Moving off-campus is an exhilarating experience for every student. It is the first taste of independence which becomes even better because it is also a window to save money. However, the task can be challenging for someone moving out for the first time. Before committing to an off-campus house, you should consider these seven things:
- Get Referrals
We can often get our hands on a suitable apartment if we contact the right people. Sometimes, even the schools have resources. We can get the contacts of approved landlords and companies dealing in properties. We may also get a list of places rented by students previously from the school office. The other sound sources are the graduating students. Their apartment is available if they are moving out. Doing so will be a reliable source since an associate of yours has already lived there and can give you a first-hand review.
Choosing the right neighborhood is the most crucial segment of renting an off-campus apartment. A good locality includes having easy access to public transportation; optimum distance from the campus so that walking, intentionally or in an emergency, does not become a problem; the market should also be close so that shopping does not become tiresome. Most importantly, it would help if you considered the location’s safety. A real estate agent can help you with this if you are unfamiliar with a particular locality.
- Lease terms
If you think you have found the proper dwelling in a suitable locality at the correct price, do not hurry to sign up the legal contracts. Here are the things to keep in mind:
- Don’t skim your lease. Please read it. Ask questions if you don’t understand something.
- Provide the names of your roommates on the lease terms to avoid unnecessary problems later.
- Inquiry with the Landlord
Ensure that conversations with the landlord and any real estate agent are straightforward and that you receive answers to all your questions. Some owners may demand that you get renters’ insurance. It protects in situations of crises like theft, accidental damage, etc. It is affordable, not that pricey. Be clear about the amenities that are part of your rent—the amount you will pay for rent and what must be clear. Ask questions relating to pets, amenities, rent, and safety provisions. While asking pet-related questions, ask if there will be an extra amount chargeable for the pet. Also, never forget to collect the receipt for every payment made.
- Inspection of the Property
Do not sign up for the house without checking everything. It includes checking whether the locks work, the water source, and the heating system of the building. A few things to scrutinize:
- Parking- Is off-street parking included? Where is it, and how many vehicles can be parked there?
- Laundry – is it in the unit, in the building, or outside of the building? Is it free, or is it coin-operated?
- The lighting of the doorways and rooms – Are they on a sensor or manually operated? Which switches operate which lights and outlets?
- Locks – Check if all the locks have keys and whether they work smoothly.
- Faucets must be examined too.
- Water pressure of the shower
- Closet size
Choosing an acceptable roommate is very crucial. Life can become a living hell with roommates who do not get along. If you plan to room with a friend, make sure they are not dominating or have other qualities that do not appeal to you. These things can make the relationship toxic in the coming days.
Sometimes, people leave in the middle of the contract period. Fill up the roommates’ names in the lease terms and tenant form to avoid being stuck in this place and paying the entire rent alone.
- Moving and Decorating
Moving is a tiring task. Therefore, ask for help from some friends or family while shifting. Go for a moving company if they are not available.
The apartment you are moving into might not be as big as your dorm or home, so learn to recycle. Donate things that others can use. Also, be ready to throw away useless things.
Finding an off-campus apartment might not be easy, but these tips will help you throughout the process.