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Tips for Finding Affordable Housing

Housing can be one of the mostly costly expenses during college. This article describes tips for finding housing at reasonable prices.

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Going to college can be expensive considering all the expenses, including tuition, housing, books, utilities and food. One of the most costly expenses is housing. Many students face high costs for housing because there are a limited number of housing units available near campus. Here are some tips to find more affordable housing.

Sharing

Whether you prefer to live in an apartment or a house, you may want to consider finding some roommates. Often, sharing a space with one or two roommates can save each of you money, maybe even a substantial amount of money. Usually, the rent decreases as the number of roommates increases. You should ask yourself some questions:

  • How many people could you actually tolerate living with?
  • Are you willing to share a bedroom with another roommate?
  • Are the people you are considering moving in with responsible?

While considering these questions, keep in mind a landlord or apartment manager limits the number of residents permitted in a housing unit. You shouldn't exceed the number of permitted residents for various safety reasons. If you are caught exceeding it, remember it can result in you and your roommates being evicted.

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Hunting

When searching for housing, check out your options. Many students make the mistake of rushing into a housing unit or agreement. Check out several different apartments in different locations. As you go house hunting with your roommates, you may want to note that the housing closer to campus will be more costly. Even if this housing may not look up to date, the managers and landlords can charge more because of its convenient proximity to campus. Often, housing gets more affordable or at least reasonable as you get further away from campus.

When you speak with managers and landlords during the tours, bring a notepad with questions you have brainstormed with your roommates. Use this notepad to take notes of the conversation, so you can compare the different options later on.

Subleasing

If you only need temporary housing, you may want to consider looking for an advertisement at the university union or online bulletin board for an apartment or studio that someone is subleasing. According to those at Financial Dominion, www.financialdominon.com, subleases are transactions in which leased property is released by original lessees to third parties, but lease agreements between the original parties remain in effect.

The person who is leasing the housing unit may reduce the cost of the rent and pay the difference, especially if he or she needs to move out as soon as possible. You may also be able to negotiate a lower price with the current resident if the price hasn't been dropped yet.

Housing Resources

For more information on housing, try services.housing.berkeley.edu. Berkeley provides useful information that students attending other universities can use, too.

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