Moving out of your house and entering college can be scary. Even scarier is to find a place to stay. However, with some guidance, you can rent an affordable residence that suits your needs. Just keep these steps in mind.
1. Start early
You are competing with hundreds of college students who are also looking for a perfect rental home. Start your search in the spring. In that way, you will have plenty of time to find the best place that suits your budget and location.
2. Research the area
Scan the neighborhood and take note of those areas that are appealing. This is your time to decide whether you prefer to live in a rental home that is within walking distance to your college or a bus ride away. The great thing about residing off-campus is that you have a new area to explore.
But don’t book a rental home yet without first knowing the area. Learn about the amenities, restaurants and hangout areas near your prospective rental home and know whether or not it suits your needs. Make sure that the neighborhood is student-friendly and safe.
3. View up to three rental homes in person
The Internet allows you to find a rental home while sitting in your chair. However, it is always ideal to view prospective homes in person before making a final decision.
Don’t rent from a random person that you found on Craiglist. Keep in mind that scammers target college students who are looking for a rental home. You must also tour in person because some home rentals are more private and you can’t find them online.
4. Communicate with other students
Another way to find a perfect rental home is to chat with other students. Keep in mind that when a student moves out, another student moves in.
When you befriend or talk to some students who are close to graduating, you may learn some perfect places that will soon be available. Talking to them will also help you know how to save money on rent as they can tell what neighborhoods provide the most affordable rent.
5. Bring resume and references
A rental homeowner would choose a tenant who can provide references to back his/her claim that he/she is an awesome tenant. Thus, make sure to bring a resume and written references when meeting a potential landlord.
You may also bring a letter of recommendation from your professor. Although it is your first visit, you may want to bring a check so that you can pay your deposit and first month’s rent.
Having your check ready will make it easier for you to book the place. As mentioned earlier, you’re not the only college student who’s looking for a rental home.
6. Read the lease
Once you found the perfect rental, don’t sign the lease without reading it. Doing so will help you know the terms. Some landlords impose additional conditions, such as no roommates and no pets.
The lease will also have important details like a security deposit, penalties for late payment, etc. You should also walk around the house again before signing the agreement. In this way, you can check if the house is in the same condition as when you first saw it.
|Catrin Cooper is a freelance writer and content manager from San Francisco. She sees her purpose in providing people with up-to-date info in spheres of marketing, self-development, and real estate. Apart from work, she adores traveling and yoga.
Thank you for the advice to bring references to prove that you are a good tenant. I am looking for a new home to rent for one more year, while I finish up school. Hopefully, I can find a place that is affordable and meets my needs.