Moving away from home for the first time is rough. You have to cook for yourself. You have to make sure you get enough sleep. You have to manage your own schedule. You have to learn how to do laundry!!! Not to mention, you have to step away from the support system you have spent the last eighteen years building. It is enough to make any hard working college student go crazy. But there are a few things you can do to make your college experience the best it could possibly be, and it all starts with where you live.
As a new student, your school most likely has set you up in on-campus dorms. But dorm living is not for everybody. Some of the top complaints about dorm living are:
With so many people in one room and in one building, it is nearly impossible to find alone time, and studying in the room can be difficult with so many distractions.
Not enough space:
Sharing such a tiny room with not enough closet space or storage space makes it difficult to get settled in. Besides, sharing communal bathrooms and showers with the entire floor can be icky.
Too many rules:
Unfortunately, when you are living on University campus, the University is liable for your living situation, which means rules, rules, rules! Dorm living usually means you cannot light candles, turn on twinkle lights, use a blender or electrical appliances, bring in guests or have someone spend the night, and are not allowed to drink in the building.
No kitchen, meal plan non-negotiable:
Dorm rooms don’t come with kitchens, so most on-campus students are required to pay for an expensive meal plan at the dining hall – even if you don’t want to use it.
If you are moving to a new place, you most likely will not know anyone, and making new friends is a priority. Unfortunately, most Universities do not allow you to select where you live or who you live with. If only you could pick your roommates, you could guarantee you would live with your new friends! Luckily, when you search for off-campus housing, you are able to pick your living situation.
For these reasons and more, by the end of the first year, many students seek somewhere that feels like home, away from campus. Off-campus housing has so many perks, including:
Less rules, more freedom!
You can decorate how you like, bring people over when you like, and even drink in your room without getting in trouble!
You can pick your roommates.
And make sure you love the people you live with!
You can cook what you want and do not have to pay for a pricey meal plan with limited food options!
Your choice of single, double, triple, quad.
If you like your space, you can choose to live in a single or with only one roommate. If you like your company, or like affordable options, you can choose to live in a triple or quad!
You get to pick your location,
and find a building that feels like home!
So how do you even begin to look for off-campus housing? There a few very important factors to consider when home hunting. Consider this a little checklist, for you to keep handy as you home shop to make sure your living situation is ideal!
Make sure you can afford rent, so figure out what your monthly budget is and find a place that fits within what you can afford. Do not forget that many buildings charge a flat rent rate AND extra monthly costs for utilities and Wifi! Make sure you understand the full scope of what you will be paying for.
Parking or transportation.
If you have a car, make sure you look for a building with available parking spots or a parking lot. Do not forget to ask if that cost is included in your rent, because parking can be expensive! If you do not have a car and do not need parking, you should still think about how you are going to get around. Is the apartment walking distance from campus? If not, make sure there is a BART or Muni stop nearby so that you can get around easily.
Location, location, location! Your life will be so much easier if you are in a bustling area, close to a grocery store, drug store, good restaurants, a coffee shop, a gym, and even fun night life. You can survive without being right next to all of these thing, but there will be nights when you just NEED ice cream at midnight, and there will be a time when you wish you could just run downstairs to grab your prescription. So be sure you keep an eye on the area around your apartment to make sure you are close to what is important to you!
Who you live with changes everything! Consider house hunting with a buddy, so that you know you love who you will be living with. If you do not have a buddy to househunt with, consider checking out services like roomiematch.com or look at roommate search facebook groups for your University.
If you are living in San Francisco, let us make your house hunting a little easier! Here are three properties that are affordable, conveniently located, have great access to transportation, and boast friendly communities!
During the summer, this building is completely reserved for students and student interns from all over San Francisco – you even need proof of enrollment to sign your lease! The building contains a common area to meet your neighbors and be social, so it is a great place to meet other students and make lifelong friends! The building is situated in SOMA, close to major attractions like AT&T Park, the Westfield San Francisco Centre, and the Financial district! There are many restaurants, bars, clubs, museums, and much more only walking distance away, and there is a BART station and a Muni stop nearby, so it is super easy to get around the city. If you are interested, check out www.urbanests.com to see if they have any vacancies.
A bed in a quad may only be $595 a month, but at this property, you get much more than you pay for. 371 Columbus is located in North Beach, right above a cozy Italian deli with the best cappuccino you have ever tried. That cheap quad boasts a gorgeous panoramic window overlooking the park at Peter and Paul Church, wood floors, white walls, plenty of storage space, and a mini fridge! The building has excellent access to public transportation, great Wifi, and a clean kitchen area. With the unbeatable price, gorgeous view, and stellar location, it is almost too good to be true! If you are interested, check out www.urbanests.com to sign up for your spot. But hurry, this property fills up fast for the new school year!
This building is not only affordable, it is in the middle of SOMA, close to AT&T park, museums, nightlife, restaurants, cafes, and more! The location is unbeatable. It is walking distance from Academy of Art, Herald College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and Golden Gate University. It is also walking distance from some of the biggest tech companies in the rea, so if you are looking for a summer internship and want to live in the middle of the action, this is the spot to be. There are nearby BART and Muni stops, so it is easy to get around the city, and it is a super social building! If you are interested, go to www.urbanests.com and check out vacancies at 1080 Folsom.