Finding Housing as a Student

College students today need somewhere to live, and among those who move out of their parents\’ household for college, many of them find apartments in which to live, and only a fraction of students in fact live within on-campus housing. A New York Times article from 2016, for example, showed that among college students, 87% of them live off campus, meaning many million of students are living in apartments that they find in the local area. Today, in states like Delaware, student housing is something important to find before the semester starts, and the Internet can be very helpful. Searching for \”student housing Delaware\” is a good start, and searches like \”student housing Delaware\” or \”student housing Massachusetts\” will quickly yield many results. How should a young adult today pick through those options and find the right housing options?

Renting in General

Students looking for housing are not alone; many people and families take up residence in rental properties, and this means that students venturing out of their parents\’ households for the first time can learn a lot from how other renters handle it, and borrow some ideas. Overall, as of the year 2017, just over 111 million renters lived in apartments in the United States, which is a substantial percentage of the total American population, and the Rental Protection Agency believes that 40.6% of American renters are aged 15-34, representing most of the Millenial generation and older members of the subsequent \”Generation Z\” community. People are moving in quite often; estimates show that every 80 seconds in the United States, a new unit gets rented, and every 30 seconds, a new renter is moving their belongings into their new apartment.

College students can borrow some rental techniques from regular renters, while also including the factor of proximity from campus. A renter can take advantage of the fact that property managers want their apartments to be as pleasant and comfortable as possible, and turn their noses up at ill-cared cor properties (as one\’s budget allows). A manager will want the exterior to be appealing, and free of trash or any grime or pests like raccoons, and landscaping may be involved such as trees or shrubs to boost appeal. Inside, a manager will probably include WiFi services (which may be vital for students), as well as bonus amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs, and workout gyms (although these are luxuries, and may not be as important for a student on a tight budget). A student will probably live at a property for just a few years at most, so they will not have to find long-term luxuries of that sort, as opposed to families living there for many years.

When searching \”student housing Delaware\” online, any young adult can find properties whose rent, location, and bonus amenities are appealing, but there are some factors that can only be evaluated in person, and an Internet search for \”student housing Delaware\” may show some pictures, but it will not tell the whole story. Maintenance is a central issue that anyone, even college students looking for temporary housing, must take seriously. A responsible property manager will stay on top of any maintenance issues, but those who cannot afford or worse, do not care may have properties with issues that drive away potential renters.

What are these issues? Some of the electric wiring in the property may be faulty or damaged, and lights may go out or wall sockets might not even work. If the roof leaks, water damage may harm the drywall, and leaking faucets and pipes can cause even more water damage or pool on the floor. The floorboards may be warped or cracked or creak, windows or doors might be drafty, the walls may be too thin to block noise, or there may even be pests like insects or mice present, which may terrify and disgust tenants, who may soon vacate the premises for good. Off campus housing for students may mean working on a budget, but a typical student will probably not put up with cold drafts, mice, or leaking faucets.Students are encouraged to visit off campus housing options ahead of time and see (and smell) what the place is like with their own senses, and get a \”feel\” for the premises.