If you’re looking at UW off campus housing options, you’re probably about to live on your own for the first time. However, off campus living can be challenging, and you can make lots of mistakes. So here are some things to consider before you start planning your housewarming party.
1. Choose Roommates Wisely
When choosing your roommate, remember that there is a difference between someone you want to hang out with occasionally and someone you want to live with. Look for someone clean, compatible, and trustworthy. Before deciding on someone, talk with them about schedules, study habits, and leisure activities. You want to know what you are getting into beforehand.
2. Research Every Apartment You Look At
Don’t go with the first place you check out or the one that looks the best in pictures. Instead, do some research, chat with neighbors, and tour multiple apartments. Try to gauge the noise levels, building problems, and how the landlords are. Also, don’t forget to think about how long it will take you to get to campus.
3. Inspect the Safety Features of Your Home
Your freshman dorm probably came with tight security. Chances are, you will expect this with your off campus housing. However, that is rarely the case. Ensure you get a safe location by looking for an apartment complex that requires keys or codes to get inside the building, has locking windows, and has options on the second floor or higher.
4. Get Insurance
After choosing a place, you’ll feel ready to move. But, there is still one big step. Make sure everything in your apartment is insured. Renters insurance is the best option because it covers theft, which happens a lot in college towns. This policy can save you a ton of money later in life. Plus, it is easy to get. You can often apply online or over the phone in just a few minutes.
5. Revamp Your Budget
Living off campus means a whole new load of expenses. You’ll need to think about groceries, toilet paper, utilities, and savings for emergencies. Therefore, once you move in, you will need to recreate your budget. Fortunately, this is easier than you would expect. Doing this little step will help you settle into off campus life easier.
6. Change Your School Meal Plan
When you move off campus, you’ll not stay enrolled in a full university meal plan. However, eating some meals on campus can save you time and money. So the best option is to sign up for a five-meal plan per week and eat lunch at school. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy hanging out with your friends in the dining hall as you did as a freshman.
You’re probably excited about your off campus living arrangements. After all, this is a big step towards independence. Plus, it comes with many benefits. However, there are some preparations you need to make for this transition to work. Once you tackle these, you’ll be able to rock college life off campus.