Apartment Shopping Pro-Tips
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Student Life

Apartment Shopping Pro-Tips

Apartment Shopping Pro-Tips

It’s about the time of the year again where students must decide whether or not they will have the opportunity to live on Greek row, the dorms, or apartments. If the latter is the choice you decide to pursue, then there are a lot of dos and don’ts to follow. Apartment shopping isn’t easy, but hopefully with the help of these pro tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect home away from home.

Many students neglect the off campus housing that UCLA offers. Although these are on a first-come, first-serve basis and upperclassman have priority, you can still find spaces if you don’t mind living with some strangers. The advantage with UCLA apartments is that they're affordable and include all amenities, such as Wi-Fi, cable, furniture, etc. In addition, the lease is until the end of spring quarter, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of subleasing for the summer. However, if you’re through with UCLA housing and want to find a place of your own, then these tips will definitely be useful.

First off, when looking for an apartment, don’t limit yourself to the ones that have websites with images. Try to walk around Westwood and jot down the addresses and numbers of apartments with signage.

In addition, when apartment hunting, just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, do not judge an apartment by its exterior. Some apartments look great on the outside, but are old and neglected on the inside. Similarly, many apartments may not look appealing, but the rooms are renovated and new.

Always try to tour an apartment and meet with the landlord as well. Get a sense of the type of person he/she is, because whenever you have a complaint or an appliance that needs fixing, they will be the ones you’ll have to go to, and you don’t want a landlord that constantly puts off issues.

Try to also ask residents of the apartment how they feel about the area, landlord and building overall. By doing so, you can get a feel for your prospective neighbors. Another thing to keep in mind is to be realistic about the apartment you want to rent. Don’t go for the one with a gym inside and pool with a Jacuzzi on the rooftop. If you don’t have the time to hit the gym or swim now, chances are you won’t be more likely to just because they’re in your apartment.

Once you have found the apartment of your dreams with the perfect look, price, and landlord, there are still some minor details you need to take into consideration. When it comes to buying furniture, don’t be apprehensive about buying your own, especially if you plan on living on your own after college. It’ll be like an early investment. If you’re looking to buy inexpensive furniture, try used furniture stores or purchasing from students who are moving away and cannot take their furniture with them.

On another note, most apartments have a one-year contract you must abide by, and if you’re not going to be taking summer classes or living in Westwood, you’ll have to sublease in order to avoid paying. A way to go about subleasing is by finding friends who are looking for summertime apartments, but if you don’t have much luck with that, then use www.uloop.com. It’s a website with classified ads, similar to Craigslist, but reserved for college students who can only sign up if they have a “.edu” email account.

My last tip would be to learn and grow from your experience of apartment shopping. Finding an apartment is a very adult-esque thing to do, so along the way you’re bound to make mistakes and run into some trouble. But in the end, you’ll learn and become more knowledgeable for the future. Best of luck, and happy apartment hunting. May the odds be ever in your favor.



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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