Finding a student apartment is a daunting task. It’s because you’re competing with hundreds of other college students and their parents in looking to find a suitable place to live.
The whole process can be overwhelming indeed. And you should consider many things before making your final decision about what student apartment you’re going to live in. Different considerations such as budget, amenities, and so on are important to keep in mind when conducting your apartment search.
If you need help knowing where to start, here’s an in-depth eight-step guide for finding and leasing an apartment for college students. Keep on reading to learn more.
1. Consider Your Housing Allowance
Before looking for an apartment, make sure to consider your housing allowance amount. This includes calculating how much you can spend on rent each month. Besides that, you must identify possible expenses you must pay on top of your monthly rent dues. This may include a rental deposit. Your landlord may require you to put down a security deposit before you move in. This usually equals one month’s rent and is refundable upon departure.
If your landlord separately charges for your utilities from your rent, you should also prepare to pay for there. These bills may include electricity, water, cable television, and Wi-Fi. You can check with your landlord if you need help determining what to expect from your utilities as an occupant of an apartment or home rental unit.
Do set aside a fund for paying renter’s insurance too. What is it though? It’s a type of insurance tenants can avail themselves of in order to protect their belongings housed in a leased living space from unforeseen harm like fire, burglary, and the like.
2. Know The Different Types Of Accommodations Available
After knowing the expenses when leasing a student apartment, you can now research available accommodations such as from Sunrise Village Apartments. This can help you determine what accommodation will suit your budget, lifestyle, needs, and so on.
Here are five common types of student housing that are mostly being offered in many college towns across the country:
- Micro Studio
This is a small one-bedroom apartment with a bathroom and kitchenette. The floor plan is smaller than a traditional one-bedroom apartment, with the living room separated from the bedrooms by a door or wall.
- One-Bedroom Apartments
This is perfect for students who want to save money on rent and still have access to a full kitchen. These apartments have two bedrooms, one bathroom, and often a balcony or patio area. The living room can be used as extra storage or for school space.
- Two-Bedroom Apartments
These are more significant than micro studios but smaller than traditional apartments. These apartments have multiple rooms, including two bedrooms and one bathroom or kitchen.
If you’re looking for a more spacious living space and your parents don’t mind paying a premium, a loft apartment might be the apartment for you.
Lofts are often designed with high ceilings and large windows, which give them a sense of openness and light. Plus, they feature more modern amenities like washers and dryers, which can be especially useful if you share a unit with roommates.
The type of apartment you choose is vital because it’ll affect the quality of your experience and the cost. So, you must select to find the best student housing for your budget.
3. Write Down A List Containing All Of The Amenities You Want
Once you figure out your ideal accommodation type, you need to prepare and write a list of amenities you want. This means you can compare the available options and find the best fit for your budget and needs.
The following are some of the essential amenities that you should include in your list:
- High-Speed Internet Connectivity
This is one of the most important amenities to consider when looking for an apartment. A strong connection allows you to access your email, communicate with your family and friends, and carry out web research your assignments.
- Laundry Facilities
It’s a good idea to get an apartment with in-unit laundry facilities because they allow you to wash your clothes at-home. If you don’t have a washer and dryer, you’ll need to pay for laundry services. This can be a significant added expense for students living off of only a limited budget.
A kitchen is a must if you plan to cook your meals every day. Instead of eating outside, you’ll be able to save your allowance and eat healthier. Look for an apartment with a kitchen with provided appliances, such as a stovetop and refrigerator.
- 24-Hour Security
The most crucial feature of any student housing property is to have round-the-clock security. This means you won’t have to worry about leaving your possessions unattended at night or during holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas break. Further, you’ll need not worry about your safety every time you go home late after attending your lessons from your inspiring professor.
- HVAC Systems
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. These systems are vital for ensuring that your apartment is comfortable to live in year-round. Without them, you could end up with a very hot apartment during the summer months or a very cold unit during the winter months.
Health is wealth. If you’re looking for a student apartment to rent it, you must have access to a good gym to stay fit and healthy. This will allow you to work out when you want and ensure that your studying schedule doesn’t interfere with your workout routine.
- Working Power Outlets
Many student apartments are wired for electricity but need more outlets for everyone in the building. This means that everyone needs their power strip so they can charge their electronics while using them at the same time. So, you should find one that offers multiple power outlets to accommodate everyone in your apartment complex.
