House hunting: the act of looking for a place to live. It’s hard to believe that just a few months into your first semester of university, you have to start looking for a place to live for the next year. You’ve just gotten used to living away from home with roommates you’ve probably never met before. Now it’s time to think about where you will live for at least another year.
Fourth year student David Ackeret understands the difficult process of looking for housing, and offers advice to students just beginning the process.
“Don’t settle on the first place you look at. The excitement of finding a place for next year sometimes overshadows the possibility of getting a better deal, or a place with better features such as proximity to campus and if utilities are included. ”
Finding a place to live can be difficult, as there are many factors to consider. First, you need to find roommates. Whether you decide to room with the people you are already living with or with others, it’s a crucial decision. You should make sure that you not only get along with your roommates, but that they have respect for you as well as your work and living habits. There’s nothing worse than choosing to live with somebody, and then finding out that even though you’re great friends, your living habits are so different that it will not work out. You should also consider how many roommates you want to have. It’s best to know from the beginning how many rooms you’re going to need to look for.
After you’ve settled on who you want to room with, you should sit down and decide whether you want a house or apartment. This will depend on your needs. Do you think you’re responsible enough to look after an entire house or will it be too big to take care of? Would it be easier to find an apartment? Renting a house or apartment may also depend on location and cost of the places you find.
“It’s easier to find housing if you know what you’re looking for,” said Jillian Jakymyc, a first year student. “We know what we have in mind, so it’s actually been exciting looking for places.”
When looking at houses and apartments, the most obvious factor you’ll want to consider is price. However, when looking at prices, there are many factors to think about. Are utilities included? Are you responsible for setting up the cable, internet and phone lines? These are all the added fees that will be very important to know, in order to get the best idea of what is in your price range.
Most importantly, make sure you are put on the waiting list early (if there is one). You may find the best apartment or house that fits your needs, but if you aren’t put on the waiting list, there is no guarantee that you will get that place. You can change your mind later if you find somewhere better, but it’s good to be on the waiting list just in case.
You can look online (at websites such as places4students.com or kijiji.com), in the newspaper or postings around the city to find housing opportunities.
“It was easier to browse online and see what you were looking for before you went to check it out,” Ackeret said. “After finding a few places online, calling the landlord is a good next step.”
It may take seem daunting at times, but it’s possible to find the right place for you. Good luck and happy hunting!