Going away to college is a nerve wracking but enjoyable experience. However, living in a dorm is not for everyone and commuting is not always an option. There are several off campus housing options available to those who want the full college experience without the headache of sharing a dorm.
Most college towns have apartment complexes within a few blocks of the school. They are designed to make it easy for you to get to class, while still affording you the privacy dormitories lack. Most apartments in these communities are single bedroom. However, there are some that offer two bedrooms so you can take on a roommate if you so desire. The best part is that they cater to college students, so their rent is typically cheaper than other units in the same town are. They also offer leasing terms that match the school year.
One of the biggest positives about choosing a student apartment is that many are fully furnished. This saves on the headache of trying to move your own furniture from your parent’s home to the college and then back again. However, you are responsible for making sure that the items within the apartment are not damaged during your stay.
Town Houses and Condos
Town houses and condos are a step up from apartments. They are bigger and are easily shared by two or three students. You will pay more in rent; however, with roommates it might not be as expensive. Unlike apartments, town houses or condominiums may be more open to having pets and you might even have a small yard that you can enjoy. Like apartments, lease terms tend to match the school year. These units, like their apartment counterparts, are often located within a few blocks away from the school, making it easy for you to walk or bike to class.
Single Family Houses
If you do not mind having a few roommates to shoulder the rent, you may consider renting a house. Depending on the area, you can find three bedroom homes that will give you plenty of privacy and allow you and a couple of friends to enjoy college life. In a house, however, you may be responsible for paying more of the utilities, since apartments, and sometimes town houses, often cover water and garbage fees. The trade is that you will have a yard to enjoy, you can often have larger pets, and you will have a little more freedom.
When selecting a house for your off campus housing needs, you should remember that they are not typically close the school. You will need to have adequate transportation to get you back and forth.
Off campus housing is a good way to get the privacy you need to be able to succeed in college. It will also prepare you for living on your own once you are finished with school and begin working in your chosen career.