What to Look for in Off-Campus Student Housing
So you’ve done the dorm thing and you’re now ready for the next big step in your college career: living off campus. What should you look for? There’s more to off-campus student housing than finally having a full-sized refrigerator, your own bathroom and a real kitchen. It may be your first time living on your own in a genuine apartment, so you’ll want to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Here are some key points to consider when searching for off-campus student housing.
Is it furnished housing?
Selecting, purchasing and transporting furniture can be one of the most challenging parts of the moving process. Fortunately, you can skip that part completely by opting for a furnished student apartment. You’ll save time and hassle, and your furnished apartment will be livable right away.
Is off-campus housing close to campus and public transportation? Is there parking in the building?
Find out what your commute to school from off campus housing will entail. Can you walk there or take public transportation? Where is the nearest train, bus or ferry station? If you have a car, see if there is a parking facility in the building. If so, ask if it costs extra (on top of the monthly rent) to use. Otherwise, ask about street parking availability.
What else is near the apartment?
Living off campus also means supplying your own food and household items. You’ll want to see what kinds of grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, convenience stores, etc. are within walking distance of your student apartment. Check their hours, too—we all know how wacky a college student’s schedule can be.
Beyond the essentials, scope out the local clothing shops, restaurants, bars, museums and parks. Living in off-campus housing is a great opportunity to branch out from your usual on-campus haunts, so take advantage.
Does the apartment have laundry onsite?
When you have both a paper due and a job interview scheduled for the next day, having convenient laundry facilities is a blessing. See if the student apartment you’re considering has washers and dryers either within the unit or the building. It also doesn’t hurt to take a look at the laundry room, checking out the equipment and how to pay for the laundry (coins, laundry card, debit card, etc.).
Are utilities and WiFi included in the rent?
Some furnished apartments will include utilities like electricity, water, trash disposal and/or gas in the monthly rent, while others won’t. Sometimes the monthly rates will be fixed, while other times they may vary. Find this out and remember to consider it in your calculations. Some furnished student apartments may even have WiFi and housekeeping included in the rent—a major bonus for busy college students.
Convinced a furnished apartment is for you?
Skip the dorms this year and check out our furnished housing options near your college.