School can be stressful, and that’s without worrying about housing! A lot of students choose to live off campus to save money, but some don’t understand how truly beneficial it can be to rent. We’re here to help all of the struggling students out there save both money and stress!
GET YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER
It’s important to be prepared, especially with something this important! It’s safe to say that money is going to be the biggest challenge, but there’s a lot of factors to take into account, too. When renting a house or apartment, there are a few options to save you some bucks!
Finding a roommate to split the cost with is a great option. A trustworthy childhood friend or family member is always a safe bet, but there are also options like RoomieMatch, Roomster, and of course Craigslist. Just be cautious when using online resources, not everyone is going to be a good fit. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other students, there’s a lot of people in the same boat as you.
Let’s talk money. It’s not uncommon for a student to need a little help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to someone. A good rule to follow when considering your future home is not to spend more than 30% of your gross income on rent. There’s rent calculators that will help you determine the perfect price range for you like this one! If you have yet to establish yourself enough, consider getting a cosign. This ensures the renter will be paid, and gives you extra credibility to get that property!
FINDING THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU
Location, location, location! Once you’re ready to start looking, the location of the property is super important! Decide if you need something close to amenities or if you’re okay being a little further from town. Picking the right location has potential to save you hundreds. If you can spare a 15 minute drive to work or school, you could find a better deal just outside of town! Think about it, do you really want to drive 20 minutes to your 8am?
Another thing to consider is how much space you need. If you need your privacy, look for a house or townhouse. Fine sharing some space? Opt for a private room or apartment. Picking up a minimalist lifestyle will make small living super easy! If you need more space or storage, there’s always the option to rent a storage unit, too.
Timing is key! Start looking a year in advance if possible. Our broker recommends only agreeing to a lease in advance if you are certain you will be attending a specific school because you may have to pay a penalty if you decide to go to another school or break the lease.
Now we get into our speciality: finding an agent! Using an agent is a great idea because they have access to so many resources and connections within the community. No need to teach yourself real estate, we got you covered! Many brokerages, including us, have a property management team that wants to help you find the perfect place, so don’t overlook the help.
MAKING MOVES (LITERALLY)
Congratulations you found the one! Now, the fun part. If this is your first time living on your own, it can be overwhelming. Some properties may provide all the necessary furniture, and some may not. Decorating can bring you comfort by making this rental more YOU.
Paintings and posters are a great start to giving your new home a touch of class, but you don’t want to damage the walls! A great alternative is Command strips or Velcro strips. This will allow you to hang what you want without putting any holes in the wall! Plants and candles also bring lots of comfort, and an aesthetic look!
Now that you’re all furnished and moved in, get used to the area. If it’s a new neighborhood, take some strolls around the blocks and get familiar with local stores, neighbors, and restaurants! Attending local events like block parties or yard sales can help you build connections with your new neighbors.
Now that you know the basics of renting, the only thing left to do is pass those classes! From loans to location, we can help you with it all. Good luck with your education AND new rental!