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Housing Search Aids
Something to keep in mind when considering off-campus housing
- Do not rent an apartment based solely on a description from a magazine or the Internet. The reality can be much different—especially when you see the neighborhood.
- If you rent or buy an older property, check for lead paint and updated 3-prong outlets. The windows, heating/cooling system, and insulation levels can also greatly impact your monthly utility expenses.
- An advantage of renting a ground floor apartment: No hauling groceries or moving furniture up the staircase.
- Advantages of living in an upstairs apartment: 1) No one stomping around above you; 2) lower chances of a break-in; and 3) fewer problems with moisture/flooding.
- Is the apartment pet-friendly? If so, can you hear the barking of your canine neighbor through those apartment walls?
- Carefully read over the lease terms. The fines for breaking a lease are steep, and a lot of headaches can be avoided by reading the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
- If you are from warmer climates, remember to think of things such as icy staircases and snow removal in winter. Will your car be in the garage protected from the elements or will you need to buy an ice scraper? Will your car have trouble starting in cold temperatures?
- Are you in a basement apartment or using basement storage? If so, it is wise to check to see if the area is always dry—especially during big thunderstorms. If not, you may want to keep your valuables off of the floor or in waterproof containers.
- Is the parking lot of your apartment building in an area prone to flooding? If so, a flood could cause significant damage to your vehicle.