After freshman year many students get what we like to call the “off campus fever”, essentially they miss the division between being at home and being at school. It is extremely common for students to consider finding a place off campus after freshman year. However, it can present many unforeseen problems as well. For example, sometimes the costs are way higher than expected and most places come unfurnished or perhaps a friend bails out on you at the last second. To prevent these common problems you need to have a solid plan. So here are some questions to ask and tips that will help you when you are trying to find a place to live off campus.
1. Can everyone afford it even in a bad income month? (think about utilities, food, and fuel)
— get a spreadsheet together of everyone’s income and estimate the average costs for each month.
— Identify ways to save money like not getting cable or buying cheaper food items.
2. Is everyone you will be living with 100% committed?
— Confirm they won’t be on an internship next year.
— have the spoken to their parents about moving off campus?
3. Analyze what you will need
— what furniture do you have and what will each person need?
— do you have cooking utensils and if not how much will you need?
— mattresses are expensive and its best to buy one new, this can be a large unforeseen cost if you do not plan for it.
— do you need a car for transportation?
4. If you don’t have a car how are you going to get to campus?
— talk to people in your classes or mutual organizations.
— get to know who lives in the area you are planning on moving to, if you know them they can always give you a ride but, remember it will be at their convenience
5. Once you have your plan set up find a place that satisfies your financial and convenience needs.
6. Talk to the manager and apply several months in advance of the date you want to move!!! Off campus housing fills up fast, you are not the only one looking to move there!!!!
When all that is done sit back and wait, you will eventually get a phone call saying that you have secured a place to live. :) It is not a hard stressful move if you are prepared well in advance.
embryAnd of course on-campus housing is always a good choice as well. You can’t beat the convenience of being on campus! If you have any questions feel free to ask us! Thanks for reading everyone!