Category Archives: Northern Illinois University

Finding Your First Apartment: DeKalb

 Finding your first apartment is a nerve-racking experience. Whether you are just starting off college or simply moving to a new city, each area has its own unique tricks to finding your perfect place. While there are many options to choose from, there are important details to consider that help narrow down the decision pool. Among these are price, area, utilities included, and also nearby amenities.

Finances: What can you expect to afford in DeKalb?

One of the most important things to consider when you are looking for an apartment in DeKalb is your price range. Before you begin, you should sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend every month and then don’t forget to leave an amount to pay your initial security deposit. Costs to take into account are rent, groceries, utilities not included in your rental agreement, and extracurriculars.

Rent is one of the biggest costs of living to consider and it fluctuates depending on what type of apartment you are looking at (studio, 1 bedroom, duplex, etc.), area, and amenities included in your rental agreement. DeKalb apartments can generally cost between $400 and $600 a person per month. Proximity to NIU can also affect the price of your apartment. (Many apartment leases do not include electricity and some also exclude internet or charge extra on top of rent.)

Area: Where should you live?

DeKalb is a fairly small city that is home to the Northern Illinois University so there aren’t too many different areas to choose from when looking for a place near campus. Even though the areas don’t differ too much, be sure you research the area you are thinking of living in before you decide.

Looking: What to look out for.

While you are searching for your apartment in DeKalb, be sure to keep an eye out for things included in the rental cost and things that are not. The biggest costs to look for are heat, cooking gas, electric, internet, and if the facility has on-site laundry. Before you sign a lease, read it over carefully because some landlords will try to slip in a clause that you do not need to sign on with. If you are questioning anything in the lease you can search for the Tenants’ Rights Handbook.