How to find the right apartment for you
While it might feel like the next school year is forever away, it’ll be here before you know it. Don’t leave yourself scrambling for the right place to live. Whether you are currently living in a residence hall or with your family, moving out on your own (even with roommates) is a big ol’ step toward adulting.
It’s also something you need to put a lot of thought into. We’ve put together a quick overview of “need-to-know” info before you put pen to paper and sign a lease.
First you need to decide who your roommate(s) will be, what you can afford and where you want to live. Consider things like if you plan to walk to campus, the location of your workplace or internship and proximity to anything you frequent. You know how they say “location, location, location”? It’s totally true. Play with this interactive map from ASU’s ULoop to find the area that meets as many of your needs as possible.
Next, start looking for places that will be available on your move-in date. Search online, or take a drive around the area to see if there is anything with a “for rent” sign. Make a list or folder on your phone where you can store the information about each space and pictures you take when you’re on a tour. List the spaces you’d like to consider and start calling and messaging to set up tours.
When you’re on a tour, ask if you can see the unit you would be renting. A model unit can look very different than the actual space you’d be renting, and even if the space is occupied you should be able to schedule a visit. While you’re in the unit, check out the cupboards and drawers, open the fridge and run the shower to test the water pressure. Snap a few pictures while you’re there so you can compare it to the other spaces you look at.
Here’s our list of must-know information. Build off of this with your own questions as you look around.
monthly rent and what is included in that number
utilities (which are covered by who and what is the average cost)
other fees (taxes, security deposit, etc.)
pet fees (is there a deposit + monthly fee?)
renters insurance (learn what it's all about here)
In the unit
appliances (check out the fridge, washer/dryer, microwave)
Whether the unit is furnished or not
policies for updating and decorating (if can you paint, put holes in the walls, etc.)
pest control policies
amenities (pools, gym)
roommate policies (limit on people, subletting rules)
parking (for you and guests)
Don’t be afraid to ask a zillion questions. This could be your home for the next year, and it’s important that you feel confident in your decision. Check out LivingASU for even more info about finding your perfect place.
A library of helpful advice, tips and answers to questions from students to Sunny.
ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.
Welcome to the Hey Sunny blog – a library of advice for students from Sunny and the team supporting the bot.