Know the landlord by their full name
Find out about the amenities that are included and what is not. Do you need parking? Or do you need a permit? Hate washing dishes? Is Internet and cable included? This way you know what you will be paying each month.
Have a look at the furnace and electrical area of the house. You may not know much about how it works, but you should ask questions about them. Especially if you don’t have control of the thermostat.
Check out the washer and dryer. Are they coin- operated or free?
Ask what you are responsible for in regard to the property. Do you have to shovel snow? Is there a garden you have to keep up?
Take a look at the houses surrounding, are they students too?
Look at the general cleanliness of the house, not of the stuff but in the property.
Ask about insurance
Try to talk to the current tennents to ask about their experience.
Pricing based on room or the entire house? If it is the entire house, you need to fill the rooms.
Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. There should be one CO detector in the house and one smoke detector for each floor. Bonus points for CO and smoke combo detectors
How close it is to campus or grocery store or a general store. You don’t want to be walking in the snow with arm loads of groceries.
Check out the electrical work. Locate plugs and light, it helps you plan what you need to bring.
Look beyond the cosmetic stuff. Sometimes how the furniture is placed makes a space look smaller or bigger, that being said try to visualize your things in the house. Does it fit?
Don’t be afraid to ask the landlord anything you are concerned about, even the price, or reduced rates in the summer. Some landlords will be flexible.