Off-Campus Housing

Getting Ready to Move off Campus

Determining Needs

Before beginning the search for a place to live, there are several factors to consider and options from which to choose. Often, students hastily commit themselves to a housing arrangement that does not fit with their needs, life-style, or financial situation. It is therefore important to consider what type of housing situation is best suited to your needs. Consider the following questions before beginning your search:

  • How much can I afford to pay?
  • What type of housing arrangement would I prefer (house, apartment, room, etc.)?
  • Do I want a furnished or unfurnished unit?
  • What location do I prefer?
  • Is this location within walking distance of campus or a bus line?
  • Is a car necessary?
  • Are shopping and laundry facilities nearby?
  • Do I want to live alone or with others (how many)?
  • How much and what kind of space do I need?
  • Do I need my own bedroom?
  • How long do I want to stay?
  • Am I willing to sign a lease?
  • If so, what kind of lease would be suitable?
  • Do I know how to evaluate a rental agreement (lease)?
  • Do I understand the rights and obligations of tenants and property owners?
  • Does the landlord allow pets?
  • Do I want to have a pet?
  • Do I mind living with someone who has a pet?

Determining Costs

Whatever your needs may be, the relative costs with respect to your financial ability to meet those costs is a crucial factor. You may find it helpful to spend some time studying your finances before you begin your shopping tour for a dwelling.

The amount of money you decide to spend in meeting housing costs will affect how much or how little you will have left for other things such as food, clothing, schooling, health needs, and emergencies. Perhaps by estimating the following monthly expenses, it will assist you in defining what you can afford:

Food & Necessities

$____.__/mo.

Utilities: Gas

$____.__/mo.

Internet Access

$____.__/mo.

Utilities: Electric

$____.__/mo.

Telephone

$____.__/mo.

Utilities: Water/Sewer

$____.__/mo.

Cable/Satellite TV

$____.__/mo.

Renter's Insurance

$____.__/mo.

Parking

$____.__/mo.

Laundry

$____.__/mo.

Trash/Refuse Pickup

$____.__/mo.

Gasoline/Bus Fare

$____.__/mo.

Rent

$____.__/mo.

Miscellaneous/Unexpected

$____.__/mo.