Throughout your college years, housing is a topic that will never go away. Each year you may face a move from one place to another, one lease to the next.
There are lots of options for housing; though it may not seem this way when spring rolls around.
Even after the first year off-campus, housing may be subject to change. Situations evolve, leases expire, roommates leave, necessitating another shift in living arrangements, another season of trudging from open house to open house.
Housing is one of those things that has the power to completely bowl you over with its stresses. After all, this is finding a place to live. Here are some pieces of advice to find and select the best place to live off-campus next year.
Timeline Of The Search
First of all, get started early.
And while this is great advice, it is also helpful to keep in mind that more and more housing options will become available and advertised as time goes on.
The places that appear on Craigslist in February are not by any means the best, the cheapest, or the only options you will have for off-campus housing. By April an entirely new array of living spaces may be available.
This being said, in order to have the highest chance of finding a new apartment in Roanoke, VA you should start going to open houses early, ready to make a decision on a place if you love it, but also knowing that plenty more options will open up.
Gathering Cohorts And Group Planning
Other than where you want to live, the most important part of housing is deciding who you want to live with, or deciding you want to live with no one at all. Once you have chosen your roommates make sure whatever group you have decided on is stable.
In order to decide on a place to live, you need to know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you are looking for, the price range your group can manage, and who will be signing the lease. So it’s pretty imperative that you know how many people and who you plan to live with.
Next, you will all have to decide what type of living situation you are looking for and how you will make compromises to accommodate everyone’s wishes. Think about how far you want to live from campus, if you are looking to share bedrooms, and how much everyone is willing to pay.
These may seem like details that can be worked out later on, but figuring them out at the beginning of your search will make this a much less stressful process. Your hunt for housing can immediately be narrowed and save you going to open houses in places people in your group are not actually interested in living, if you know everyone’s preferences and requirements for housing up front.
Give It Everything You’ve Got
When embarking on your housing search, go forth at full force. Don’t go to open houses with the attitude that these options will be around forever. If you see an apartment and take too much time thinking about whether or not you want it, someone else will snatch it out from under you. This is a time to be fierce, competitive, and fully prepared.
When you see a housing listing online or in an advertisement, check out its information (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, price, etc) before you go to see it. If necessary, you can call the property manager (or whoever’s information is given out as a contact) to ask further questions beyond the information provided.
Knowing as much as possible before you see a place will give you an idea of how much you want it.
If you know the place you are going to see is something you are interested in, have your paperwork ready.
Even if you are unsure and need to see the living space before you would be ready to commit to submitting an application, get it ready before you go see the place. That way you will have everything you need if you decide you do want to live there, and if you decide you don’t, no problem, you don’t need to turn the application in.
Housing is a constant struggle for students, especially during the spring semester when academic workloads don’t let up to allow time for figuring out living situations.