Choose Language

Translate to Spanish Translate to Portuguese Translate to French Translate to Russian Translate to Italian

Tips for Every College Grad on Apartment Hunting

How to Find a Rental Before Graduation

Most college graduates will have lived in some combination of residence halls, dorms, and on- or off-campus apartments during their college career. For those who have lived on campus for the last four years or are looking to relocate to a new city after commencement, finding an apartment during a final semester of classes, thesis writing, and job searching can be a hefty task. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, consider seeking assistance from an essay writing service or other professional services to help manage your education workload. Here are some tips on how to track down a brand-new place.

When to Start an Apartment Search

It may seem wild, but searching for a place as early as possible is best. While many property owners will only ask their tenants to renew in early spring, larger property management companies already have this process underway. Even if a soon-to-be college grad is still determining where they will be living after commencement, it is a good idea to start looking at listings and compile a list of units that fit one’s criteria and budget.

Where to Find an Apartment

The internet has made searching for an apartment accessible – it’s a matter of avoiding being wholly overwhelmed with the choices.

  • com and offer hundreds of apartment listings, searchable by state or city.
  • The National Association of Residential Property Managers provides an online portal to locate property managers up to 100 miles from a specific zip code.
  • Forums on websites can give potential renters feedback on the neighborhoods of an unfamiliar city.
  • Newspaper classified sections usually feature properties for rent or sale.

Remember that the best network for finding a place can sometimes be alums, friends, family, employers, or graduate programs.

How to Choose an Apartment

Identify Your Needs

Before you dive into the search, figure out what you’re looking for in an apartment. Consider factors like location, size, budget, and amenities. If you have a job lined up, you’d want to live close to your workplace. If not, consider an area with good employment prospects in your field.

How to Use Apartment Finders

To help narrow the focus if there is an overwhelming number of choices, consider the answers to the following and use them as search criteria:

  • Size: number of bedrooms/bathrooms, square footage, etc.
  • Cost: how much is too much (taking into consideration student loan payments, car payments, insurance costs)
  • Neighborhood/location: public transport options, parking availability, safety

Budget Wisely

Remember that you’ll also need to budget for utilities, groceries, transportation, and other living expenses besides rent. As a rule, your rent should not exceed 30% of your monthly income.

Understand the Rental Process

When you find an apartment you like, you must complete an application and prove your ability to pay the rent. This can be tricky if you still need to start your job. In such cases, you might need a co-signer or be able to show savings or a job offer letter.

Prepare the Necessary Documents

You’ll typically need identification, proof of income, references, and possibly a credit check. Having these ready can speed up the application process and increase your chances of securing the apartment.

Visit the Apartment

Only rent an apartment after visiting it first. Use the visit to inspect the condition of the apartment and the building and get a feel for the neighborhood.

Read the Lease Carefully

Ensure you understand all the lease terms, including the lease’s length, the amount of the security deposit, the policy on pets, and the conditions for breaking the lease.

Consider Roommates

Having a roommate can help cut costs and make a more expensive apartment affordable. Just ensure you choose someone you’re compatible with and trust.


As college grads enter the complicated world of rental housing, the best practice is to be cautious and do research ahead of time. Assessing one’s needs in a new living space will save time in the long run and ensure that post-graduation living is comfortable.

At every stage of the search and rental process, there are some key points that potential renters should always keep in mind.

  • Keep any agreements with a landlord or property owner in writing, and ensure they are signed and dated.
  • It is essential to visit a unit before signing a lease. Potential renters should consider asking a friend or relative to investigate some units if this is impossible.
  • Ensure there are no questions or discrepancies in the lease document, and do not sign a lease before asking for any clarifications.
  • Be careful when selecting a roommate. Some property management companies provide a roommate matching service, but nothing beats a candid conversation about sleeping habits, cleanliness, and any special requirements.

Previous post:
Get to Work: 5 Amazing Garage Workshop Ideas
Next post:
Best Places in Oregon To Live With Family
About the Author

Kaya Wittenburg

Blog Author and CEO

Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. Since the age of 10, real estate has been deeply ingrained into his thoughts. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches.

He is here to help you use real estate as a vehicle to develop your own personal empire and feel deeply satisfied along the way. If you have an interest in buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, contact Kaya today.

Feel free to call me at: (305) 357-0635
or contact via email: