Tired of living the dorm life? Want more freedom and fun? Here are some things to consider….First of all you will most likely have a landlord. Rules and regulations will be in place….much like a dorm. Also, read your lease contract, ask questions and have someone who knows lease agreements take a look at it so you are not surprised by anything. Unlike living in a dorm where you pay one lump sum, you will most likely have to pay for utilities, internet, cable and garbage. This means short showers, waiting for laundry to pile up into a large load and using the dishwasher as little as possible. If you have roommates, you will all have to agree on utility usage so one person who tries to be frugal, will not be paying for a roommate who over uses utilities.
Where to park? How do I get on campus easily? These are questions you should ask yourself if you are thinking of moving off campus. Commuting to school can be a pain, especially if you don’t have a car. If you do have a car, some campuses may not provide enough parking and will force you to pay hefty parking fees. If you’re using public transit, keep in mind that you’re at the whims of a schedule that might not be as rigid as you’d like. A late bus can cause you to miss class or make for an awfully long day when you’re just trying to get home and relax.
Then there is the crime factor. Of course crime can also happen in the dorms. But the dorms usually offer either security guards, key codes or keys to enter a building and a separate key code/lock used for entry into your place. As long as you and your dorm mates remember to lock your door, chances are you will be okay. Robberies off campus happen more often, and if you don’t purchase renters insurance theft is a tough issue to deal with. Criminals may target off-campus housing, since they can pretty much guarantee scoring a laptop or other electronics. And make sure to find a safe place to park, because off-campus cars are more susceptible to getting broken into.
Cleaning….there’s nothing better than having your dorm bathrooms cleaned on a regular basis. Off campus housing, you will be responsible unless you don’t care about a clean and sanitized bathroom. Keeping an apartment or house clean is much more work and can compete to you keeping on top of your your studies!