There is nothing worst than having to look for housing when you are in college, especially if you just want on campus housing. During your first year of college, you imagine that you will have the option to live on campus each year; you can live off campus out of preference. But when your college lacks enough space to house all the students that accept their offers to attend school in the fall, there is limited housing. Now all the students that have been attending the university for two or more years can't live on-campus if they want to anymore.
Since housing is only guaranteed for two years on campus, upper class-men have to find housing in the local community. So as a student, you think to yourself, "oh, ok. I will just gather up my closest friends and live locally." But what you don't realize (when you are thinking about living with your friends) is that you have to start looking for housing early (like during January-March time) or your likelihood of finding near, affordable and any housing at all decreases. If you are new to the Santa Cruz house hunting game, well here are a few tips I have for you.
1. As mentioned before, start looking for housing early.
The earlier you start looking for housing, the better your chances are.
2. Ask friends who are moving out about their places.
If you have friends that are graduating seniors and moving after graduation, ask them if their places will be available for the following year. Most of the time, they will welcome you with open arms.
3. Ask some friends if they would like to live with you the following year.
But when deciding on living with your close friends, consider their sleep schedules and if they would like to create a study space, party or study party combination around the house. You don't want live with people you get consistently mad at for throwing wild "raggers" or for never allowing you to bring friends over.
4. Or you can live with random people.
If you don't want to live with close friends, wait till other people are looking for a roommate or a housemate to fill a spot in their house. You might end up becoming very close friends.
5. Also consider living with a local landlord.
Look at the Housing Registry. Consider living with locals in the area that are posting room availabilities in their house. Some of landlords are old professors looking for company, some are just friendly faces and other landlords just want money. Therefore, make an evaluation and consider one of these housing options.
6. As mentioned, check out the UC Santa Cruz Housing Registry.
You can look up room postings from landlords and people posting saying they are looking for a roommate.
7. Also check out the various UC Santa Cruz Housing Facebook Pages.
There are at least five different housing pages at UC Santa Cruz to look for housing on so get looking.
8. If you are planning to live with friends, make sure they are on the same page as you when it comes to housing.
If you sincerely have in your mind that you want to live with this person, make sure they feel the same. When it comes down to it, if you need to sign a housing lease, you need to be able to rely on this person(s) to not back out on you on the day you are signing it.
9. Keep your friends in the loop if you are planning to live with them.
If you don't want to live with a friend because you have some better housing options (a master bedroom which is a lot cheaper than the options you are looking at with your friend), inform them about what is going on. You don't want them to be clueless that you are leaning towards other options.
Communication is key.
Whether it is communicating with a landlord or a housing group, let people know what you are thinking. It isn't fair on the individual's end or the housing group to just decide to kick you out of the housing group because they found someone else to fill the space without telling you.
Fill out your housing packet.
Unless your landlord has a special packet they made, fill the housing packet out a head of time.
Last but not least, eat, smile and breath.
Looking for housing is stressful, but you don't want to sound desperate to your potential landlord (or else they might have more incentive to raise your rent). Therefore, eat a healthy breakfast before you go out and talk to these landlords, smile (just please no creepy smiles) and breath. Despite how limiting housing is in Santa Cruz, don't give up.