tenants to and from campus. If you didn’t have a car, that apartment complex immediately became more attractive.
See what they bring to the table that will benefit you, and take that into careful consideration as you make the decision of where to live.
No matter where you live you will pros and cons to your living experience. It is important to research and look into all aspects of an apartment before committing to it. If done right, your college apartment will be an integral part of your experience at school. It may never replace the house you call home, but it may get pretty close.