Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tips On Subletting Your College Apartment

Life takes us in mysterious directions, especially in college. Maybe you’ve decided to travel the country for the summer, maybe you’ve got that awesome job in another state, maybe you’re graduating early, or maybe you’re heading home to hang out with your high school friends for the summer. When you find yourself in the situation of having to sublease your apartment, things can get difficult. We’ve put together some basic tips on subleasing your college apartment. Enjoy.

Plan Ahead, and Talk with Your Roommates

The journey to subleasing your apartment should begin as soon as you know that you’ll need to. The more time you have to prepare, the better your chances for success. Your first step should be talking to your roommates so they can plan accordingly. If you give yourself enough time and communicate with your roommates or potential roommates, you should be able to avoid any potential issues.

Read Your Lease

Especially if you know you’re going to sublease before you sign your lease, it’s important to read this document and make sure you’re aware of any sublease requirements. You’ll want to make sure you are allowed to sublease your apartment, and what process you need to follow to get this done. Some places may require their approval process before you are allowed to sublease to someone else, there may even be a fee. When you sublease your apartment you usually are still responsible for the payment getting made, so make sure you’ve found a trustworthy subleaser.

Set the Mood

Before anyone will see your place, make sure you clean! No one wants to move into a pigsty, unless they’re a pig, of course. But you probably can’t sublease your college apartment to a pig. You might not be a world class photographer, or even have an Instagram, but do your best to take quality pictures of your place. It’s okay to highlight the truly awesome parts of your apartment, do you have a dishwasher? Maybe its an awesome porch? Make sure your photos accurately portray your apartment, but they can be a great tool to market your place.

Let the World Know

Now that you’ve got everything in order, it’s time to start letting people know Thousands of students use Rent College Pads, making it the perfect place to post your apartment sublease. Plus, it’s free! Make sure you’re asking for a reasonable price, but don’t set it too low since you’ll be making up for the rest. Post your place to our college apartment sublease board in your campus, and you’ll be well on your way to success. From there, you can even post it to your Facebook feed for your social network to see.

Congrats, People Want to Sublease Your Apartment. Choose Wisely.

Make sure to meet with potential subleasers. If your roommates will still be around, or are even just leaving their things, you’ll want to make sure they approve as well. You’ll want to make sure this person is trustworthy and a good fit for your place before you let them live in your bedroom for any period of time. Once everything is figured out, set up a formal, written sublease and get everything in writing. When you’ve got everything finalized and official, take your things (especially the valuables) and you’re ready to sublease your college apartment!

Your First Off Campus Apartment: What to Look For

Getting out of the dorms means you don’t have to settle for the same rectangular room everyone gets. One of the great things about moving off campus is picking your own place. When you’re looking at potential first off campus apartments, there are a few things you want to look for.

Apartment Location

The number one most important thing is location. What’s important to you? If it’sutili a short walk to campus, look at places near the building you’re most frequently in. If it’s a short stumble to your favorite bar… well you get the idea. Make sure you choose a place that is convenient and fits your lifestyle. By now you’ve hopefully gained a feel for the lay of the land. Keep in mind what’s close and what’s not when considering moving into a place.

Make Sure Everything Works

Make sure everything’s in full working order. Leave no window untested, not door unopened, no light switch unflipped. Check the water pressure and make sure it’s hot enough for your 30 minute showers. (Okay that’s a stretch, but make sure it’s hot) If there is anything that’s not working, make sure the landlord knows and plans to fix it. No one wants to live in an apartment every year with non-working lights, or worse…

You should also note the amenities. Know what’s important to you. If you can’t survive without a designate parking spot, or absolutely need a laundry machine in your building, make sure they’ve got that. Some people can live without a dishwasher, some people eat off paper plates for an entire year. You should also check if utilities are included, that can be a really great benefit. Especially if you go to school in a state with long cold winters.

Does Your Apartment Work for You?

