College Renting Tips
May 30, 2019
It’s no secret that many of the off-campus UC housing options are some of the best around, but what can be a bit of a brain teaser is how to line yourself up with one of the best apartment possible when you’re a student. Living off-campus is a popular option nowadays, and while there are a lot of variables that can go into tracking down the right spot, with a bit of know-how, you can ensure that you not only find a place that fits your personal preferences, but does so while fitting your budget and providing all those little “quality of life” touches that will make your college experience that much more enjoyable. Today, we’re offering some tips to point you in the right direction. Here’s what you’ll need to know.
Nailing the Apartment Renting Process
Like most things in life, one of the biggest keys to ensuring success when trying to rent a student apartment is doing plenty of research ahead of time. You’ll want to do plenty of homework about any potential living space, and learn as much as you can about the area as well. Here are a few of the things you should make a top priority when scouting out apartments:
- Is it safe? — You’ll want to make sure that whatever apartment you select is in an area that’s safe to live in, as it’s more conducive to both your studies and your overall health! Crime statistics will give you an idea of that, as will talking to people who live in the area.
- Is it close enough to campus? — Living off campus is great, but you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t so far away that getting there for classes becomes a pain. Check the proximity of that apartment you’re eyeballing, and make sure you can get to campus quickly enough when you need to.
- Is the location convenient? — As a corollary to the above point, you’ll want to make sure that, in addition to being close to campus, your chosen apartment location is also close to the things in the neighborhood that you’ll need to frequent. How close will the grocery store be, for instance, or that coffee shop you like? The idea here is to set yourself up for as convenient an experience as you can.
- Are the prices reasonable? — You likely have a budget; make sure you stick to it in your apartment search. Thankfully, though, on this point, there are definitely great residences you can find that offer a lot of value for a reasonable price.
- Does the apartment have space? — No sense in spending your college career living like a sardine. Even if you do have roommates, that doesn’t mean you have to be stacked on top of one another in your apartment. Go for a residence that will offer you enough space to have a modicum of privacy.
- What are the amenities like ? — You’ll want to look at apartments and communities that offer plenty in the way of both in-unit amenities and amenities for the whole complex. In particular, young students will want to make sure that the “laundry situation” is to their liking, as there’s little more frustrating in student life than having to carry loads and loads of clothes to the local laundromat!
This initial research will likely be two-part step for you. First, you’ll want to head online and start taking notes on various properties that fit your preferences. Most communities nowadays (at least the ones that are well organized) will offer a lot of information about their property and the surrounding community right on their websites. This is a great way to become somewhat familiarized with the locale and narrow down your options to perhaps a top five of spots you’d like to visit.
Which is where the second part of your research will come into play. Next you’ll need to pay a personal visit to these apartment locations to see what they’re really like. Pictures of a property, while often nice, aren’t always akin to the real thing, and getting up close will give you a chance to see details, like how big that apartment is on the inside. It will allow you to envision what your new living space will be like once you’ve loaded in some furniture, assess the quality of appliances and the like, and ensure it’s all on the up and up. You might want to check out this list of do’s and don’ts for your tour to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Once you’ve singled out the apartment of your dreams, it’s time to get into those leasing details. Understanding a lease might seem like a daunting task at first, but there are plenty of resources to get you through the process. Investopedia, in particular, has a pretty thorough how-to guide on getting into the weeds on a lease. To sum it up, you’ll want to make sure that you understand all of the fees you’ll be responsible for (deposit, monthly rent, etc.) and know which utilities will factor into the rent (and which you’ll have to cover separately).
In addition, you’ll want to make sure you understand the apartment’s ground rules (things like having guests over, maximum occupancy, quiet hours), and if you have a furry friend, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to the pet policy to make sure that your new living space will accommodate both you and your four-legged buddy.
This UC Housing Option Always Makes for a Phenomenal Choice
When it comes to great places for students to live near UC Davis, few options shine quite like West Village. These stunning student apartments, conveniently located close to campus and just about anything else you’d want to partake of around Davis, offer up an amazing combination of contemporary design features, awesome amenities, and a pace of life that’s perfect for the complete student experience. Find out more about how you can make one of these stellar residences yours, and welcome to a forward thinking student community like no other.