If you own a vehicle, you must ensure that the student apartment you choose comes with free parking. This ensures that you won’t have to deal with off-street parking issues while ensuring that your car, bicycle, or motorcycle is always safe.
- Swimming Pool
If you have more budget and like spending time in the water, you should look for a student apartment with a swimming pool. This is a great way to relax after a long day at school or during the weekends.
- Maintenance Services
As a student, you won’t have time to repair your things, such as broken glass or leaky faucets. You need an expert who’ll take care of these things for you. Nevertheless, maintenance services might not be free and may cost you more, so consider this.
If you have a pet, ensure that pets are welcome in your lease. Many landlords will not allow pets in their apartments, so it’s crucial to ensure that you find out ahead of time if your landlord allows pets.
You can learn about these living amenities by looking at each rental’s description online or asking your landlord. Just be sure to ask about any special requirements or limitations on these items in the lease. For instance, if you want a washer/dryer in your apartment, you might need to pay extra. This way, you know what the landlord has to offer and how much that’ll cost before you decide whether or not to sign a lease.
4. Research About The Neighborhoods That Are Nearby
You must check the neighborhoods on your campus to find a suitable apartment. This includes looking at the crime rates and living costs in those neighborhoods. You don’t want to live in an unsafe community or spend more than you need to on rent.
You can do this by asking college students living nearby so you can receive first-hand information about the crime rate and transportation system of the area and how far away it is from campus. This will help you decide if this is a good place for your classes and if it’s safe enough for your parents to visit you.
You may go around and see if there are nearby hospitals, groceries, shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment areas as well. These are important because you won’t have to use the money for transportation, especially during emergencies.
5. Search Online For Student Apartment Listings In Your Area
Once you research the neighborhoods near your campus, you may start searching online for listings in your area. This means you can see which apartments are available in your chosen community.
You can search for student housing by using Google Maps or Bing Maps. Just type in the name of a city and click on the magnifying glass icon at the top left corner of your screen. You can also use other search engines to find listings from landlords across the country with properties available for rent or lease. If there are no results, try entering other words, such as ‘apartment’ or ‘housing,’ to get more significant results.
Since you already know your rental allowance and the amenities you want, it’ll be easier for you to find a student apartment. The only thing you must do is to narrow down as to which available options are the most suitable for your needs.
6. Look For Apartments That Have Good Ratings
After listing down all the available apartments in your area, you need to check the credibility of the landlords. This prevents you from getting scammed and paying a higher price for your apartment.
An excellent way to do this is by visiting their website and reading reviews about them before signing up for an application. In addition, you can ask if any students have been leasing student apartments in the past and have had good experiences with them. This way, you can see if they’re trustworthy before signing up for a leasing application.
And it’ll help you identify potential problems with the apartment itself that may arise later on. This includes water damage, electrical issues, lost items, or poor construction. This can help you avoid problems when moving in and ensure that everything works well throughout your tenure.
7. Prepare Documents Needed For Renting
Once you find a credible student apartment that accommodates your needs, it’s time to prepare your leasing documents. This may include your criminal and rental history, the proof of income of your parents or yours (if you’re paying), and personal references.
Just ensure that these documents are complete and accurate so the landlord can verify them before allowing you to move in. This ensures that they can accept you as a tenant and move forward with renting an apartment from them.
8. Check And Pay For The Lease
After preparing your documents, you need to check the student apartment lease before signing it. This means that you’ll be able to see the terms and conditions in detail before committing yourself to the lease. You can also ask questions regarding your rights as a tenant and what responsibilities you have in your new student apartment.
Once you check for any discrepancies in the lease, you can sign it and pay for a deposit. You may either pay cash or send your payment through the bank or online. Nonetheless, ask for a legal receipt to make the transaction valid at law. If something happens, you may use it as proof that you paid for a space in the apartment.
Where you live during your college years is vital because it can affect your financial and academic performance. So, if you’re looking to move out of your parent’s home in the months leading up to graduation, make sure to plan.
This way, you can find the right student accommodation that fits your budget and needs. You can find the best student apartment by following this eight-item guide. This includes knowing your rental allowance, researching your area, and determining the amenities you need for your student apartment.
In addition, you should be careful when signing documents with your landlord because they may contain hidden charges. An excellent way to avoid this is by reading the contract carefully and asking questions before signing anything. Once you verify their credibility, you can deposit them and sign a lease agreement.