What to Look for in an Off Campus Apartment
When a student decides it’s time to explore off-campus housing options, the vast number of factors and options can become overwhelming instantly. It can be hard to figure out what to actually look for when searching for USC off campus housing, but here is a handy guide with a few things to keep in mind during your journey.
1. Affordability, Taking Utilities into Account
For students, affordability often comes to mind first when considering their housing options. One’s college days are full of financial uncertainties, and most students have to take out sizable loans to pay for their education. As a result, it’s typically helpful to take a look at your finances and create a budget that includes how much you can actually afford for rent.
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of utilities if the apartments you are looking at don’t include them already. Some off campus housing near USC builds utilities into the cost of rent, so you only have to worry about paying one living fee each month, but it’s always important to ask what is included in rent.
Although affordability is important, so is the quality of life. Finding a cheap apartment may feel good for your finances, but the place may be so cheap for a reason. If anything seems too good to be true price-wise, take a step back consider your options carefully.
2. Proximity to Campus
Proximity to campus is more important for some than others, and many students opt to pay a premium to have convenient access to campus. If you want to be within walking distance of your classes, you can expect to pay a bit more due to the high demand for these locations.
Fortunately in Los Angeles, the walk to class will rarely be too unpleasant weather-wise, as chances are good you will never have to trudge through feet of snow to get to campus.
Even still, many students opt to live a bit further away to save on rent. You can usually find great and affordable apartments in Koreatown, Silver Lake, Culver City, and other neighborhoods that are about a 20-minute drive to campus. Each neighborhood is also connected to the city metro, so you can rely on public transit if you don’t have a car or want to worry about parking all the time.
3. Furnished or Unfurnished
This comes down to preference, but many students find that renting a furnished apartment is a much more convenient option that is worth any potential extra costs. Not having to purchase or move in large items of furniture prevents a ton of headaches, and roommates don’t have to think about divvying up who gets what when they move out.
Others might prefer unfurnished apartments because they already own their own furniture, or they want to completely customize a space and make it their own.
There is a lot to consider when looking for an off-campus dwelling, but mulling over these three factors can help you decide on a place without overthinking it too much.