As you walk around the house or apartment, think about what you’ll be doing in every day life. Is the bathroom big enough to fit your 1,000 pieces of makeup? Do you have enough outlets in your living room for the surround sound, 10 different video game systems, and the kegerator? Make sure everything in the place is conducive to the way you’d like to set up your pad.

If you there’s anything you don’t like, don’t be afraid to let the landlord know. They might be very willing to make some easy changes to the place if it will help you sign a lease with them.

Read Your Lease!

Once you’ve checked everything out, don’t forget to read the lease. This is like, really important. You’re signing your name to it, it’s legally binding, read it. It’s not like the iTunes terms and conditions. It’s pretty serious. Well, you get the idea, read the damn thing.

SO YOU’RE GRADUATING – WHAT TO DO NOW?!

Graduating college is a big step in your future. Congratulations – you’re about to become a full-fledged adult! The world out here is not going to be as easy as you think it’s going to be: just fair warning. However, all pessimism aside, you need to celebrate. You deserve it. Here are some options; things you should consider doing to thank yourself for the hard work.

THROW A FAMILY PARTY

As you go through life, your friends will change, your relationships will change, your lifestyle will change, everything will change constantly; except for your family. Your family will be there to support you every step of the way, as you continue to work your way through life. Throw a big party with your family! It doesn’t matter if you are the first in your family to graduate college or if you’re the 101st. Your family will enjoy every minute of celebrating your success.

GO SOMEWHERE

I got news for ya, traveling does not get easier as you get older. As someone who has been out of college for a few years (apparently I’m really old now?!) but has experienced a great deal so far, I’ll tell you that taking a trip only gets more difficult. Borrow some money if you have to, but go celebrate your four(+) years of hard work by going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Some go for a week, some go for a year, but do what makes you happy. You’ve got the rest of your life to work…

NOT-SO-FUN-BUT-STILL-PRODUCTIVE STUFF

GO BACK TO SCHOOL

I know what you’re thinking, “I just flipping graduated!” I get it. But the fact of the matter is, if you want to stand out in today’s society, either you have to build something on your own (if you can dream it – you should do it!), or you should get yourself a Masters degree or even more. Education is very valuable, and every organization throughout the world places a great emphasis on bringing in talented, educated individuals. Not to mention you’re going to be worth more salary-wise. Maybe you thrive on knowledge, maybe you aren’t “done” with the college lifestyle yet, whatever the case may be, consider heading right back in. As with the trips, every year it’s going to get harder and harder to convince yourself to go back to school; so if you’re ready, make it happen!

FIND YOUR DREAM JOB

Ok, so this sounds easier than it is. It also is more than likely not going to happen with your first gig out of college. However, search high and low, and you stand a good chance of finding it. Interview a lot, worst case scenario you’ll truly learn how to interview well. Give yourself options. The more offers that are on the table, the better. Every offer you have gives you more negotiation leverage with the one that you truly want. If you have one, two, three, or more offers that can provide more money, benefits, bonuses, etc., you may be able to convince the job that you want to hire you for what you want. If you’ve only got one offer, that’s fine, but the negotiation power stands with the hiring party. Just like in relationships, businesses always want what they can’t have. If there’s other interested parties, you instantly become more attractive. Work hard for a few months on this one, it’ll pay off for the rest of your life.

 

Whether you choose the “Fun route,” the “Not-so-fun-but-still-productive” route, you deserve one hell of a pat on the back. Enjoy yourself, or get to work, either way, be proud of what you’ve achieved.

 

 

 

Creating the Best Study Space in Your College Apartment

Some students spend hours, even days on end, in the library. It’s a great place, I hear, full of resources and quiet areas and there’s usually a great supply of coffee nearby. Whether you know the layout of the library like the back of your hand or have to ask directions every time you’re supposed to meet there for a group project, creating the ideal study zone in your college apartment is extremely beneficial. So we’ve put together a few helpful tips on building your fortress of study-tude.

Keep Your Apartment Distraction FreeKnow How to Eliminate Your Distractions

Some people can pump out 10 page research papers while the rest of their house is throwing a level 5 rager, some people can’t get anything done if there’s so much as a TV turned on too loud. Your space needs to be completely free of distractions. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break now and then, but separate your work space from the rest of your apartment. The best study zone starts with the one keeps your mind focused on studying.
Good Furniture Facilitates Good Focus

Propping your laptop on a couple of milk crates next your extra large bean bag chair may not be the most conducive to getting work done. Make sure you’ve given yourself enough space for your laptop, notes, and books. Being able to navigate quickly between all your resources is important, Organize everything in whichever way makes you feel the most comfortable working. Your chair should be comfortable too, since you should be spending a decent amount of time there. Get something that can swivel, a good cushion, and better back support. If you get something fancy with nice leather, you’re that much closer to being a boss.

Whiteboard in Your ApartmentWhiteboards are Perfect for Notes

They’re not just for mad scientists or child prodigies, a whiteboard is a great tool to enhance your study powers. It’s the perfect blank canvas to tackle your problems one by one, all in one place. Plus, it’s pretty good for the environment to not waste 100’s of pieces of scrap paper.

Good Lighting Sets the Mood

I mean for studying, of course. Bright white lights will burn your eyeholes out while dull lights while a dim atmosphere may help put you to sleep. Nice soft, yellow overhead lighting is generally the best source of light for studying. Enough so that you can see everything clearly but not anything that’s going to blind you. I would rely on that five dollar desk lamp to be your only source of light.

Living in the right area is, of course, also important for a good home study environment. Thanks to our massive resource, you have your pick of the litter as far as where you want to live. Of course, you’ll still want to start looking for a place early. So check out our housing map for your school. If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to send us an email!

 

Last Minute Tips to Saving Your Security Deposit

Let’s be honest here, you most likely “had a few friends over” more than a time or two this school year. Everybody does. No worries there. However, if you ended up with a hole punched through the drywall, or a broken door or window, you’re not the only one. It’s time to assign the cleaning duties, and get your place ready for inspection. It’s almost summer time, and cleaning your place is the last thing on your mind, and most likely the last thing that you want to do, unless of course, you want your security deposit back. Here are a few tips for you Hoosiers to consider if you want a little extra jingle in your pocket starting the summer.

Assign Cleaning Duties

You and your roomies are likely headed back home for the summer. Make it fair, assign cleaning duties for everyone, and make sure everyone agrees on them before the cleaning starts. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty. The closer your place is to perfect, the better the odds that you get your money back. Vacuum, mop, and dust. Scrub the bathroom, scrub the kitchen, scrub anything and everything.

Don’t Leave Stuff Behind

 

You’re probably just as lazy as the next person. Somehow, some way, you acquired more throughout the year, and likely don’t have enough room for everything now. Don’t be afraid to throw some stuff out. If you don’t want it, and you don’t need it, get rid of it. There’s plenty of cool sites and apps that can help you sell stuff (like OfferUp for example), otherwise just get rid of it. If you leave it, the landlord will have to pay to get rid of it. BYE-BYE $$$$$$$!

Fix Anything You Can

If you ended up with a hole in the wall, like we talked about, and you know how to replace the drywall (albeit effectively so it looks good), go for it. Just remember that if you’re not allowed to paint per your lease, don’t go painting over it trying to match the color. If you do, not only did you break your lease, but you’re losing money because the landlord will need to repaint it with the exact paint. Most likely your parents are coming to help you move your stuff back home too, so don’t be afraid to enlist their help to fix anything you can. It will gain you both money.

DO THE WALK THROUGH WITH THE LANDLORD!!!!!!!!!!

 

This is a big one. You’re in a rush to start your summer off with your friends. You want to get home. I understand, I do. But if you want your money back, be ready to take this step. Schedule it ahead of time. Make sure that all the cleaning and repairs are taken care of before this time. Have a document ready for the landlord to sign saying you left the apartment in good condition. One copy for them, one copy for you. Sign both. Have the landlord sign both. They now know that you know your rights as a renter, and have the proof in the signature from them saying that nothing was left in undesirable or unlivable conditions. Obviously, if you destroyed your place, you’ll probably want to avoid this, and just take your medicine. If not, this step will help ensure you get your deposit back.
Security deposits are a required aspect to doing business as a renter, and as a landlord. Keep in mind that most landlords are honest people, just doing their job. If you treat them (and their places!) with respect, they will likely treat you just the same. Be friendly and honest. You’ll likely get the same treatment back (WHOA….IS THAT A LIFE LESSON?!) Good luck with Finals, and HAGS (circa 2003 high school yearbook signing for “Have a great summer!”)

