Now that students are finally getting
comfortable in their spring semester routines, many are starting to
think about living situations for next year.
While some may be happy renewing their leases, others have been counting down the days to look for a new place.
Maybe students are annoyed with their roommates, want to live closer to
campus or they are ready for apartment life after spending a year in the
No matter what the issue is, apartment hunting is confusing, stressful and overwhelming, especially for the first time.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of apartment hunting to make the whole process easier.
Do calculate a budget and learn about the leasing process.
Before asking to live with friends and heading out on apartment tours,
calculate a personal price range, because it may differ from potential
Apartments are not cheap, so discuss a budget with parents and friends
before wasting time touring a complex that ends up being too expensive.
Calculating a budget is what allows students to set up a blueprint of what they want and what they can realistically afford.
It forces them to prioritize and makes a sea of daunting apartment complexes a little more manageable, so it must be step one.
Talking to parents can also be educational on the leasing process as a
whole, which can sound like a foreign language to first time apartment
Ask questions beforehand to avoid getting lost in the jargon and technicalities of a lease.
You’ll wish you knew more about the leasing process. When you have to
rely on asking parents or roommates for a lot of it and it can make the
whole apartment hunting process a lot more stressful.
Don’t assume everything is included in the rent.
It is an immediate red flag if an apartment’s rent seems outrageously
cheap, so it is extremely important to ask what is included before
receiving a bill twice the anticipated amount.
Make sure if you’re paying more you’re getting something out of it. If
you’re paying less make … sure you understand why and what you’re going
to have to pay for instead.
A number of complexes do not include electricity, gas, water, parking,
Wi-Fi or cable in the rent, so consider how much those necessities will
be used and add that cost to the rent to create a more accurate monthly
Factor in distance.
Living close to campus is convenient and close-by complexes that are not
within immediate walking distance also offer shuttles to campus.
Think about how much time is needed to get ready in the morning, and if
it is feasible to wake up about an hour earlier to catch the shuttle or
walk to class.
However, some students value other amenities over distance.
Everyone is different, so consider distance when apartment hunting and
how important it is in comparison to other attributes being looked for.
Don’t agree with roommates just to make the process easier.
Sometimes it is okay to be selfish, especially in regards to living situations.
This does not necessarily mean be difficult for the sake of being
difficult, but if there is something absolutely and uncompromisingly
essential, do not be afraid to stand firm on it, even if roommates
It may be tempting to be agreeable just to move the process along
faster, but it will be a regretted decision a few months down the road.
Worst case scenario, it is possible to meet and live with brand new roommates.
While that seems frightening, it is often a better option than living
with friends who constantly disagree, or paying to live somewhere
Meeting new roommates can often lead to lifelong friendships that would
not have happened otherwise, and may save old friendships that could
have been ruined by living together.
There will always be great people to live with. If you don’t want to
live in a place but your friends do, don’t feel like you have to give up
the things you want. You are, after all, going to be paying and living
Do talk to people who live in the complexes.
Apartment tour guides are obviously going to try to make a complex seem like the best one out there.
However, the immaculate show rooms are not always reflective of what life in the apartment is really like.
Avoid making snap judgments based on a small sample of experiences.
It’s good to get a wide range of opinions. Read online reviews and try
to get a full idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t just go
off of the first positive or negative review you hear.
Leasing office employees can discuss all the specifics and perks of the
apartment complex, but the tenants are the only ones who really know
what it is like to live there.
They will most likely be students who have similar views when it comes
to apartment hunting, so their opinions will certainly be valuable.
Do get excited about the chosen apartment.
Above all, live somewhere that makes moving day something to look
forward to. Do not put happiness on the back burner, make the money
being put into the apartment well worth it.
It’s basically your home away from home. It has to be a comforting environment that you actually enjoy living in.
With so many options, there is definitely an apartment out there for everyone.
It may take time and compromise to find it, but living happily in a
great place will make the hassle of apartment hunting pay off in the
For more information on apartments in Lynchburg, VA contact Walden Pond Apartments.