College Student’s Guide to Off-Campus Housing
If you are a student ready to make the jump from dorm to apartment and start living off campus, there’s much to consider. Finding off-campus housing that checks all of your boxes isn’t the easiest task and there are tons of things you can forget. Apartment List has got you covered. This guide will cover all of the bases to make your transition seamless – from budgeting, to finding an apartment near your campus, to moving and decorating.
Budgeting for your first apartment off campus
The very first thing to consider when moving off campus is your budget. Off-campus housing can be pricey. Whether you are juggling part-time jobs on top of your studies, having your parents helping you out, or relying on financial aid, figuring out your budget is the beginning of this entire process.
First things first, use our rent calculator to find out how much rent you can afford. There are also some hidden costs of renting that you may not realize. For instance, a big expense that many don’t consider is the cost of utilities, so make sure to check out our guide on estimating utilities cost. Don’t forget to track your finances, as this gives you the best look at your overall budget.
Looking for Off-Campus Housing
Start thinking about your apartment ahead of time. If you know you are moving off campus, give yourself adequate time for the apartment hunt. Start searching for off-campus housing by checking out Apartment List’s off-campus housing page where you can find apartment near your campus. Simply navigate to your college and see all the nearby off-campus apartments.
When touring apartments, don’t get lost in the excitement of your new home. Make sure to ask these crucial 12 questions while on your tour. Also, be aware that rental fraud is a massive issue. Follow our tips to protect your pockets from rental scammers while apartment searching.
Moving to your new off-campus apartment
If you are coming from the dorms, you likely don’t have a ton of furniture to move. The good news is that this is the hardest stuff to move, the bad news is you still have to move the rest of your belongings. Our first college apartment checklist should start you on the right path. Moving can also get pricey, so check out our on moving on a budget.
Decorating your new home on a budget
Moving from a dorm to an off-campus apartment probably means moving from a tiny space to a larger space. Decorating an apartment on a budget is both fun and simple. We have tips on both how to decorate on a budget, and where you should be shopping for budget-friendly furniture.
If your apartment is still on the smaller side, there are some great hacks to make your space feel bigger. Read up on our tips on how to optimize smaller bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Living Off Campus
Once you’re all settled in, don’t forget to keep track of your finances. It’s a valuable skill, and learning it now will be incredibly beneficial. Use our first apartment budgeting checklist to get started.
If your lease is up and you’re ready to upgrade to a new apartment, don’t forget to write a notice to vacate letter to your landlord. Keeping in good standing with your landlord will be helpful as your next apartment will likely be calling them for a reference!