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4 Tips to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Apartment

Housing Finances

You lived in the dorms during your first year or two of college, but now is the time to find your first real apartment off campus.

This is truly a turning point in your life, and it is one to look forward to, but living on your own can be scary.

Now that you are heading back to school, here are a few tips to use when looking for your first college apartment off campus:

Live Within Reason

The most important step in finding your off-campus apartment is figuring out how much you can afford to spend on rent.

Figuring out after you’ve moved in that you can’t afford your rent is going to cause a lot of stress for you and your landlord.

Read: How to Negotiate Rent With a Potential Landlord]

In the movies, even dorm rooms are much nicer than they tend to be in real life, so don’t get bent out of shape if you can’t find an apartment with a huge kitchen, rooftop deck and on-site fitness center.

You are supposed to rough it a bit during college, and you don’t want to live in an apartment that you aren’t able to afford.

Read: How to

Choose the Right ’Hood

Now that you’re venturing off campus, it’s important that you feel safe in your neighborhood, so look up crime statistics and visit the neighborhood at night to make sure you feel comfortable.

You’ll also make sure you have all of the amenities that you need close by—such as public transportation, a bank and a grocery store. (No more meal plan at the campus cafeteria!) 

Don’t Go it Alone

College is all about learning, and there really is no better way to learn how to deal with others than sharing you’re apartment with roommates.

There are certainly cons to having a roommate—such as less privacy and more mess—but there are also big advantages, like the ability to split the cost of rent and utilities.

[Read: How to Split the Cost of Moving]

This usually means you’ll be able to afford a nicer apartment than you could if you were living by yourself.

When choosing who to live with, make sure it is someone you trust. You have to rely on this person to help pay bills, buy food and send in rent in a timely fashion.

You probably can’t afford to support yourself and someone else.

Choose Apartment Amenities Wisely

Finding the perfect apartment isn’t easy—you may be able to find a flawless place for you and your roommates, but chances are you’ll have to make some concessions.

Before you start your off-campus apartment search, it’s important to know which amenities you’re willing to compromise on.

[Read: Is There a Best Time Of Year to Rent an Apartment?]

Some common amenities to consider are on-site or in-unit laundry, dishwasher, parking spots, storage space, pool, fitness center, and patio or balcony.

Determine which amenities are must-haves and which conveniences you can live without.

“4 Tips to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Apartment” was provided by is the only free rental site that helps you find an affordable apartment, gives you tips on how to move and then says, “Thank you” with a $100 Visa Reward Card. 


Comments (2) Leave your comment

  1. My little brother is going to be starting college this upcoming spring. He needs to find an apartment close to the college he is going to. So, I appreciate your advice on making sure that he gets an apartment with amenities that will meet his needs. I think it would be best for him to get an apartment that has good parking and washers and dryers in the apartment.

  2. I really like that you point out that you need to find an apartment in a neighborhood that you are comfortable with. My best friend and I are wanting to find an apartment together and need to find the best place for us. I’ll have to do some research and find a great place in a great neighborhood.

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