5 Tips on Apartment Hunting
By Harper Wayne
For upper-classmen, you might start looking into apartments! Apartment hunting can be confusing, expensive, and exhausting. Here are five tips to help you get through the hunt and find some cool digs for next year!
- Involve your parents or an older sibling Having someone older than you to help guide you through the process can be super beneficial. This person can be a second set of eyes on the lease, help you find your “essentials”, and is overall a been-there-done-that type of advice giver.
You might think you want to do this on your own your first time, but if you can call someone who has rented an apartment before I highly suggest you do!
- Pick your roommates before the apartment If you want to live alone, skip over this tip! If you don’t, I recommend finding your roommates before you put your name on a lease for an apartment. This helps you have more people to bounce ideas off and takes away the hassle of finding subleasers.
Roommates can be friends, classmates, or BU students you meet through Facebook. Overall, you all should have similar budgets and wants out of your apartment. Before locking down a future roomie, have a meeting with them to make sure you both are on the same page.
- Know your budgetThis is a good conversation to have with a parent, uncle or aunt or friend who has rented. If you aren’t paying your rent, check with who is to know what they are willing to pay each month! Being a first-time renter you also will need a guarantor to co-sign with you. They are a good person to discuss the budget with too.
Your budget will also affect where you live, the number of rooms in the apartment, roommates, and your upfront costs when you sign your lease.
- Find a realtor or company with a good standingSometimes having a real estate agent or company to help steer you to good listings can be helpful. BU has an off-campus housing search that BU students can use. Overall, before starting your search it is good to research Boston real estate and real estate in different areas of Boston that you will look at like Allston, Fenway, or Back Bay. All three of these areas have different budgets and distances from BU’s campus.
Agents are good middle-people that can deal with leases and overall be good spokespeople for your wants and needs during the whole process.
Looking for a good management company within the apartment building you are looking at is important. Check yelp reviews before you sign your lease to educate yourself on the management company.
- Pick your area
As mentioned above the area you choose sometimes is chosen for you due to budgets, the distance you want to be from campus, and also the ~neighborhood vibe~ you are looking for. In order to know what fits your needs, do some research online or ask an agent you are working with.
Students usually start looking for apartments in early March to April, often signing a decent amount of time before May. The process often goes by quickly but is a fun thing to celebrate when it is done because then you can mood board your first apartment’s decor!