Thinking about making the move off-campus? Before you ditch the dorms, there are a few things you need to be considering!
What can you afford?
Before you start your search for a student apartment or a new roommate, you need to figure out what you can afford to pay. In the dorms, the cost of utilities, and likely your meals, was included in the cost of housing. You’ll need to make a budget for yourself to determine how much you can pay for rent.
What type of off-campus housing is right for you?
Once you know what you can afford to pay, it’s time to think about what type of a living situation would be the best fit for your social, economic and academic needs. Most college students choose to live with roommates in a shared house or apartment. Sharing the cost of rent, utilities, and household needs will help keep costs down. If you’re someone who prefers a quiet place to study and unwind, living alone in an apartment might be better if you are able to afford it.
|Off-Campus housing type||Consider this if you…
|Studio apartment||Prefer a quiet space to study and relax
|Living with roommates||Want to save money
|Enjoy living with others
|Living with your parents||Are going to school near your home
|Want to save money
|Renting for services (au pairs, live-in housekeeper, etc)||Want to make money
Searching for your first rental
Once you know how much you can spend and what you’re looking for, it’s time to find the perfect place for you! Keep these tips in mind while you’re apartment hunting:
- What should I look for in a potential rental?
- What should I be asking potential landlords?
- How can I tell if the apartment is a good fit for me?
- What about getting to and from class and work?
Everything you need to know about roommates (including how to find them!)
Having a roommate is a great way to save money on rent and utilities while living off-campus but it’s important to make sure you find a good match.
- I don’t have a roommate lined up, where can I find one?
- How can I make sure a roommate is a good fit?
- How do I ask someone to be my roommie?
Applying for an apartment or rental
Finding an apartment you like is often just the first step in the process. Make sure you’re ready to fill out the application once you find the right place!
- What will I need for an apartment application?
- Can I still apply if I don’t have any credit history? What about bad credit?
- Do I need a co-signer?
- How do I keep my information safe and avoid scams?
Signing a lease agreement
This is the most important step in the process so make sure you understand your lease and are comfortable with the rules and requirements it contains. Remember that breaking your lease early may mean you lose your security deposit and can be costly. Breaking the rules in your lease can lead to serious consequences, even eviction.
- Understanding your lease before you sign it
- What are the components of a lease agreement?
- What is a security deposit? Will I get it back?
- Renters insurance – Do I need it?
Moving in to your new home
Congratulations! You’ve found your next home now it’s time to move into it. Moving can be stressful and tedious at times but it’s totally do-able if you take it step by step.
- Establish a timeline and moving checklist
- 9 apartment moving hacks
- Can I afford to hire movers?
- Do I need to rent a moving truck?
- How should I tackle the packing process?
- Can I make moving day easier?
- Unpacking! Where do I start?
A crucial part of successful off-campus living is learning how to manage your relationships with your landlords and roommates.
- I want to get a long with my landlord. Any advice?
- Repairs: What should I expect from my landlord?
- What are the best ways to divide up chores with my roommates?
- How do I make sure I get along with my new neighbors?
Moving out or renewing your lease
All good things must come to an end some day. Right? Make sure you tie up all loose ends at the end of your lease to ensure a good reference from your landlord.