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Off-Campus Living: Finding Your First Apartment

Some college students are just not built to survive dorm life. If you are one among this bunch, finding an off-campus apartment is your next best shot at proper housing. But if this is your first time finding an apartment, here are some tips for you:

1. Start looking early

Don’t wait too long before you look for nice apartments for rent in Richmond City or nearby areas. Students who want to live off-campus for the next academic year should start looking before the current year ends. The earlier you start searching, the better your chances will be at finding the best apartment that fits your needs.

2. Find potential roommates

Similar to the previous tip, start considering potential roommates before the year ends. Whether it’s your dorm roommate or your best friend, finding someone to split expenses with is the best way to save money while living off-campus. Moreover, living with someone you get along with can be beneficial for your social needs and mental health. So before the academic year caps off, start asking acquaintances or friends if they would like to move in with you.

3. Consider at least three options

choosing apartment

Don’t fall in love with the first apartment you see; there might be a place where you can get at a lower price. Consider at least three to five options before making a decision.

4. Ask about the rules

All apartments have rules. While touring an apartment, ask the landlord or building manager about the rules in place. That way, you can determine if the apartment is suitable for your lifestyle or not.

5. Consider your commute

If you drive, think about your route to the campus and how living in an apartment will affect your gas and parking expenses. If you don’t have a car, think about your commute to and from school via walking or public transportation. Can you get to the campus in a reasonable time? Will the transportation expenses make a significant dent in your budget? Is there sufficient parking near the apartment building?

6. Assess the safety of the area

Safety should be your top priority when hunting for apartments off-campus. To find out if an area is safe enough for a college student, check its crime statistics, and ask people who know the area’s reputation.

7. Check if there are nearby necessities

Life as a college student can be pretty hectic, more so if you are in a demanding major. Thus, when looking for an apartment, choose one that is nearby most basic establishments, such as the grocery store, gas station, and drug store. In this way, you won’t have to spend a lot of time traveling around for errands.

After you move off-campus, take advantage of your freedom. Unlike a campus dorm, you can cook, do laundry, and enjoy your privacy without worrying about an RA or a roommate who is just meters away from your bed. However, choosing the right apartment unit is one of the keys to great off-campus living.

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