The search for student housing ideally begins in the spring. Renting an apartment or living in a student residence, what are the criteria for making your choice?
The end of the year often comes faster than you think. If you’re taking your baccalaureate in June, you may even have already filled out your applications! Or you are a student, your current accommodation is not suitable for you, or you will be moving to another city at the beginning of the school year. In short, if you’re planning to look for student housing for the fall, you shouldn’t procrastinate! But how do you make the right choices? So here’s some advice from a former student and paper writer Dustin Bratten!
It all starts with you. Unless you’re one of the 12% of students who live in a residence – in which case the question doesn’t arise – you must first decide what to look for. Private student residence, empty or furnished apartment, shared apartment, what type of housing best suits your aspirations, but also your budget? Then you can start looking for the ideal home.
Criterion number 1, the location of the accommodation
In all cases, the first criterion to consider is the future home’s location. It must be located near your place of study or be well served by public transportation. You don’t want to waste a lot of time and energy commuting every day! Even if you don’t know your future city of residence (yet), you can spend a few hours on the net to get information and, why not, establish a search area.
In this regard, don’t forget to go fishing for information on the different neighborhoods and their reputation. Also, consider targeting shopping areas for your daily needs, so you don’t have to go across town to buy a package of pasta.
Start your search early.
If you choose to rent an apartment, whether it is empty or furnished, you can start your search with classified ads. Note again that if you want to choose, you should not start too late. April to June is a perfect time in large student cities, where the market is tight. Those who will be moving out start to give notice, and you can avoid the stress of a late search.
Establish your criteria so as not to waste time: how much space do you need? What budget do you have for housing? You can simplify your search by applying filters, and you’ll see homes that match your needs on your screen. Of course, you will certainly be seduced by one ad rather than another: the owners put forward their rental property assets.
If a property meets your expectations, do not hesitate to ask for additional information – or even photos – before making the first choice. In any case, be careful and do not commit yourself without visiting the property. If your city of study is far from your current home, you can block off a weekend to visit the place – hence the interest in doing so before the revision rush.
The visit, an essential step
This is a key moment in choosing any student accommodation: the visit! You will notice that the (beautiful) photos published are sometimes different from reality. The visit of an apartment must be synonymous with an inspection. The surface of the rooms, the appliances, the light, the location of the sockets, don’t be shy to observe everything down to the smallest nooks and crannies – for example, looking for that little spot of humidity that can tell you a lot about the state of the apartment. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions, as the rental or heating bills can weigh heavily on a student budget!
A tip concerning visits: it is best to arrive first. If possible, make your appointments in the late afternoon, when the neighborhood is around. This will give you a chance to feel the surrounding noise. You don’t want to feel like your neighbors are eating in your living room while working.
What about a student residence?
Especially if this is your first year away from home, you may prefer the more secure setting of a private student residence. Here again, in addition to its location, you are advised to make your choice according to your needs and lifestyle. The services offered are different from one residence to another, and perhaps it is more important to you to have a gym or high-speed Wi-Fi access than a laundry room, or vice versa.
Note that most residence hall chains offer the possibility to apply and withdraw if you are not accepted in the requested establishment. If you are seduced, don’t delay and gain peace of mind.