Then, one of your friends drops the question: “Where do you plan to live next year?”
Hmmm. You hadn’t thought of this.
You thought that it was going to be easy for the next four years. Dorm life, dining commons, walk to class, study in the library or the dorms.
Probably the most important question you need to ask yourself is, “do I want to stay where I am at or do I want to find student housing that is located off-campus?”
To answer that question, it is probably a good idea to come up with a plan.
Here is what you can do.
Do some research
Deciding to live off-campus or on-campus is a huge decision. It can be frustrating and should not to be taken lightly.
A good place to start with your research is with your friends. They have been spending time with you, have shared experiences over the past few months, and will definitely have an opinion about where to live next year.
Here are some things to discuss with your friends to get you started.
- What do they plan on doing?
- Do they like living on campus or do they think it will be more fun living off-campus?
- How is the food in the dining commons?
- How will you get to campus?
- Did you want roommates?
- Is it affordable renting an apartment off-campus?
- Are the campus facilities nice?
This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are plenty of questions you can ask and find the answers to in addition to the questions provided here.
If you know some upper-classmen, ask them some questions about living off-campus.
You can use the same question or come up with new ones.
They were in the same place as you just a year or two back.
See what decisions they made about where to live. Find out what their thoughts are about living in an apartment off-campus
They can help guide you through the process of finding an apartment to rent.
Students are not the only resource when it comes to asking questions about living off campus. Cast the net a bit bigger Don’t just ask your friends. There are plenty of people on campus who are either living in apartments located off-campus or have done so in the past. You would be surprised who can help. Counselors, lab assistants, resident advisors, the barista at the coffee house can all help in finding the information that you need.
Compare apartment rentals
Grab the computer and get online. Gone are the days of looking for apartments in the newspaper. The Internet is home to a wealth of information about local housing and apartment rentals.
Apartment management companies who are serious about providing a great service to the college community will have a website. The website should have plenty of information and be able to answer most of your questions.
- How many bedrooms per unit?
- Is there parking for automobiles?
- On-site laundry?
- Are utilities included?
- Is your apartment complex pet friendly?
Look for apartment websites that are open and up-front about the services and amenities that they offer?
Also, bookmark your favorites on your computer or mobile device. This will make it easier for you to come back and also to compare the features of each apartment complex.
Share the information you found with your friends. They might be interested in what you found. They may also be able to provide more information about the apartment rentals you are considering.
So, what is a great apartment rental?
Well, this is the million-dollar question. How do you measure the greatness of an apartment rental?
The answer: It depends.
What may be a great rental choice for you may not be a great choice for your friends.
Everyone’s wants and needs are different. Someone may be looking for a place with a pool. Someone else wants to walk to campus. Another may want to live as far away from campus as possible and drive to school every day.
Also, it may be difficult to find that perfect apartment. Features and amenities differ from location to location. You may not be able to find the place that has everything that you need.
Students really want to live in a place that is a step-up from the housing options they typically find on campus. You have been living on-campus for your freshman year. Use this as a reference point when searching for the right apartment.
Make a list of what you are looking for in an apartment. Compare the list with your friends. See if you missed anything or if you need to change anything. The more comprehensive the list, the better chances you have of finding
Now, when you are doing your research, you will need to make sure that you can check as many of the boxes as you can. The more boxes that you check, the closer you are to finding that truly great apartment.
How much rent will I pay?
As we mentioned before, every apartment complex is different. Some places may be a bit “rustic” while others seem to be more like a high-end vacation rental. It may seem like and easy choice, but the final decision can be difficult.
Look closely at apartments. There will likely be a big difference between what you are used to on campus and what you find off-campus. Be sure that the new location has the quality you are looking for and is a good fit for your budget.
Rental prices in a community can vary greatly. There can even be a huge difference in rental prices in apartments that are literally right next to each other. This means that you need to dig a bit deeper to be able to compare the choices equitably and actually see what is included in the rental cost.
Here are some things to consider when comparing rental prices:
- How many bedrooms?
- How many bathrooms?
- How many square feet is the entire unit?
- How many square feet are each of the bedrooms?
- Is there a patio or balcony?
- Is the rental unit upstairs or downstairs?
- How many people can share the apartment?
- Are there fees for additional keys?
- What utilities are included with rent?
- What utilities are NOT included with rent?
- Is there a fee for using the workout room?
- Is there a fee for using study lounge computers or printers?
- Do you charge additional fees to use any of the amenities located on-site?
There are many factors that will influence how much you will be paying in rent for your off-campus student housing. The key is to make sure you as plenty of question. Understanding what does or doesn’t come with the various apartment rentals will help you make an equitable comparison. The more information you have about the various rentals, the better the decision you will make.
Location is an important component when selecting a place to live. Some people prefer to live next to campus while other people prefer to live a bit further away.
What you might find as you are researching your next home away from home is that the closer you are to campus the number of amenities included with your rental can decrease and the rental costs can increase.
Conversely, the further you go from campus, included amenities can increase while rental costs can decrease.
