How to Find Housing (Apartment) in a New Location as New Student in USA

In Student Life by KumarUpdated : Leave a Comment

by Guest author Kristal

I recently had to move across the country for school, and so I had to find somewhere new to live.  Now that I have somewhere, here are a few things I learned in the process.

First Steps in looking for Housing (Apartment)

Firstly, if you’re going to move for school, start with the school’s website, there will usually be some on-campus housing available for which you may apply, but there should also be information for living off-campus…it may give suggestions of websites or newspapers to look for rentals.

I found that was pretty helpful.  You can narrow your search to a specific city region.  Even if you don’t find anything that spikes your interest, you will at least have an estimate to how much it will cost you to live there/what utilities to expect to be included/etc.

Calling and Emailing Apartment Rental Places

The next step is to call and/or email places you are interested in. Gather as many details as you can…here are a few basic questions to be sure to ask: How much is monthly rent? How long is the lease? What utilities are included (water, electricity, heat)? What amenities are available (pool, fitness center, laundry, etc)? Is it close to a bus-line? Is there parking available? What is the move-in cost (security deposit, 1st/last month’s rent, etc)?

Final Steps and additional info:

I would definitely suggest have a tour before you sign anything, make sure you like the place (not just the apartment, but also the neighborhood) before you commit to anything.  Also, if you decide you like a place, make sure you understand all of the paperwork you are signing…what you’re responsible for as a tenant.

Some places will often run a background check on you before allowing you to move-in…this may take around 3 days, but usually less…just be prepared to know that you might not be able to move-in right away.  This check will look at your credit history and also past rental history…depending on your situation; you may be required to pay a higher security deposit.

It’s not easy, but it can be done.  Best of luck! and Happy House Hunting !

About Author :Kristal recently graduated from a State University in US with B.A and B.S in Economics, Mathematics, and Spanish Majors. She is now at new University for PhD in Economics starting this fall 2010 with full funding. She will share her undergraduate experiences and PhD admission tips with our readers.

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