Throughout college, housing is a topic that will never go away. Each year you may face a move from one place to another, one lease to the next.
There are lots of options for apartments in West Columbia, SC; though it may not seem this way when spring rolls around and every open house you attend is crowded with masses of other students who have their deposits and paperwork ready.
Even after the first year off-campus, housing is always subject to change. Situations evolve, leases expire, roommates leave.
Finding housing can be stressful. After all, this is finding a place to live. Here are some pieces of advice find and select the best place to live off-campus next year or next semester.
Timeline Of The Search
First of all, get started early.
And while this is great advice, it is also helpful to keep in mind that more and more housing options will become available and advertised as time goes on. Think of housing like buying jeans. You could go to the store now and find certain styles available, and you could also go to the store two months from now and find an entirely new selection.
The places that appear in February are not by any means the best, the cheapest, or the only options you will have for off-campus housing. By April an entirely new array of living spaces may be available.
What kind of space would you like to live in?
In order to have the highest chance of finding your ideal place to live, you should start going to open houses early, ready to make a decision on a place if you fall in love with it, but also knowing that plenty more options will open up throughout the spring and sometimes even summer.
Other than where you want to live, the most important part of housing is deciding who you want to live with (or deciding you want to live with no one at all and enjoy a home all to yourself). Once you have chosen your roommates, make sure whatever group you have decided on is stable.
Who do you want to live with?
In order to decide on a place to live, you need to know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you are looking for, the price range your group can manage, and who will be signing the lease. So it’s pretty imperative that you know how many people and who you plan to live with. If you know there are four people in your group, you can right away cross off all the studios and one-bedroom apartments off your search list.
Next, you will all have to decide what type of living situation you are looking for and how you will make compromises to accommodate everyone’s wishes. Think about how far you want to live from campus, if you are looking to share bedrooms, and how much everyone is willing to pay.
Finding out these details at the beginning of your search will make this a much less stressful process.
Give It Everything You’ve Got
When embarking on your housing search, go forth at full force. If you see an apartment and take too much time thinking about whether or not you want it, someone else will snatch it out from under you. This is a time to be fierce, competitive, and fully prepared.
When you see a housing listing online or in an advertisement, check out its information (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, price, etc) before you go to see it. If necessary, you can call the property manager to ask further questions beyond the information provided.
Knowing as much as possible before you see a place will give you an idea of how much you want it.
If you know the place you are going to see is something you are interested in, have your paperwork ready. Property managers often ask for applications and application fees at open houses, and while they will accept these at later dates, it is usually first come first serve. Those who turn in their applications at the open house will have a better opportunity of getting an offer for housing there.