Looking for a place to live over the summer? Or hurrah! You're finally moving off campus? Keep in mind that competition is fierce and start your search early. Here are a few helpful tips to help you jump-start the process:
Figure out your finances / Roommates / Co-signers
Know how much you (and your roommates) can afford to pay. You'll need enough cash for a deposit and first and last month's rent. Figure out how much utilities, food, laundry, and commuting will cost. No established credit history? You'll need a co-signer on the application — usually your parents or a close relative.
Ask your friends
They may know of people who will be leaving their apartment and where the good places are to live.
Check your college's listings and online
Most colleges have lists of approved landlords, property management companies, or properties that previous students have rented. You should find this info in Student Housing or Student Affairs. Craigslist is always a good place, as are StudentHousing, Uloop, College Rentals and Rent.com. Most have pictures so you can also see what the place looks like. No photos? Be afraid.
Look for “For Rent” signs / check out local papers
These are all great resources to help you find the perfect place.
Put your list of questions and requirements together before you go visiting places. Questions like:
How many bedrooms/baths do you need?
Will the landlord require or accept a co-signer?
What deposits are required? How do you get them back? Any late fees on rent?
Are utilities included? (e.g. electricity, gas, water, sewage, garbage, cable)
What parking available? (cars, bicycles, motorcycles, etc.)
What appliances does it have (e.g. refrigerator, stove, microwave,) and are they and the plumbing and electricity in working order?
Research how safe your chosen locations are
Visit the property at night to make sure the area is safe and as quiet or loud as you like. Visit the local police website where you should find crime maps for the area.
With all this to do, you’ll need help keeping it all organized.
Alison + 3 Move Downtown
Alison and 3 roommates want to share a place that’s close to downtown where they were able to find jobs for the summer. They’re excited to find an apartment that’s in their price range, not too far from work, and that accepts pets.
They needed a tool that would help manage their search. They picked Samepage, a free online app that lets you plan, organize and manage all kinds of projects. Alison created a Samepage for their apartment search in minutes. Now everyone keeps all search info in one place — sharing ideas and staying updated even on the go.
The Samepage mobile app lets them divide and conquer (they’ve got a list of 20 places) so they can move fast! They can see their budget and the list of important questions to ask when checking apartments. They can easily post pictures they take, especially of anything questionable or really exciting.
They’re also working on a roommate agreement that covers general rules on how they’ll live together! Later they’ll build out sections for moving once they find their new home. It’s just a matter of time before they find the perfect place and get started on a great summer!
Let Samepage help you manage your housing search too.