Advice for Cats: Student Housing

todayJuly 7, 2020 24

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By Paige Greene
Web Content Contributor

From the apartments on every corner to the rental houses right off campus, the student housing options can be overwhelming for students. There are many advantages and disadvantages to every situation, and some may not be for everyone, but here is what you need to know.

A few things to keep in mind when choosing housing. Image by Paige Greene.

Apartments are a great option for students living off-campus and are typically the most popular option. When renting an apartment, you are securing a small section of a larger property owned by landlords. Although it seems complicated, renting can be very simple and have many plus sides.

Along with the apartment, many complexes offer a variety of amenities that can be very beneficial to college students. These amenities often include pools, gyms, game rooms, computer rooms and more that can save you money in the long run.

However, with all these perks comes a cost. Many complexes vary in rent, anywhere from $300 to $1,000 depending on what the renter is looking for and it may or may not include utilities in their rent charge.

Melanie Goldstein, a music studies major at Texas State University and resident of San Marcos, explains the responsibility for rent each month as a disadvantage.

“Don’t let the people who own [or] lease the apartments get the best of you, because they sometimes try to take advantage of first-time renters,” said Goldstein.

This means any new renters should do their research. There are many housing Facebook groups available to join where students share their opinions and experiences with different complexes. Start by touring any and all of the apartments you are interested in and compare your options.

Student housing is typically a rent-by-bed style lease, meaning students are only responsible for paying for their room. This protects you when roommates move-out or don’t pay rent. However, rent-by-bed is typically more expensive than traditional leases. It’s important to evaluate your budget and roommate situation to determine which lease type is more suitable for your housing goals.

Along with rent, Goldstein expressed her concern with proximity.

“If your apartment isn’t walking distance from campus, you have to take the bus,” said Goldstein.

Although many student housing complexes are often centered by campuses, there are many apartments in San Marcos that are not within walking distance or on a bus loop. This is very important to research and make sure there is a form of transport to and from your apartment.

Although a lot of research may be needed, apartments continue to be the most popular choice for students and are a great rite-of-passage to adulthood. Goldstein explains the advantage of having her own “space and privacy,” meaning she “[does not] have to interact with the other people living in [the] complex.”

While apartments are usually most students first option, houses are often not advertised and do not receive the same attention. When renting a house, you are securing a whole property usually from a single person or organization, which may seem very attractive to students who want to own a property.

Alan Feliz, a sound recording technology (SRT) major at Texas State University and resident of San Marcos, explains his experience with home ownership.

“You can do whatever you’d like on [the property],” said Feliz. “It gives you freedom.”

This also means that you are responsible for damage and have to be cautious about what you do on your property. Repair and upkeep costs could fall on you and your roommates.

Alongside freedom, amenities are widely different for houses than apartments. While you may not have pools, gyms and computer rooms, houses make up for these in their own way. Being a Texas State student, you get access to the Recreation Center, which also includes a gym and pool, and there are many computer labs across campus for computer access.

Lastly, if you are looking to have pets in your space, there would be ample room for the pets to run in a yard which many houses include.

Feliz explains the different sentimental feeling when you pull up to your house.

“It feels like you have ownership of a property and a responsibility to tend to it,” said Feliz.

Finding student housing can be complicated, so it is important that you do research about what will fit you best. This includes location, cost, amenities, space and more. I recommend writing pro and cons lists for each of the options you are considering to be sure you find the best situation for you.

For more information about off-campus living, visit the Texas State Department of Housing and Residential Life website.

Featured image by Paige Greene.

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