Going to college living near Laurier is a great life-altering experience that can leave you with lifelong friends and the ability to learn about yourself and all that you’re capable of. However, living in the college dorms is another story. Dorms can be crowded, loud and not very conducive to studying or privacy. For some students, this is a great party atmosphere and a great way to instantly make friends but for other students, dorm life is simply too distracting and the purpose of college is lost. Off campus, apartments can be a viable solution for a wide cross range of students including older nontraditional students, students with families and students who don’t like the communal atmosphere of dorm living.
If you are considering off campus apartments there are a few things you should be on the lookout for to make this endeavor a successful one starting with your budget. If you are on a tight budget, and most college students are, you want to find the area of off campus apartments that are economically priced with students in mind. A good place to start is by checking out the bulletin boards at your school and even just exploring the area within a few mile radiuses by foot or on your bike for rental signs.
Keep in mind if you are within walking or biking distance you may be able to pay more rent because your gas will be reduced. Also if you are able to find a willing roommate you can afford to get into something bigger and more expensive than you can swing on your own.
Once you find off campus apartments that you can afford you also want to make sure that they are secure. Take the time to walk the area around the apartments and look for indicators of possible neighborhood crime or problems. For example, if you see a lot of graffiti or tagging that has not been painted over it could indicate the neighborhood has crime problems that are overwhelming the residence. When you do your neighborhood walkthrough is the area habitable and welcoming? Are the neighboring homes or apartments clean and kept up? Look for indicators or red flags of problems so you can avoid wishing you had paid better attention before you signed the lease.
If everything checks out the next question is your all-important lease. A lease is basically a guarantee that your rent cannot go up and the expectations of your landlord cannot change while you’re under a contract. This is a good way to seal in a price that you can afford but it can also commit you to a long-term stay and if you aren’t happy down the road you are committed to completing the run on your lease.
So before you sign anything make sure you are prepared to make the commitment and that you have done your homework and research to ensure this is indeed the apartment for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Off Campus Apartments
Before you jump to the conclusion that off campus apartments are better than on-campus dorms, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons of both options. While off campus housing may offer more freedom, it may also entail more cost and inconvenience. When you’re on campus, the campus resources are all relatively nearby, definitely within walking distance from your dorm. Consider the following advantages and disadvantages to off campus living before you make your final decision.
Advantages of Off Campus Living
Off campus apartments definitely, provide more freedom than on campus dorms. You’ll not be held to the restrictions and rules that those on campus need to follow, and you’ll also have the option to use your interior decorating skills to make your apartment your home. And if you prefer home cooking, you’ll be able to plan and make your own meals, rather than visit the campus dining hall. Now, while the cooking may appeal to some, others may find they save time by eating already prepared food on campus. Get a univeristy of waterloo off campus housing today!
Living off campus gives you a wide variety of accommodations. You can rent a studio apartment for yourself, or share a larger apartment with others. Some students even go together to rent a house! It all depends on your income and your preference for roommates.
Renting an off campus home provides a break from campus every single evening. Those breaks are few and far between when you live in campus housing. If you’d prefer a quiet neighborhood versus noisy dorms, then off campus housing may be perfect for you! Find peace and serenity in your own apartment when your campus classes and other responsibilities are complete.
Disadvantages to Off-Campus Living
Of course, there are just as many disadvantages to consider when you’re looking to live off campus. Apartments may cost more than you’re able to afford, and off-campus housing is not usually covered by the grants and scholarships you may be used to get through school. If finances are a problem, you’ll probably choose your housing based on what can be afforded.
Besides paying for your own apartment, shopping for food, and taking time out of your class, work and study schedule to clean and keep house, you will probably need to buy a car for transportation to school, the grocery store, and work. Besides paying for gas, you’ll also need to pay for upkeep like oil changes and occasional engine tune-ups.
And while we’re on the subject of finances, consider all the extra costs associated with an apartment. Electricity, water, heating, internet, phone service, pest control, trash pick-up and other similar conveniences aren’t free. Be sure to add up all the expenses before jumping into signing a lease for any off-campus apartments.