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.
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.