Apartment Hunting Tips for Community College Transfer Students

by Chad Agrawal

apartment rentalsThere is so much to be excited for when preparing to start a new phase of life. Whether it is landing a new job, getting married, having your first child, or transferring to a new college, life changes are exciting and daunting at the same time. There is a lot to think about: Do I know what I’m doing? Have I made the best choice? Will I learn everything I need to know in time? These are normal questions for anyone embarking on a new phase of their life and shouldn’t be a reason to run away scared. Instead, see them as a reason to get moving! If you are transferring to university, you might need to move, and that likely means hunting for a new apartment. This can be intimidating and costly, so it is understandable if just the thought of it makes you shake in your boots a bit. But it can also be a fun, interesting way to get to know your new neighborhood! Below are some tips for apartment hunting for community college transfer students.

TIP #1 – Start with the basic resources. There are going to be some resources that you can use no matter where you are and what kind of apartment you are looking for. The easiest way to find these resources is with a Google search. Craigslist likely has postings in the area you are looking for, but that is just the beginning. By beginning with finding rentals on their site, you can see what’s available online to everyone, you will get an idea of what the market looks like, what you can afford, and what you should expect to get for your money.

TIP #2 – Ask the transfer college about their resources. Many schools also offer their incoming students access to some “insider” resources that only students, alumni, faculty, staff and other associates of the school can see. Send an email to the student life office, or another similar one, asking if there are bulletins or websites that you should be aware of for your apartment hunt. They may not have anything, but they might have information that will prove very helpful to you.

TIP #3 – See several apartments before committing. A lot of people think they should take the first apartment that looks livable, but this is not a good idea. Comparison shopping is important to finding out if you are getting a good value, and this applies as much to apartment hunting as it does to denim shopping. Make sure you see at least three apartments before you put money down on one. You do not want to find out you are paying double what you should be for half the space!

TIP #4 – Visit the apartments on foot. In this day and age of technology available at all times in all places, a lot of us have gotten used to online shopping. This can work okay for something returnable. A pair of shoes, after all, can always be sent back if it doesn’t fit. But the same does not hold true for an apartment. If you put down a security deposit and first month’s rent and sign a lease, you are probably stuck with whatever apartment you have chosen. So rather than commit based on a few photos, go visit the apartment.

TIP #5 – Talk to your new classmates. If you have the time to spare, because, for example, you are living with your parents while you find a place of your own, it might benefit you to wait until classes start to find your apartment. That way, you can meet your new classmates and talk to them about where they live. It might be possible that they can point you in the right direction as far as finding something within easy distance to school, in a reasonable price range, and with a landlord that will be amenable to working with you to improve the apartment and the terms of the lease.

TIP #6 – Think about what you will be doing in your apartment. Every city and town in this country has different offerings when it comes to real estate. Some have huge apartments at low prices, some have tiny apartments at high prices. What you need will depend on what you expect to be doing in your new abode. Are you planning on working there? Better make sure there is room for a desk. Are you planning on keeping your books in your apartment? You will want a place with room for a bookshelf. Think about your needs before locking yourself into something.

About The Author

Mark Russell is a writer who specializes in apartment hunting tips and apartment living tips.  Mark enjoys relaxing in his own apartment with his two cats and girlfriend when he’s not writing.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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