Besides tuition fees, the other major cost that every college student must take care of is housing. Most students find themselves spending a lot on college housing. As a matter of fact, the struggle to find affordable accommodation is well-known to new college students. Considering the duration that you’ll spend in the college, it’s critical that you find an affordable housing option in a safe location. But how can you do this successfully?
Below are five useful tips to help you find affordable student housing with ease:
1. Have A Clear Housing Budget
Student housing options vary in pricing. As such, you need to have a clear budget to enable you find accommodation that falls within your planned expenditure. On-campus housing and other forms of private student housing that come with additions such as catering and gym access can be expensive. If you’re a continuing student, you can reduce accommodation cost by leveraging resident advisor discounts.
Alternatively, find a private property off campus and rent it either through an independent landlord or an agency. This will be a more cost-effective option than staying on campus. Either way, the best way to ensure that remain within your student housing expenditure limits is to craft a budget. This way, you’ll lower the risk of taking accommodation options that are beyond your budget.
2. Start Your Search Early
The key to finding affordable student housing in a secure and accessible location is to begin your search early. Affordable housing units like Sunrisevillageapts.com are often in high demand. The longer you wait before you begin your search, the more the units become scarce and the higher the cost of getting a decent room. It’s advisable to begin your search for student housing months before the college reporting date. Since colleges and universities often have a housing department, reaching out to them early and being proactive in your search will increase your chances of getting an affordable student housing.
3. Compare The Cost Of Living On Campus And Off Campus
The safest place to get student accommodation is within the college campus. On campus living is ideal if you plan to take up an on-campus job or spent most of your time studying in the library. While the cost of on-campus student residence may sound a bit costly compared to accommodation options off-campus, it includes expenses related to gas, electricity, and water. In some cases, internet and cable costs are also covered.
Unlike off-campus accommodation, you don’t have to make a security deposit for on-campus rooms and basic furnishing is often available. Though on-campus housing may seem appear costly, factoring these costs as well as those that are related to communicating can make off-campus living more costly.
Before settling down on a housing option, compare the cost of living on-campus and off campus. Since majority of colleges have on-campus student dorms, you’re better off choosing this option instead of living miles away from off-campus in a cheaper residence and having to commute to and from the college every day.
The beauty of living in a dorm on campus is that you know what the housing cost includes and which expenses you’ll have to pay. Since colleges are strict in the way they vet property owners, leveraging this option enables you to get reasonable housing at a fair price.
4. Get A Roommate To Cost Share
Another way to make student housing affordable is to share the cost of accommodation with roommates. Whether you want to live in a house or an apartment, you can reduce the cost of leasing the space significantly by getting a roommate to share the apartment with you.
Sharing an apartment with one or two roommates can reduce the amount you pay for space significantly. Some of the things you’ll need to consider prior to settling down on the idea of sharing a living space include whether you’re ready to share the place and how many people you can tolerate to live with.
Find people who are responsible to share an apartment with. Make sure that you can get along well with them because breaking the lease just because you can’t stand your roommates can cost you a lot later on. Also, consider the requirements that the apartment manager or landlord has put in place. In some instances, landlords require that housing units be shared by a specific number of people. Breaking lease requirements can have serious impacts that include termination or even compromise your safety and that of other residents.
5. Weigh Different Options
When you start searching for student housing, explore different options before deciding which one to settle for. Most student often make the mistake of settling down for a housing agreement too soon. This rush causes them to miss out on options that are more affordable and safer – which means they end up spending more cash on accommodation than they needed to.
When you start the hunt, explore different apartments available in varying locations. Take a look at apartments that are located further away from the college. These are likely to be less costly because the closer the apartments are to the college campus, the more costly they’ll be. During your search, ensure that you a notepad and a list of questions you need to ask landlords or managers as you talk to them.
Consider taking notes during your conversations with different managers or landlords. Once you’re done with the hunt, compare the various options you have available and settle on the most affordable housing option available.
6. Look Out For Subleasing Opportunities
If you’re looking for temporary student housing, you need to pay attention to apartment or studio ads on bulletin boards in colleges and universities. People who want to sublease studio apartments or space will often place ads on-campus, which increases your chances of finding affordable subleasing opportunities.
Subleasing enables you get affordable student housing because you don’t pay for the entire space. Rather, you only lease the space you need. In some instances, the person who is subletting the housing unit may decide to lower the rent amount and pay the difference. This often happens when the original lease holder wants to move out of the housing unit within a short period. Since you just want to use the space temporarily, you can negotiate to get a lower price with the tenant if the price of the lease has not dropped.
7. Search For Student Housing Online
The internet is a great place to search for affordable student housing. However, you need to be aware of websites that offer college housing classified services to do this. There are numerous sites that provide lists of available leases, rooms, and sublets in different states or cities. Since an online search doesn’t require you to travel around searching for student housing, it’s very easy to underestimate the time you’ll require to find the kind of housing you want.
But if you decide to search for affordable student housing online, ensure that you begin your search early and that you allow yourself sufficient time to do the search. Bear in mind that even though you find a housing unit that’s very close to what you’re looking for, it’s advisable to check it out and ensure that it’s in good shape and that it’s everything that you saw online prior to making a payment and signing the lease agreement.
This process will take time. As such, plan your search well and ensure that you have sufficient time to do everything you need to do to get the kind of student housing you want at an affordable cost.
8. Visit The Towns Surrounding The College
When you’re searching for affordable student housing, it’s always a good idea to explore the surrounding town ahead of time. Visit the neighborhood that the housing unit you’re considering to rent during the day to get a feel of the area. The last thing you want is to discover that the housing unit you’ve signed up for is located in an area that either smells weird or lacks important amenities like street lights or a reliable water connection.
9. Talk To Your College
Increasingly, colleges are becoming more proactive in ensuring that students get the resources they need to find affordable housing during their stay in college. Some of the resources they make available to students include housing features, the search feature on their sites, and residential life referrals. Consider approaching your college’s student welfare department to find out what information they might have about student housing. By doing this, you’ll be able to find students who may be seeking to sublet their space or those who are in need of roommates.
Finding affordable student housing may sound like an easy thing to do—but it’s not, particularly when you start your search late. The reality is that every student is looking for a way to reduce college expenses. The easiest way to do this is to find affordable housing units in a safe environment. To secure affordable housing, start your search early and talk to your college to find out what subletting opportunities exist.
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