IU International Students Guide to Living Off Campus

As an undergraduate, or graduate, finding housing can be a worrisome task. International students, especially first year international students, have an even more difficult time. Coming to a completely foreign area, many not speaking or reading English very well, makes things difficult. On top of that, most schools no longer can guarantee that first year students have a place on campus. Here are some things to consider as an international student when looking for housing:

  • Don’t put it all on yourself!

If you’re traveling to campus alone, use any resource you can find to find somebody to help you. There are all sorts of resources available to help international students find a place, and find a roommate that will fit well with them. You can check out our roommates section here. Many of these, including our roommates feature, allow students to connect via Facebook so they can learn about someone they’re considering living with before they commit to meet them. Most of all, know that it is always easier to find a good place with help. Don’t be afraid to use it, you won’t regret it.

  • Don’t Rush

Landlords can sometimes be pushy people. Know that this is actually a pretty big decision for you, and it will affect the next year of your life. You need to find the right pad that fits you. There are all sorts of places to consider, and it all depends on what YOU like. If you want to be surrounded by lots of new people, look for a big complex (like this one – for example). A place like that will allow you to make lots of new friends in a short manner, and will likely have lots of fun amenities. But if you’re more interested in a personal area, try looking for a house or small apartment. You’re likely to get closer to campus with one of these, making walking to class and throughout campus easier. Take your time, consider all options, and talk to landlords multiple times. You want to be sure that you’re dealing with someone who will give you a positive experience over the next year, not the other way around.

  • Proximity to campus is important!

You’re new to this area. You don’t know where to live and where not to live. There may be neighborhoods or areas to avoid. There may be areas that are sought after highly. Most likely, you’re unaware completely. When you’re searching online for a place to live, know that proximity is important. Sometimes the schools will point you in the direction of a website that displays all rentals in the city. You don’t want that. It will end up being a waste of your time trying to figure out which ones are student rentals and which ones are not. Try your best to learn about the areas of campus ahead of time (see our blog on neighborhoods in Bloomington) so that you make the right decision. Generally speaking, you’re better off looking closer to campus. It’ll make your life easier, that’s for sure.

If you’re an international student, and you’re looking for a place, use these tips to make your search as easy as possible. Take your time, think a lot, use every resource you can. The next time you look, it will only become easier. Need more help? Reach out to us directly for one on one assistance! Email us here! Best of luck!

 

How to Survive Your First Off Campus Living Experience

If you’re coming off your freshman year, chances are you’ve learned how to survive the communal living experience (nightmare) they call the dorms. From snoring to roommates to crowded bathrooms, you’ll have some of your best and worst times in the dorms.

Hopefully you’ve made it past that and you’re ready for your first taste of freedom living off campus. Whatever year you’re in, keep in mind the struggle is still real when you live off campus… it’s just different. You’ll have to learn how to fend for yourself for things like food, laundry, and there’s no longer staff to clean your bathroom. We at Rent College Pads have lived it all, from dorms to dingy houses and even “high class” student apartments, so we put together some tips on how to survive your first year living off campus.

Pick the right place

Typical College ApartmentGranted, the typical college housing charm is inevitable to come with almost every student rental unit in existence, but make sure this is the right place for you. We’ve laid it all out in place, so why not set up showings at multiple places? Pick the area you want to live, whether that’s close to campus or within stumbling distance from your favorite bar. Make sure to get a walkthrough and make your decision after you’ve seen a few places that you like. That being said, remember that no place will be perfect… it’s just got to be perfect for you.  

