How to Find An Off-Campus Apartment


Dormitory life is part of college experience, however, it may not be for everyone. Dormitories may not provide the most privacy for college students nor do they help students be more self-sufficient. Depending on your situation or your location, you may find that off-campus accommodations may be more to your liking. Perhaps you prefer the independence of living off-campus or maybe in your college town, splitting a house or apartment with several people will end up costing you less that signing up for a dorm bed. Whatever your reason, you should make sure you’re ready for living on your own. If you think you are, then here are some tips on moving and finding an off-campus apartment.

Check With Classmates, Friends or Acquaintances:
If you’re a college student living on your own and paying for your own place (or having the parents help you) chances are, you probably can’t afford your own place yet. Having roommates can help you lower the costs of moving to your own place. Try to ask people you know, like friends or classmates if they know a place or might want to split an apartment with you. Your peers are usually the best people to go to when you’re first moving out on your own, as they are in the same situation as you are, and there won’t be too many personality or lifestyle clashes. They’ll be able to understand if you need to pull an all-nighter in the living room or want to stay out late after finals week.

Figure Out Your Location:
Before your start looking for apartments, it’s a good idea to first decide on the area or areas you would want to move to. Picking the right neighborhood is essential, and you want to decide on a place depending on several factors, like proximity to your school or public transportation, how close amenities like restaurants are supermarkets are, and even the general feel of the neighborhood.

Figure out how much money you can afford to spend on your own place. Don’t forget about things like security deposits and cleaning deposits, as well as any agent’s fees that may arise if you use a rental agency. Also, remember you’ll have to pay for everything on your own, so consider things like utilities, TV and Internet and add them to your budget accordingly.

Where to Find Rentals:

 For many young people, the Internet is the place to find almost anything, and apartments are no different. Using the Internet is easy and convenient, but if you’re looking for a place at the beginning of the school year, you may have tough competition. So, try expanding your search to newspaper ads or even poster ads at the community bulletin boards or supermarket.

Look for Alternative Accommodations:
If you really just want to get out of dorm life and looking for something different, try tolook for alternative accommodations. Check out youth hostels in your area, and try to work out a rate with the management, who may be happy to have a regular client especially in the lean season. Maybe you can work out an arrangement with an elderly couple or person to help them around the house in exchange for room and board. Also, many homeowners are generating a little extra income by turning their basements or garages into separate apartments, and you may find a good enough deal that you won’t even need roommates. Think creatively and you can find the ideal off-campus living situation.