House and apartment hunting can be difficult, especially when you are not at the level of Jonathan or Drew Scott of “Property Brothers.” However, as you start hunting for off-campus housing, there are many resources to help students find the perfect home to suit their needs.
MU hosted a housing fair on Nov. 7, which included representatives from almost every off-campus housing service. Some of the most popular booths were TODD, The Lyfe, Brookside and UCentre. Other options included were Campus Lodge Columbia, The Pointe, Grindstone Canyon, The Reserve at Columbia and Kitty Hawk Apartments.
Walking around the housing fair, many of the booths had similar advice when it comes to choosing the right place to live. Sidney Owens from Off Campus Student Services recommends students do lots of research and think about what matters most to them.
“Students should think about distance to campus, do they need a shuttle, do they have a certain budget they should stay within and things like that,” Owens said. “That kind of helps them refine their search because there [are] a lot of options and that can get kind of intimidating.”
Brookside representative Holly Edmondson also suggests that students tour all of their options prior to selecting a location.
“I know there are a lot of people that will just tour one place and then not look at the rest of what’s available,” Edmondson said. “I think as a student, it is best to find what’s the best fit for you because each place is going to offer something different.”
As far as pricing goes, Edmondson said now is the time to put a payment down. Most of the tables at the Housing Fair had deals currently available or deals just starting up. The tables encouraged students to start narrowing down their options.
“Most of [the deals] are happening now and the sooner you sign, the more say you have in what floor plan you get and what building you get,” Edmondson said. “The sooner the better.”
Owens also mentioned that if students don’t end up signing this semester, deals fluctuate and could be offered in the spring for students who didn’t end up committing or need a place for the summer.
Off Campus Student Services offers many different resources for students to utilize throughout their journey to buy off campus housing. For first-time buyers, students should consider the types of leases, creating a budget, finding roommates, the cost of utilities, food options, transportation and pet ownership.
“Leasing 101” is another resource offered by Off Campus Student Services. This includes rental terminology, property viewing tips, rights and responsibilities and property condition, comparison and research checklists.
Edited by Alexandra Sharp | email@example.com