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How to Pick the Best Apartments for Your First Semester

How to Pick the Best Apartments for Your First Semester
Posted By: Rayanne Morriss on June 29, 2021

The image source is Pexels.


As you make your plans to start college, one of the things you'll have to consider is your living arrangements. While living in the dorms is a popular choice for freshman students, there are plenty of reasons to consider off-campus housing. You'll have more privacy and more freedom in an apartment of your own, but you'll also have to think about the responsibility of living in an unfamiliar city. Here are a few tips to help you find an off-campus home for your first semester at college.


Consider the Best Location


Your next step should be to consider the location of your new home. Keep in mind that you will have to live here for the duration of the semester or longer if you sign an extended lease. The first thing to consider is the quality of the neighborhood. You should visit your desired areas at night and on the weekends to see what kind of activity is common. If you see a large number of families and children spending time outdoors, this may indicate a low crime rate in the area. Additionally, look for bus stops and amenities within walking distance of your desired apartment communities. If your car breaks down, these features may be important to have available.


Determine Your Budget


Before you start looking for  west campus apartments, you should take the time to create a monthly budget. This should be an actionable budget that you can follow throughout the entire semester to ensure you won't fall behind on your bills. Your budget will help you determine how much you can afford to pay for rent each month in addition to your utilities, groceries, and other living expenses. You can look for apartments that are outside your budget if you're willing to take on a roommate.



The difference in taking on a roommate in an off-campus unit is that you can choose your roommate, and an additional tenant means you can afford a larger unit.


Evaluate the Condition of the Property


In addition to examining the condition of the locks on the doors and windows in each unit, look for other signs that the property is well maintained. If you see several small maintenance issues, this could indicate that the property may not be as well cared for as it may seem on a casual inspection. Watch for things like missing outlet plates, burned out light bulbs, leaking faucets, and cracked windows. When you tour a unit, you should assume that this will be the unit to which you'll be assigned. If it's not satisfactory upon your inspection, you should assume you won't be happy living in that unit.


Check the Fire Safety Equipment


You should also examine the condition of the fire safety equipment. As you tour the grounds, look for fire exits, hydrants, and evacuation maps. When you tour your potential unit, look to make sure the sprinklers haven't been painted over or damaged by a previous tenant. You should also test the smoke alarm to ensure it is working in good condition. Some apartment complexes provide a fire extinguisher in each unit, while others do not. You should know in advance if you'll be provided with an extinguisher, and be sure to look for fire alarm pull stations in the building. Fire safety is an important issue to consider in finding your new home. Although fires may be rare, you'll want to ensure you have access to the tools that will help you evacuate safely in an emergency.


Check Out the Security Features


As you begin touring  off-campus apartments, pay attention to the security features on each property. In particular, look at the exterior security features, such as controlled access gates and exterior lighting. You should also look to see which communities have exterior surveillance cameras. Try to determine that the lighting, cameras, and other security features are all in good working condition. As you tour individual units, check to make sure the locks on the doors and windows work well.


Conclusion


While this seems like a long list of things to consider, using these suggestions to find the right off-campus will help you have a better college experience. You'll have a relaxing home where you can get away from the stress of classroom pressure. Your apartment will also help you get acclimated to independent living, which is something that a dorm will never offer you.


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