Off Campus Housing 101: A Crash Course in Apartment Living

Living Life Off Campus

Living in a dorm is standard for most college students, but some people get tired of this kind of living environment. Some students want to be more independent, and want to have their own place to live during their college years. This is why many of them move out of their dorms after the first year to take advantage of off campus housing. If you want to move into your own off campus apartment, here is everything you should know.

1. Why People Prefer Off Campus Housing

Aspen Glen Apartment

Many students choose to move out of the college dorm after a year or two because off campus apartments usually offer more options. Not only do you have more freedom to decorate your apartment as you wish, you can get a lot more storage space too. Also, many off campus apartments have their own kitchens, so you are allowed to cook your own meals.

Off campus apartment communities also offer unique amenities that cannot be found at most college dorms, such as public swimming pools and in-unit washers and dryers. Lastly, off campus apartments typically have a one year lease on them, so you will not have to rush to move out the second the semester ends. If you choose to renew your lease, then moving back in will be much easier, since you can leave everything right in the apartment.

2. Selecting Your Apartment

The most important factor to consider in regards to living off campus is location. You will need to travel from your apartment to the campus throughout the week, so you need to choose a community that is close to your college. If you need to travel to other places for an internship, sporting events, or another kind of extracurricular activity, you need to consider that as well.

When you are browsing communities, take note of any onsite amenities that you would like to take advantage of. Also, make sure the apartment you want has enough space so you can properly store all the things you want to bring with you. Be sure to consult with your family so you can get help selecting the optimal community for your lifestyle.

3. Checking Your Budget

Budget & Calculator

Renting an apartment of any kind is no cheap endeavor, so you need to select an apartment with money in mind. Several factors can affect how much money you spend on an off campus apartment, and your college will not help you manage this directly. Since you have to manage your own budget, you must consider several factors when deciding where to live.

Things you have to factor into your budget include your income if you have a job, financial support you received from friends and family, and the amount of money you will need for food. Check the monthly rent for apartments you are looking at, and determine if you can reasonably afford it based on the previously mentioned factors. Lots of off campus students underestimate how much they have to spend, so do your research before you make any final decisions.

4. Choosing Your Roommates

Shaking Hands

In college your roommates are usually chosen for you, but in an off campus apartment you have the freedom to live with whoever you want. In fact, having a trustworthy roommate living with you can be beneficial in more ways than one. Without a doubt, the best part of having a roommate is that you can split up the monthly payments for the apartment and utilities.

It is important to be careful with picking roommates, however, because choosing the wrong person to live with can make your life a lot more stressful. Your roommate needs to be good with money, because if someone starts falling behind with payments then you could get in trouble with your landlord. Sit down with a prospective roommate, and discuss things such as payments, furniture, and food.

If you have trouble agreeing with this person, then you probably will not make good roommates.

5. Get Help for Move-In Day

Receiving Key

Once everything has been set in stone, you need to prepare to move into your brand new apartment. Your roommate will help you if you choose to live with one, but it never hurts to get some extra help. Talk with your family, and call up any friends who would be glad to lend a helping hand.

If you still need some furniture for your apartment, use this opportunity to ask friends and family if they would like to donate anything. This is a great way to save money on furnishing your new apartment. Set up a time for move-in day, so everyone is ready to pack up and get your apartment ready for the semester.

Interested in living off campus?
Aspen Communities offers several rental options for local students.