This is by no means a hard and fast rule. Just be aware that location plays a huge role in the cost of apartment rentals.
Getting to campus
Think about how you plan on getting to campus every day. Are you walking, biking, taking the bus, driving? How you commute to campus everyday will play a big role in the apartment rental you choose.
Walk to Campus
Walking to campus would be nice. To do this, you would need to find a place that is really close to campus. Having a two-minute walk to campus would mean that you are probably right across the street. Living that close to campus could be cost prohibitive. Premium neighborhoods can command premium rents. Plus, there could be limited options when it comes to living near campus. There just may not be a lot to choose from.
Bike to Campus
Biking to campus is a good choice. It is low cost and extremely convenient. Apartments generally have plenty of bike parking. There is a huge supply of bicycle parking on campus.
The added benefit of biking to campus is that you can bike from class to. Some college campuses are pretty big. Walking from building to building can definitely take some time. Biking around campus makes school life that much easier.
Taking the Bus
What if it is raining? Do you want to bike to campus? If not, think about taking the bus. Some colleges have excellent transportation systems with bus routes that cater specifically to students and getting students to and from campus. Some of the transportation systems are even free for students to use. In addition to being a convenient way to get to campus, this could result in a substantial savings in transportation costs.
Be sure to check if there are bus stops near the apartments you are thinking about renting, it may work out in your favor.
Drive to Campus
Driving may seem like the easiest choice. However, driving to campus can be inconvenient and expensive.
Almost every college campus charges for on-campus parking. It is not cheap either. You can easily pay hundreds of dollars per quarter for the opportunity to park on campus. What is really interesting, is that a parking permit does not guarantee you a place to park. You may find that when you arrive at campus, all the parking spots are taken. Or, you have to park in a satellite parking lot, which means you have to walk a considerable distance to get to class.
On the opposite end, does your apartment complex have enough off-street parking? Sometimes there can be only one off-street parking spot per rental unit. If you are sharing an apartment, you may have to park on-street. If you are in a location where there are a number of apartment complexes, you may be competing with other student drivers for parking.
Walk. Bike. Bus. Car. Make sure that when it comes to getting to-and-from campus, you have plenty of choices.
Pool? Spa? Workout Room? You are living off-campus and you want it all. That is great! But keep in mind, much like apartment location, the number of amenities that come with your apartment will influence the rental cost. The more features at the apartment complex, the more you should expect to pay.
Some apartments complexes can include the following amenities:
- Free high-speed Wi-Fi.
- Lighted off-street parking
- Free water, sewer, trash
- Microwave ovens and dishwashers
- Central heat and air
- Clubhouse with social area
- Fitness center
- Computer lab
- Study room
- On site gas BBQs
- Laundry facilities
- Nearby bus stops
- Nearby shopping
- Nearby dining
- Access to public parks
- Access to bike paths
- On-site management
- On-site maintenance
Not all apartments are the same. Compare the amenities and find the one that “checks all the boxes.”
RENTER ALERT: Be on the lookout for hidden fees. Apartments may come with plenty of amenities, but are they included with the rent or are there additional charges to use them? There may be a club house, but you may have to pay by the hour to use it for your social event. There may be gas grills on the property, but you may have to pay a fee each time you use them. Yes, that is a nice workout room, but is there a monthly charge to use it?
Finding that great apartment for rent in Davis
It is no easy task finding the perfect apartment. It takes a bit of work to find an apartment that meets your needs and has a great balance between luxury, convenience and cost.
To simplify the process and make finding the perfect Davis apartment really easy, you can start by contacting Davisville Management Company.
Davisville Management Co. specializes in student apartment rentals. Their apartment rentals are designed to meet all of your off-campus student housing wants and needs.
Their three apartment rentals, Aggie Square Apartments, Almondwood Apartments, and Fountain Circle Townhomes, have many features and amenities that make them a favorite with UC Davis undergraduates.
Locations boast premium amenities (amenities vary by site):
- Free high-speed Wi-Fi courtesy of Davisville Management Co.
- Free water
- Off-street parking
- Multiple floor plans
- Microwave ovens and dishwashers
- Cable TV/Internet available
- Central heat and air units
- Computer lab with printers
- Clubhouse with social area
- Fitness center
- Study room
- Pool and spa
- BBQ area
- Affordable 24-hour laundry
- UCD bus stops G & J
- Adjacent to the Anderson Plaza or Market Place shopping centers.
- On bike path – one mile to UC Davis campus
- Access to local parks and greenbelts
- Fantastic North Davis location
- Quiet friendly atmosphere
At all three locations, you can exercise, study, socialize, swim, and do laundry right on site. You can catch the bus at the curb or hop on the bike path for a one mile ride (six minutes) to UCD campus. Walk across the street for groceries, bagels, boba and much more. Why live anywhere else? North Davis Apartments are the smart choice.
Davisville Management Company – UCD off-campus housing for the serious college student.
Text us at 47464 and type AGS, AW and FC
UPDATED: October 12, 2020 Notice: Since this article was originally posted, there have been...
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