Document everything before you move in

You’ll thank me when you get your security deposit back. Take photos and write down absolutely everything that you don’t want to get charged for when your lease is up. As long as you’ve taken care of this in the beginning, you won’t have to pay for any damage you didn’t create. Also, try not to burn the place down. This might be your apartment for your entire college career, or only a year, but treat it like it’s your own.

Pre-plan with your upcoming roommates

As cool as it may seem to have 4 TVs in the living room, and 3 couches, and 3 coffee tables… space will be limited. Make a checklist to ensure you have all the appliances and furnishings you need without duplicates. Moving stuff is a hassle, so you should try to only do it once.

A clean home is a happy home

Kitchen for College KidsYour parents will probably buy you a ton of cleaning supplies at the beginning of the year, try to actually use those. Keeping a clean house might not be the most fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, but it will minimize the amount of time you spend sick in bed. And make sure you always have a clean pair of underwear.

Find a perfect balance for food in the fridge

Refrigerator full of college student foodBuy food in advance so you’re not maxing on McDonalds every night, sure you might love it now but your body will thank you later. Make several meals at once and freeze them, it’s like the fast food you can keep in your home. Of course, you can’t buy too much and hog all the room in the fridge, so work together with your roommates to find a healthy balance.

Pay your rent on time

Late fees are real, and nobody likes paying extra money the didn’t have to. Same goes for utilities, if you let these slide they will come back and haunt you one day.

Don’t be afraid of the maintenance man

That apartment of yours doesn’t come cheap. Don’t be afraid to call the landlord whenever necessary to make sure everything is in working order.

Keep the peace

Whether you end up liking it or not, you’ll have to live with those roommates of yours until at least the end of the year. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to speak up when you have an issue. Passive aggressive notes will only get you so far and an open line of communication will help make sure everyone is on the same page. Don’t be afraid of conflict, but don’t create it just for fun. Be mindful of your roommates and expect them to be mindful of you.

Be responsible

Those all night ragers are fun, I can’t lie to you. But keep in mind why you’re paying so much money to be in school and live in your totally awesome off campus apartment. Go to class, study hard, take care of your mental and physical health, but remember it’s okay to take breaks, sleep in, and have fun safe and responsibly. You won’t have an RA keeping you in check every night, so enjoy your freedom, but enjoy it wisely.

 

IU Finals Got You Stressed? Tips for Surviving Hoosiers Finals

With next week being finals week, stress on campus is at an all time high. Don’t fret – you’re not the only one! The pressure put on college students is immense; pressure from themselves, their families, and their friends to achieve success. As important as finals are to the success of students, they put students in a whole new level of stress. Cramming, staying up all night, downing can after can of Red Bull, finals are tough on the body and mind. The combination of mental and physical stress makes taking these comprehensive examinations MORE difficult, not less difficult. There are some things that students can do to limit this stress though. Here are some ideas:

Go Outside! Play/Exercise

Student Playing OutsideBloomington is a beautiful town to live in. Go outside and enjoy it. Whatever you like to do outside, carve out some time from studying and go do it. Throw the football, go for a run, play Frisbee golf, hike, anything! The beauty of physical activity is that will alter your thoughts from school. It will help take your mind off things for a short period of time. This will reduce your stress, and make it easier for you to remember things when studying. Not to mention it will help you get that beach bod going for the summer!

Cook a Good Meal

College Student MealIt’s very easy to get caught up in the craziness of finals week. Whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner, try to spend 15-30 minutes preparing a healthy meal for yourself once a day during finals. Not only will the meal help fuel your physical energy and mental capacity, but the short time away from thinking about school can be soothing. Make a meal for your roommates too, if they’re around at the time. It’ll make you feel good about yourself. Confidence is the key to success.

Listen to Music/Sleep

There have been plenty of studies that show that music can relieve stress. Typically, it’s the slower, quieter music that demonstrates the best ability to relieve stress. Use the time when you’re walking from building to building, or walking home, to listen to some calming music. Here’s a great example of something to listen to, that will relax you:

Andy McKee – Rhylynn

It will help calm you down, and may actually encourage you to take a quick nap. Worried about napping too long? Check out the app “Power Nap” on your phone. It will track your sleep activity based on desired length, and wake you right back up when your body is most ready to awaken.

Try Not to Worry

I know it seems like a completely unreasonable thought process. From personal experience, though, you need to know that these exams are such a small part of your life. Whether you do great on every one, do mediocre on some, or you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, everything will be ok. Try to focus on the long term. Yeah, these exams are going to suck a little bit, as they always do, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re just a paper test. That’s it.

 

Keep these things in mind. Final exams are very important, and you should definitely focus a great deal of attention on them. However, keep your life in order when doing so. Don’t lose yourself in the midst. You’ll forget more information than you’ll remember. And you won’t remember that information for longer than a few days if you cram anyways. So just calm down, use these tips to help you relax, and go NAIL THOSE SUCKERS!

Top Apartments for IU Upperclassmen

Chances are, if you’re an upperclassman at IU, you’re looking for a place for next year that is quiet, easy to get to, close enough to campus to make travelling to class easy, and reasonably priced. This combination isn’t always easy to find. Don’t worry though, it is not impossible. We’ve built a list for you of places to consider looking at. Most likely, one of them will fit your eye.

The Gateway

Gateway Apartments Bloomington

Managed by popular Bloomington Property Management company, 10th and College Management, The Gateway is a new luxury style apartment building that offers students anything from studio to three bedroom apartments. The Gateway is actually two separate buildings, which are to be connected via skybridge! There will be retail space and restaurants on the first level, with levels two and three housing the collegiate apartments. Amenities are plentiful at this new location. You’ve probably noticed it going up, it’s right off 17th Street and College Avenue, overlooking Miller Showers Park. Overall, The Gateway is awesome, check it out here: https://www.rentcollegepads.com/iu-bloomington/listings/5655

Walnut Place II

Walnut Place II in Bloomington Indiana

Geared towards graduate students at Indiana University, Walnut Place II is managed by OMEGA Properties. The team at OMEGA have been leasing in Bloomington since 1985. This is a great new building, on the south side of campus, right by the Chocolate Moose. Apartments are to include hardwood floors, high-end stainless steel appliances, and spacious floor plans. Walnut Place II is only two blocks from Kirkwood Avenue, but still is far enough away to provide a quiet location for students to get work done in.

Bloom and Millennium

Millenium Apartments in Bloomington Indiana

These two sister properties aren’t quite as close to campus as some others, but they offer an unbelievable combination of amenities. Between the two of them, there is an incredibly awesome indoor pool area, a great dog park, walking and hiking trails, every internal apartment amenity you can dream of, and a lot more. For an upperclassman that doesn’t mind driving five minutes to get to campus, these two properties are what dreams are made of. Check them out here: https://www.rentcollegepads.com/iu-bloomington/listings/7448

The Village at Muller Park

Village at Muller Park in Bloomington

Do you not have a vehicle on campus? The Village at Miller Park is for you. The Village at Muller Park offers a shuttle service for their tenants to campus. Whether you do or you don’t have a car, this apartment complex is great for upperclassmen. Their clubhouse offers a wide array of games and common areas, as well as a phenomenal outdoor pool. Located just a few minutes west of town, these places are great for grad students. It’s quiet, offers the amenities that students and young professionals thrive on, and offers more than reasonable pricing.

Henderson Crossing

Henderson Crossing Bloomington Indiana

Henderson Crossing offers probably the most central location on this list. This is a much smaller apartment building, which is managed by TEMPO Properties. Located one block southwest of campus, everything is walkable in a matter of minutes. Henderson Crossing has everything that you’ll need to succeed, and offers seasonal discounts to grad students. It’s a quiet place to live, but still close enough to everything to make travelling throughout campus easy. Check out everything that Henderson Crossing has to offer.

There are many more places throughout campus that offer great places to live for older students. However, this ought to get you started. Reach out to us if you need any help finding a place at IU-Bloomington!