With so many options on where to live, how do you narrow down the best choice for you? The general rule of thumb in real estate is location is key. In fact, they say it comprises the top three things to look for in a new house. (Location, location, location!) While making sure your new digs is close to your classes, your workplace, and any other location you frequent regularly, what other things should you consider in your decision? Below we outline four things to weigh when deciding on which place to call your next home.
Does the rent amount easily fit into your budget and does it include any utilities? Make sure to find a place you love and whose rent also allows you to do the things you enjoy without you having to stretch every dollar. Paying more money than you can afford for a place because the indoor pool and hot tub called your name will seem less important as the year goes on if that means you must eat ramen noodles for dinner every night.
How does this location make your life easier? Think about the different amenities the apartment offers and how important those are to you. Does the home include a washer and dryer or have access to parking? Or does the front porch mean you can enjoy studying outside this spring instead of heading to the library again…. Maybe the unit has good size bedrooms so you can bring your regular-sized bed instead of the XL twin-like in the dorms. If you will be studying abroad or leaving for the summer, make sure to check if the landlord allows subleasing which would allow you to recoup some of the rental cost while you’re away.
“Comrades” or number of roommates
If you grew up with several siblings or lived in a home with a lot of people then you might not mind sharing your space with others. If you didn’t, then consider how many roommates you want to share the bathroom or kitchen with each day. Maybe your time in the dorm helped you realize you enjoy having others around all the time or maybe it made you long for the good ole’ days of having your own bedroom and bathroom. Whatever the case is, make sure to realistically choose how many people you feel comfortable living with for the year. Just like the cost factor, the newness of a built-in party each night with four of your closest friends might wear off quickly and you want to think ahead to avoid this reality.
We had to include this one, right?!? The real estate industry has a reason for picking this quality as its top three things to look for in a new home. You want to consider these questions when determining the best geographic fit for your new campus pad: Is it close to your classes, work, or the place where an organization you are involved with meets (the student union, sorority, or fraternity house)? If it’s not close, what matters more to me than location? Having a lower rent payment might be a reason to live a little farther away from the ideal location or maybe the home has all the amenities you want and walking a few more blocks to class doesn’t bother you.
As you consider these four things as you choose a place to live, remember there is no right or wrong answer. Your goal is to find the best fit for you right now and end up with a place you love. Weighing all your options and answering these questions will help make the decision of “Where should I live?” an easier one.