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Using MyApartmentMap.com to Search for Off Campus Student Housing

MyApartmentMap - Dec 14, 2010

Searching for student apartments and `off campus rentals`, can be a time-consuming process, but that doesn’t mean the endeavor has to be filled with complications. College students who assess their housing needs before they even go on an apartment tour might end up saving time and stave off stress in the long run. Regardless of how limited the rental options might be in your college town, a preliminary examination of what you’re looking for in an apartment can be a helpful part of the search process. To that end, that brings us to our first three search tips:

  • TIP #1: Take an inventory of the amenities, dimensions, location, rental rates, and anything else you need or hope to get out of a student apartment. Whether you write a list or take mental notes, this kind of review can get things rolling and immediately help you to refine your search.
  • TIP #2: Use the customizable search options on MyApartmentMap.com to get access to the rental listings that most closely reflect your housing needs. For example, you can narrow your search simply by specifying rental preferences like price range and number of rooms. The site also provides an integrated map feature where potential renters can check out where student apartments are located in relation to points of interest like academic building or grocery stores.
  • TIP #3: If you intend to live with other people make sure to collaborate with them on the aforementioned steps as early as possible. Including all interested parties in the equation will likely help to establish mutual housing needs and where compromises might need to be made. Remember, living arrangements can drastically alter how much you pay in rent per month. Now, once you’ve identified the kind of student housing you want and you’ve compiled a set of applicable listings, you’re ready to start making calls or sending emails to agents and landlords.
  • TIP #4: When applicable, include all of your potential roommates in the dialogue with those who will showcase the properties at hand. This means you should do things like CC roommates on email correspondence and try to coordinate times when everyone can tour potential rentals at the same time. Involvement will help questions/concerns come out sooner rather than later.  
  • TIP #5: Do a thorough investigation of the property before signing a rental agreement or lease. Examine the condition of both the interior and exterior of the property. Check the functionality of the facility’s elements like windows, appliances, and locks. You should ask questions up front. Depending on your preferences, aspects of the vetting process can be conducted right online. 
  • TIP #6Read the rental agreement or lease very carefully. Make sure to ask questions before signing. Double-check items like the duration of the lease, restrictions on pets, and whether utilities are included in the rental rate. If you have time, check the community’s laws regarding rental properties, student apartments, and related housing regulations. When a renter does sign a lease, some property owners will require that all the “damages” around the apartment are identified on a list. If that’s not the case, you might want to take pictures or make your own list so that problems that already exist are documented when you first move in.