Househunting Tips

Justin R. Lessman

Justin R. Lessman

Whether you are a sophomore who cannot wait to get out of the residence halls and into an apartment, or a junior who just got booted from

Bailey Hall and is dreading the search for off-campus housing, there are some things you should know before you sign that first rent check.

“The main thing is to make sure you get the kind of housing you want,” said Angie Maher, a representative of Eighth & Eighth Apartments, Countryside Estates and Medary Wood/Medary Square Apartments.

Maher said there are many variables students should look for when considering off-campus housing options.

“Location and convenience are two main things to look for when searching for a place,” she said. “Utilities are also a primary consideration.”

She said it is wise to know which utilities are included in the rent and which are not.

“There is a lot to consider,” she said. “Electricity, gas, lawn, garbage, cable, internet, phone; all of those.”

Paul Moriarty of Moriarty Apartment Rentals said two areas students should focus on during the search for housing are pricing and location.

“Those are the two main things that I’ve seen students focus in on,” he said.

In his years in the business, one issue he has seen students deal with is the number of people in a housing unit.

“Students must remember that a city ordinance exists that limits the number of people that can reside in an apartment,” he said. “It’s good to check on that before committing to anything.”

Moriarty said a way to remedy this problem is for students to consider a rental house instead of an apartment. Mary Jo Minor of Mills Property Management, which oversees Garden Village and Campus View, said the most important part of the housing search is the written lease.

“It is extremely important to listen to what the renter is telling you and know what you are being offered,” she said. “Make sure to read any paperwork. What is being offered is a contract, and before students sign on the dotted line, they should know that they are accepting everything laid out in the contract.”

Minor also said it is important to check into the apartment or house with a property owner present and out the same way.

“Students need to know that more than likely they are accepting the housing in the condition that it’s in,” she said. “It’s wise to check in and out with a landlord, so renters can be sure to get their security deposit back and not have to pay for a prior tenant’s problem.”

Maher said timing is key to getting the housing unit students want.

“I definitely encourage students to pick up applications and get them in as early as possible,” she said. Minor agrees.

“Off-campus housing is so tight right now,” she said.

“A lot of students start looking so soon. It’s a good idea to start early.”

#1.887515:3205259485.jpg:apart1.jpg:Students often opt to live in apartments within walking distance to campus, like these located behind Waneta Hall.:Wendy McBrayer