Another school year has come around and after a year and a half of Zoom classes, students are slowly going back to normal. Due the uncertainties of the pandemic, one of the challenges many students face is looking for housing outside of campus. Here are some tips to help ease the process:
1. Budget accordingly
First-time off-campus students often don’t realize the number of separate expenses they have to account for besides rent. Additional costs like internet, hydro, and heating bills, plus furniture and transportation expenses can really add up. Also, be sure to have extra cash on hand for impulsive spending and for take-out because as much as you want to save by cooking your own meals every day – it can be exhausting! Lastly, always have an emergency fund prepared. Learn to become your own financial planner by creating a budget on an Excel spreadsheet or use budgeting apps.
2. Get a roommate
Rent can be pricey - especially in areas surrounding a school campus. Websites like roomies, Kijiji, and joining Facebook groups are helpful in finding a roommate. But remember to be extra cautious. Ask for references, find out if your lifestyles are compatible (e.g., study, cooking, and cleaning habits) and get their social media if you can before deciding to move in together! It is best to start finding your new home a few months before your current lease/school year ends.
3. Look into your school's resources
Often, universities have resources in place to help with this transition. They can tell you where to look for postings, give advice, and provide information on rental laws and agreements. Of course, always do your own research but don’t be afraid to reach out to older students or your peers. They may have insider information on house hunting tips or areas to avoid.
4. Make sure the location is convenient
Location can play a huge factor into your student life. Perhaps you want to be close to the school, grocery store, bus stop, restaurants, etc. Know what your priorities are so you can filter out locations based on your needs. You can also ask for a video tour if you cannot make it in person. At Hazelview Properties, we offer video tours of our apartments – just book online here.
5. Be patient and consistent
Take the time to compare a few homes and with patience and consistency, you’ll hopefully find the right student housing for you. Good luck!