6 Compromises to Consider in Your Student Apartment Hunt

By Christine Ascher on October 30, 2017

This article is brought to you by CORT Furniture Rental. We take the hassle out of furnishing your new place so you can do more important things like read this article. Learn more about why furniture rental is the best way to get a great looking apartment.

Apartment hunting as a college student can be difficult; while there may be a lot of options available, you can’t always find the perfect place when you’re on a limited student budget. Unfortunately, it may be necessary to compromise in order to find the right apartment for you and for your wallet.

Though you might not want to give anything up right now, in the long run you’ll be a lot better off if you settle in one or two areas in return for finding a place that you can afford. If you find that your search for the ideal apartment is stretching your budget, consider compromising on some of these areas.

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1. Proximity to campus

Depending on the area around your campus, you may find that apartments a bit farther away are less expensive. If you need to save some money, this is a pretty reasonable compromise to make. Rather than paying a higher rent every month, you can instead invest in a bike and still get to campus in a decent amount of time; you may even be able to get some extra exercise with the additional walking or biking.

If you go to school in a big city, you may even want to consider living in a less expensive neighborhood and using public transportation to get to class. Though you may need to allocate a little bit more time for getting to class in the morning, you’ll be able to get to know a new area while saving some money.

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2. Laundry

While having laundry facilities in your building is definitely a plus, you may want to consider forgoing the laundry room in order to find a more affordable apartment. If there’s a laundromat nearby your apartment, you can always go there when it’s time to wash your clothes.

You may even find it surprisingly convenient to do your laundry at a laundromat, where they have a large collection of machines, compared to using an apartment building’s facilities, where the limited number of machines may perpetually be in use. It may not be ideal, but if giving up a laundry room will save you some money it might be worth it.

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3. Furniture

Renting an apartment that’s already furnished is definitely convenient, as it will save you the trouble of purchasing and moving in your own items. However, you’ll probably also have to pay an extra fee each month for the furniture rental, which can add up when combined with your normal rent and utility fees.

Though choosing an unfurnished apartment will mean that you have to find your own furniture, ultimately it will help you save some money each month. You can find inexpensive furniture on discount websites or stores, and you can even bring some of your furniture from home back to use it in your apartment for free.

You may also be able to find cheap furniture that other students who are moving away want to sell. While you may need to put in some extra work, furniture is a definitely a good place to compromise.

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4. Privacy

When you’re looking at different types of apartments, you’ll quickly realize that the more roommates you have, the less you’ll have to pay in monthly rent. Even if you want to have your own room, you’ll be able to get a better deal if you share the apartment with at least one other person, rather than having an apartment all to yourself.

You’ll also have to pay a smaller percentage of the monthly utilities the more roommates that you have. Sharing a room will, of course, allow you to have a significantly lower monthly payment; however, even if you’re set on having some privacy and don’t want to compromise on that, it’s still a good idea to consider living in a multiple bedroom apartment so you can have some roommates to share the overall cost with. This way, you’ll save a lot of money both on your set rent and on your utility fees.

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5. Amenities

It’s always nice to have a gym or other amenities, such as a pool, right in your apartment building. However, when you’re looking for a student apartment, these may be areas that you have to give up. Buildings with extra amenities will probably charge higher rent, and if you’re on a budget that might not be a good idea.

After all, you can always look around to find an inexpensive gym nearby where you can work out, or take advantage of your school’s exercise facilities. While later on these factors may take on more importance, for now this is an area that can definitely be given up if you’re on a limited budget.

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6. Apartment finishes

When you’re looking for your first apartment, it can be easy to get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. However, as a student, you’ll probably find that you can’t afford the nicest apartments in the area. One point that can easily be compromised on is your apartment’s finishes.

For instance, while it would certainly be nice to have hardwood floors, you’ll be able to find cheaper options if you’re willing to accept a carpeted space. In addition, while it’s preferable to have nice, new appliances, realistically you’ll find that older appliances will function just as well, and you’ll be able to save some money by forgoing the flash.

If you compromise on the look of your apartment, you’ll find that you can still maintain the same level of function but at a lower price.

Looking for an easy way to furnish your off-campus apartment? Renting furniture from CORT saves you time and money. See how easy it is to get great looking furniture without breaking the bank.

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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