Minimizing the house hunting headache


Austin O'Brien/The Lion's Roar

With Spring Semester coming to a close, many students have began to look for housing for the fall semester. Staff reporter Kloe Andrews shared her best tips on how to hunt for apartments near campus.

Student life is difficult enough without stressing about finding a nice apartment that’s within a student’s budgeted wishlist. Here are some tips and tricks to make the undesirable apartment search just a little more bearable.

Thanks to the digital age, apartment hunting is already easier than it used to be. There are a handful of great and reliable apps and websites that students can use to aid them in their apartment search.

The most popular apps are Zillow and Trulia. While the apps are very user-friendly for the student who doesn’t have time to visit the site, using the website is very helpful.

The sites have more options for viewing listings, including 3D tours of certain complexes. This can be helpful to a student when the photos taken do not completely capture the size of the unit. Within both site and app, a user can find contact info for the agent or landlord in charge of listings, send emails and make phone calls out to these agents and landlords, and even save these apartments to a “likes” list for later viewing.

Both Zillow and Trulia have tools that can slim down a search by area, pricing, number of beds and baths. Square footage, and home type. This allows a user to see lists of whatever kind of home they desire, and even which rooms are being subleased individually.

Facebook Marketplace is a surprising resource that puts college apartment hunting right at a user’s fingertips. Using Facebook marketplace allows one to favorite, like, and share listings. Users are also able to private message the agent or landlord if they are interested in a unit. Marketplace is a great opportunity for prospective renters to find a roommate as well. By using keywords such as “roommate” or “rooms for rent,” individuals can zero in on posts by students looking for a roommate in that area.

Another great way to learn about apartments for rent is by word of mouth. The students and staff on campus have great insight into what kind of rentals are around the university! Plus, students most likely already know someone who lives at a nice complex and would be willing to give insight into what it’s like to live there.

Another key tip is to do research. Googling a location, price checking, scheduling a tour, and consulting friends who lived there or currently live there are all great ways to prepare before paying that fee and completing the renters’ application.

There are many things a prospective renter should check into before filling out an application. The first and most important one is: how reliable are the maintenance workers? If the AC, stove, fridge, or other major appliance goes out or something breaks, how responsive and timely will they act to get this fixed?

Secondly, be sure to look into the property itself. A great way to do this is by Googling the property by name and looking over the reviews. This is a simple way to understand the pros and cons of renting there.

Apartment hunting can be very stressful. The most important thing to remember is to be careful with selecting an apartment. Remembering to listen to advice is an important part of the hunt as well. People have been around here for a while, they’ve learned some things that can come in handy with the search.