Studying Away From Home? 5 Tips To Find The Best College Apartment

Know how to find the best accomodation in abroad....

Standyou Team
Standyou Team

Sep 07, 2021 08:44:04

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For many individuals, studying away from home means living in a college apartment. That way, they can concentrate on their studies instead of spending a lot of time traveling to and from their hometown. Even if there’s only a one-hour distance between your home and the school campus, it's still better to use that time doing homework or reviewing for an exam.

In addition, it’s important for you to choose a good college apartment because it can affect your college years. For instance, if you go for an option that’s cheap but is situated in a bad neighborhood, it might not be safe for you to stay there, or you could end up in the company of people who are up to no good. Fortunately, there are ways for you to find a place that’s right for your circumstances. Read on to discover some of them.

1. Check Your Budget

While it's a good idea to have an apartment in an affluent neighborhood, it may not be feasible if your budget is tight. So before anything else, it's best to know how much you can spend for your future apartment. Once you've set a realistic budget, it can help you find the most suitable accommodation.

When budgeting, you must include fixed and non-fixed expenses. Fixed expenses include health insurance, loan payments, food, and gas. It's also best to have a tiny allowance for entertainment and recreation purposes such as going to the movies, dining out, and shopping. Of course, don't forget to set aside the amount you want to save.

By figuring out what your expenses will be, you’ll be able to determine how much rent you can afford. The money left in your budget after you add up all the other expenses will be your basis for finding an apartment. Apart from the rental fee, you have to take into account the cost of electricity, water, and similar utilities.

Afterward, refer to the budget when looking into property listings online. If you want to check out affordable apartments, click here.

2. Consider The Distance Of The Apartment From Your School

As mentioned, living closer to your school is one of the main reasons you'll want to rent an apartment in the first place. Thus, aside from your budget, you should consider the proximity of the accommodation to your university. The closer it is to your campus, the better.

However, keep in mind that such rentals can have higher rates since they're more accessible. If you encounter an option that’s within your budget, then you can add it to your list of prospective apartments. But if not, then try other areas.

You don't have to find a building that’s only a walking distance from your school. One that’s a 20- to 30-minute drive away would suffice. It’ll likely have much lower rental fees that’ll fit your budget.

An important factor to check is the available means of traveling between your apartment and university. This means the place you choose must be accessible to public transportation if you don't have your own car. Ensuring this will make your everyday commute faster and more convenient.

3. Take Note Of The Amenities Available

Given that you're renting an apartment rather than a dorm, it's a must for you to check what the building offers. It should provide you with more space than a dorm room and proper amenities.

Although you might spend most of your time at the university, it's still a good idea to have a space that offers functionality and comfort. Thus, here are some essentials you want to be included in an apartment:

  • Tables And Chairs: With these, you don't have to eat and study on your bed or, worse, the floor. Also, you won't need to spend on new furniture if these are already present in your unit.

  • Bed And Mattress: You have to get adequate sleep in order to keep up with the pressures of being a college student. Thus, find a rental that already has a bed in it. Although you can bring your own pillows, blankets, and sheets, a mattress should already be in the apartment.

  • Kitchen Equipment And Tools: Without these, you won't be able to cook your own meals. Although you may not need a complete set of kitchen appliances, it's best to find an apartment with the basics such as a stove, refrigerator, and a microwave. There should also be pots, pans, ladles, a can opener, and the like. That way, you can at least prepare a simple meal.

  • Dishes: There’s no point in being able to cook when you have to eat straight from the pot or pan. The kitchen should have utensils, plates, glasses, and bowls.

  • Wi-Fi: These days, having an internet connection is no longer a luxury but a necessity. As a student, you'll be doing a lot of online research, so the apartment you go for should have good Wi-Fi.

The facilities in the apartment don't have to be grand. It would certainly be nice to have access to a pool and a gym, but apartments that have those are often expensive. What you'll need is to find one with all the essentials. That way, you can survive from day to day and have a comfortable stay without the need to spend more money for basic items that can’t be found in the unit.

If the rental is fully furnished, then check whether you'll be able to use each piece of furniture. If not, then it'd be a waste of money since all of the furnishings are included in your rental payments. Thus, it's still best to rent one with simple yet highly useful inclusions.

4. Know Where To Search For Apartments

Now that you’re aware of the right factors to look for in a college apartment, you also have to know where to start your search. While scouring an area is acceptable, it may provide you with insufficient options. Thus, here are some sources of information when it comes to rentals:

  • Off-Campus Housing Office: Your college may have off-campus housing, so it's best to check it out. With this, you can find reputable landlords your university approves of. That way, you only have to visit them without having to research about the landlord's reputation beforehand. 

  • Online Listings: As mentioned, you can find affordable apartments online. You can browse websites catering to your area, and there you might be able to find reviews and ratings for each of the rentals listed. Alternatively, you can search for an apartment on social media platforms. Nowadays, some property owners have social media pages where you can also look for feedback from previous tenants.

  • Real Estate Agents: If you have more money to spare, then working with a real estate agent can be a viable option, too. Find one who’s knowledgeable about college rentals. The real estate agent can search the best option for you, and they'll also be the one to negotiate with the landlord and review the rental agreement. All you need to do is to let them know what your preferences and budget are and visit whatever apartment they recommend.

5. Check The Condition Of The Rental

After creating a list of potential apartments, you have to visit them personally. Since all of the information you have about them may have been from the internet, verify it when you drop by each property. Some rentals may seem impressive online but may not be appealing in person. Some may not even have the amenities their owners have stated in their listings, so it's best to check them out yourself.

In addition, you can observe the neighborhood during your visit. This is the community you'll be staying in for months if not years, so it's only natural to opt for an area where you'll feel safe and comfortable. Although staying safe is mostly on you, it'll do you a world of good to live in a neighborhood where no one's there waiting to harm you once it gets dark. If you think something's off, then follow your instinct and remove that option from your list.

Moreover, by visiting the apartments, you can compare them and choose the most suitable one for you. While on the property, you may want to do the following:

  • Try flushing the toilet or running the water in the shower and sinks. By doing this, you can determine whether they're working properly. If, for instance, the water pressure is incredibly weak or no water comes out at all, then that's a red flag.

  • Look inside the closets and cupboards. Check for mouse droppings or other signs that there are pests in the apartment.

  • Check the appliances. Even though an apartment has all the appliances you need, you still have to figure out whether they're brand-new or old. If they're relatively new, that’s a good thing, but regardless of their age, they have to be functional.

  • Assess the actual size of the apartment. You have to know whether the space is big enough for you. If it's too small, you might not have enough space for all of your personal belongings. A more spacious room will allow you to designate an area where you can focus on studying.

Conclusion

Renting an apartment when you're in college is both exciting and challenging. It's challenging as you may have to conduct in-depth research so you can get the best rental. However, you can make things easier by following the tips above. In doing so, you can have a nice place you can call home away from home while pursuing your degree.

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