College preparation is a tedious task in itself, considering the fact that you will need to accomplish requirements coming in the form of personal statements, along with actual university hunting. However, if you are a student who has chosen to attend a college far from home, you will need to look into your living arrangements. Most students go for college dorms, of but others opt for other options. Apartments are one of them.
The excitement of venturing out on your own for the very first time is undeniable, of course. However, the event can be quite challenging and even difficult to an extent, in various ways. Leaving home can be a struggle not just physically, but emotionally as well. Becoming independent from parents and family can make the transition frustrating, as you will be dealing with separation and adjustments. Another huge hurdle college students have to face is their little to no credit income, along with financial capability. This is one of the most common issues, as plenty of landlords turn students down due to the lack of both credit income and income. (Find out how to earn money through your hobby here). In other words, finding an apartment to rent can be a real daunting issue to many college students. This post, however, have gathered the best renting tips for college students, all of which can help make the experience sail smoothly. Here are some of the best renting tips for college students:
- No matter how tempting, do not rent an apartment you cannot afford. Who could ever say no that luxurious apartment building you have being seeing on countless Netflix series? A rooftop pool and an expensive gym can be tempting to splurge on, yes, but the truth is that you do not need them at the moment. Keep in mind that rent will be part of your monthly expenses now, so smart up and sign an apartment lease you can afford. While sounding quite preachy, we promise that this is an essential part of our list of renting tips for college students. In an age of grandeur and little chimes of “treat yourself”, a little wake up call can never hurt.
- Ensure that you begin your apartment hunting early. This is another important renting tip for college students. Keep in mind that you will not be the only college student looking for an apartment close to the campus, so the competition will be ruthless. The best time to begin your search is during summer, which will leave you enough time to find the perfect apartment for you, meeting all your needs in terms of budget and location. As you search, take note of areas that will be suitable for you – safety is a priority!
- Keep a list of your choices as you visit the apartments. Actually visiting apartments will be part of your search, of course, but keep a list of all them. They should be detailed, where you can write down things you have liked and disliked about the property, such as plumbing. Are the appliances part of the rent, or should you bring your own? Does the apartment have enough sunlight? Keep track of them in a handy list, a classic renting tip for college students gathered from actual college students!
- Keep this question in mind: How does the landlord manage the property? Are there any light bulbs in need of replacing? Is the paint peeling off the walls? Is the entire building being tended to? How about ample security? This is one renting tip you will need to carefully consider.
- Keep your deposit ready. Remember our previous discussion about competition? Yes, the apartment market is highly competitive, so ensure that you have the capability of leaving a deposit once you find the unit that you wish to live in. From our research, however, most college students will be required to present a co-signer, which is someone who is willing to place their name on the rent application. Since most college students will have little to no credit history, the co-signer will need to be someone who does. Essentially, their role will be to assume responsibility should you be unable to pay for your rent. In most cases, this would be your parent or any other family member.
- This is a renting tip for college students we cannot stress enough: read the lease carefully before signing. This is where the important details will be included such as agreements, amount of security deposit, rental dues, any penalties for late rent, along with contact people. To further understand what the lease comprises of, read on.
- Get off restaurants and fast food chain. Now that you are paying your own place, you need to maximize its uses so you won't end up calling mom and dad for help. There are a lot of easy recipes for college students that you can try making at the comfort of your home, so you can stretch that $50 to one week of meals.
Reviewing the Lease
As mentioned, the lease is a legally binding agreement holding all the necessary information. As such, it is crucial that you review it before signing. Here are some of the most important things you should look out for, as part of this list of renting tips for college students:
- Your lease term. The usual lease agreement goes on for 12 months, but of course, these terms can vary.
- Your security deposit. Every state in America allows landlords to charge a certain amount of security deposit, but of course, this varies depending on the state. Moreover, there is a limit on when these security deposits can be returned to the tenants. The general rule would be 30 days after you have moved out, but the amount of which you shall get back and when will be written on the lease.
- Your rent due date. Apart from knowing the cost of your rent, you will need to know when your rent is due. Paying late could incur late fees, which will also be discussed in the lease.
- The number of occupants in your apartment. Most apartments and leasing buildings do not allow more than two people living per bedroom, so if you are planning to move in with your friends, check the number of occupants allowed.
Keeping Up With the Rent Costs
It is one thing to find an apartment, sign a lease, and hand in that security deposit. It is quite another to keep up with the rent expenses. Keep in mind that your rent will now be a part of your monthly budget, and as a student, it can get quite tricky. There are ways, however, and one of the best renting tips for college students we can give you is sharing how you can keep up with your rent expenses:
- Create a monthly budget; make sure to stick to it. Start by listing down your monthly income (if you are a working student) or allowance (if you are receiving financial help) and all your expenses. This includes your rent, of course, couple by food, utilities, and personal expenses. Do not get overwhelmed by numbers and specifics. Just play on the estimates first, and then begin tracking your spending. In time, you will have a more accurate idea of your spending habits.
- Consider getting a budgeting app. As you build that habit of keeping up with your expenses, consider getting a budgeting app. There are many free ones available out there, such as LearnVest, Budget Ease, and Mint, to name a few. These apps will do most of the work for you, and that massive feeling of dread in your stomach will disappear – massive chore no more!
- Stick to the secondhand market. You are a college student trying to save money, as well as pay the rent and utilities on time. One of the best renting tips for college students we can give you is purchasing or renting secondhand textbooks. You will save money and live more sustainably – that is hitting two birds with one stone!
- Those discounts will come in handy – take advantage of them. Remember that you are a college student. Most establishments will be offering student discounts, and knocking off a few dollars off your total costs will save you so much money. Just make sure you have your student ID at hand at all times! One more tip: clip coupons.
- Keep in touch with activities in your campus. There are plenty of student activities happening around the campus, so take advantage of these as well. They could offer snacks during a meeting, or a pizza party during another event. As someone staying in your budget, do not let these opportunities pass you by.
- Keep your credit card purchases small. Yes, that magic plastic card is truly magical – that is, until the bills start coming. Credit cards are dangerous to your budget, and your spending habits can quickly become obscured as you relentlessly let cashiers swipe that credit card. Despite its lingering evil of overspending, credit cards are essential to building credit. So keep one, but never use it for more than what you can afford every month. Remember the renting tips for college students: your priority is paying rent!
- Build your savings now. Yes, you have read that right. As a college student on budget, money will already be hard to come by. But trust us when we say that a little amount saved will go a long way – you will be thanking us later, especially during emergencies. Even depositing $5 every month will change so much!
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Unfortunately, finding a rent will still be difficult, but this list of renting tips for college students will hopefully make things a little easier for you. College preparation is long and tedious indeed, and the amount of stress from the pressure of completing your requirements along with apartment hunting is enough to send anyone into a fit of chaos. Luckily, there are affordable options out there for you, such as CustomEssayMeister. We have professional writers who will be more than willing to write your personal statements for you, all tailored according to your specifications, of course! If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact our Support Team!