College Apartment Search Advice

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Hunting for that very first college apartment can be stressful if you’ve never had to look for an apartment before. Thankfully, it’s not that scary once you have an idea of what to look out for. We have our own college apartment search advice to provide incoming freshmen below.

Before signing a lease, pay attention to our college apartment search advice to understand what to look and ask for from a potential landlord.

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college apartment search advice

Enquire About Rent

Find out everything you can about the living cost.

Advertised rent is due on a monthly basis, typically in the first week of the month. Ask the property manager on what day it is due exactly. Also, ask if there are any penalties for paying late.

Often, properties will charge late fees for unpaid rent. It’s not uncommon to be charged $100 per day past your due date. Also, ask if you receive credit if you pay ahead on rent for upcoming months.

You likely will, but make sure that you don’t pay ahead, in case you’re away and are still charged for that month.

Invite Friends Or Family When Searching

Use a second pair of eyes you can trust.

When apartment hunting, don’t be afraid to tap a loved one or close friend to check out places with you. Why? Because you’ll receive an honest assessment of what you’re looking at.

It’s easy to fall in love with an apartment because of a couple of nice amenities but miss other potential problems. Someone you trust can point those issues out without you taking serious offense.

On a practical level, given the neighborhood itself, it doesn’t hurt to have someone along for safety.

Check The Neighborhood During Day And Night

Get an idea of the surrounding area’s safety by checking it out at different times.

Even the roughest neighborhoods can look fine during the middle of the day. If your work and class schedules coincide with off-hours or coming home late, then make sure you get a feel for the neighborhood at those times.

You can better assess whether you feel safe enough to spend at least 1 year of your life there. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable being there at all hours of the day, then consider looking elsewhere.

Don’t Feel Rushed

When visiting an apartment, take your time to check everything out.

Landlords and the property manager will try to hustle you into giving an immediate answer. Don’t fall for that pressure. During your visit, do things like:

  • Check faucets for water pressure
  • Check light switches for any electrical shorts
  • Keep an eye out for any leads or general disrepair

If the landlord promises to make repairs before you move in, detail what will be fixed, and request dates and details put into your lease. Make sure you are thoroughly satisfied with the living conditions and ownership agreements before signing any paperwork.

Clarify Amenities And Parking

Find out what’s included and where you can park.

Every apartment property has its own amenities to make life easier for you. When taking a tour, ask the landlord or manager what amenities come with your unit. Common ones to ask about include:

  • Cable
  • Utilities
  • Parking
  • In-unit washer and dryer
  • Pool
  • Gym

Find out how much you are being provided for the rent charged every month. Also ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want assigned parking or am I ok with street parking?
  • Can I do laundry inside my home or do I have to go somewhere else?
  • Are my water and sewage included in rent or charged separately?

Get answers to everything because the property owners can provide them to you. Don’t settle for less if you don’t have to honestly.

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College Apartment Search Advice FAQ

What’s the first thing I should ask when looking at an apartment?

Find out everything you can about the living cost. Advertised rent is due on a monthly basis, typically in the first week of the month. Ask the property manager on what day it is due exactly. Also, ask if there are any penalties for paying late. Often, properties will charge late fees for unpaid rent. It’s not uncommon to be charged $100 per day past your due date. Also, ask if you receive credit if you pay ahead on rent for upcoming months.

What’s a good tip to use when apartment hunting?

When apartment hunting, don’t be afraid to tap a loved one or close friend to check out places with you. Why? Because you’ll receive an honest assessment of what you’re looking at. It’s easy to fall in love with an apartment because of a couple of nice amenities but miss other potential problems.

What’s another tip to help me better judge an apartment?

Check The Neighborhood During Day And Night. Get an idea of the surrounding area’s safety by checking it out at different times. Even the roughest neighborhoods can look fine during the middle of the day. If your work and class schedules coincide with off-hours or coming home late, then make sure you get a feel for the neighborhood at those times.

What should I ask the landlord before signing a lease?

Every apartment property has its own amenities to make life easier for you. When taking a tour, ask the landlord or manager what amenities come with your unit. Common ones to ask about include – Cable, Utilities, Parking, In-unit washer and dryer, Pool, and Gym.