Has your college-aged child decided to move out of a dorm and into an apartment?
Living off-campus in a college apartment is a rite of passage for many students. To ease the journey for all concerned, we’ve got tips for parents ahead.
Off-campus living means greater independence from the university support system, more responsibility as a renter, and increased real-world experience — including plenty of its own potential distractions. Being able to choose an apartment, rather than being assigned space in a residence hall, can allow your child to create a living situation of her own, however. If your child is ready for it, off-campus living also typically means choosing her own roommates — hopefully, other students who will stay in sync regarding their studies.
Location and price remain prime considerations
When your child decides he wants to locate an off-campus apartment, as a parent, you may well want to intervene with help. Hopefully, your child values your involvement and wants your advice. Be sensitive, however, to the desire to strike out on his own, and allow for that growing sense of independence.
As you help your child think through the details of finding and paying for an apartment, you’ll want to remember all the basics. An easy commute to class and access to campus facilities should be prime considerations for your child’s apartment search. Make sure your child is able to easily reach city transit services if he doesn’t have a car. Also, explore whether or not groceries and other basic amenities are nearby.
You may feel better if you do some safety “due diligence,” as well. Besides checking in with residents and the manager at a prospective apartment community, you might take a look online with the local police department or on Web sites which provide neighborhood-based details. Find out how entry into the apartment community is secured, whether or not the doors and parking deck are monitored by cameras, and if the area is well-lit.
A studious balance
It may still be important to you to know how well-controlled your child’s apartment environment might be. You can inquire with apartment management about details like restrictions on noise, parties and guests. Apartments with more policies might mean a more studious environment. Keep in mind that here is another area offering you the opportunity to trust your child.
The brass tacks: living expenses!
There’s no disputing the importance of cost when it comes to your child’s apartment. Once you’ve narrowed down the top contenders on the list, it’s time to get down to what the rent will actually be. Look for the possibility of included services such as utilities, Wi-Fi and cable. Many apartment communities are eager to beat the competition by providing free amenities.
Helping your child into her first college apartment is a big step. Conduct your apartment search with the above questions in mind, and it won’t be long until your grown-up kid is settling in to her first real home away from home!
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