The Orion

Finding your perfect home

Photo+credit%3A+Briana+Mcdaniel
Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel


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Finding the perfect house is a skill that needs to be developed, an art form that is deeply underappreciated by college students. It can be enticing to simply grab the first location that becomes available to you and fits the few standards you might have, but houses are finicky and require careful inspection and consideration before signing any contract. Too often students are hamstrung with dilapidated apartments and end up paying additional fines for wear and tear that they had nothing to do with.

1. Don’t sign on the first location you find

House hunting is so stressful that it becomes enticing to simply grab the first opportunity that becomes available to you. Settling early on can certainly lessen stress in the short term, but accepting the first thing that comes around without properly examining all the options can lead to undue burden down the line. If nothing else, look at other houses to get a better perspective on the first location.

2. List exactly what you’re looking for

Creating a physical list of things that are needed in a house is the most important first step. Write down everything that comes to mind; a number of roommates, pet accommodation, parking, a specific location, length of lease or any other requirements.

Be relatively comprehensive and organize your list in order of importance. The list will operate as a hard guide throughout the home selection process. Try not to stray from the goals listed; compromise will lead to disappointment in the end.

3. Take your time

Revisit the location you’re considering over and over again. Things that might not have caught the eye on the first visit might be more noticeable, be very vigilant for any damages that are done to the apartment.

Try to visit the location at multiple times of the day, perhaps there are upstairs neighbors who work odd hours and are loud at night. Remember that it’s better to be picky when it comes to signing a lease which becomes a yearlong obligation.

4. Look up reviews

It would be smart to look up reviews from others who have worked with the landlord or leasing agency; if they have a negative history of past tenants that is another point that should be considered. Everyone is polite and studious when trying to sell something or pass a deal through. It would not hurt to ask parents or an older friend to come along while touring and signing a lease. They can ask questions that might not have come to mind and should be more knowledgeable about the leasing and rental process.

Grayson Boyer can be reached at [email protected] or @Gray_Boyer on Twitter.

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Finding your perfect home