Moving off campus or out of your parents’ house is exciting! Finding an apartment is too, but it can also be pretty stressful. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a place to rent when you’re a college student or recent graduate. What’s your price range? Can you share a bedroom with a roommate or do you need your own space? How far away from campus are you willing to live, and will there be an easy way to get there? How important is it to you to be within walking distance of Starbucks? Consider questions like these, and start looking for your perfect place. If you aren’t sure where to begin in this apartment hunt, then check out these five great resources.
If you want to look for apartments by area so you can see exactly where it’s located and how far away it is from your school, then PlaceBee.com is a great resource to take advantage of. They pride themselves on being “the only website dedicated strictly to rental properties. They provide a map with pins on the apartments that meet your specifications, and each of them is labeled by rent cost. You can refine your search by choosing the maximum price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and even if it’s furnished.
Another great map-based apartment search engine is HotPads.com. One cool feature they have is the option to look at “heat maps.” This will color code the map for one of the categories this option offers including median age and median rent, which are great for college students.
3. Off-campus student services
Your school probably has an off-campus student services office, and you should probably utilize it! They’re familiar with college students’ apartment needs, and they’ll work their best to help you out during your apartment hunting process. They can help you find places in the area and even roommates from your school. So call up your school’s office, and make an appointment.
The housing category on Craigslist is actually really useful. To view apartment listings, you can choose whether you want to look at places by owners only, by brokers, or by both. The reason is because you’ll have to consider broker’s fees. Then you can search for apartments by area, rent cost, number of bedrooms, and even if they allow cats and dogs. Depending on your criteria, new apartments usually get added daily, so be sure to keep checking.
5. Realty offices
If you’re short on free time and would rather someone else do the dirty work for you, then you might want to consider contacting a real estate agent. After telling them what you’re looking for, they’ll show you places that meet your specifications, or keep an eye out for you and contact you when a promising place goes on the market. To make sure you pick the right real estate office to meet your needs, make sure to read customer reviews when you’re doing your internet search.
Finding an apartment can seem overwhelming at times, but just remember to approach your search with a positive attitude, be persistent, and you’ll eventually find your place!