Lifestyle

You are going to college in America!  Next step: find student housing!

Finding student accommodations can be as tough as the acceptance process, here are some useful guidelines to help you on your next steps

Sep 07, 2017 | By LUXUO

 

Pictured: University of Columbia NYC, getting accepted into this US School is a milestone in academic progression

Pictured: University of Columbia NYC, getting accepted into this US School is a milestone in academic progression

Finding a place to live is challenging, especially if you’ve been accepted to a US School and are moving to State-side from a foreign country.  Many times students are so focused on their upcoming classes, that they don’t take the time to find a safe and convenient student housing.

Student Housing: If You Plan To Rent

Your college will have a list of off-campus student housing options.  Unfortunately, these lists are not as complete as they could be, so you will need to do some research on your own.   There are a number of online sources that you will want to check out.  One of the many questions you will need to answer is if you would like to live alone or with other students. Rule of thumb: the closer your off campus student accommodations are to college, the better!

Student housing at Roosevelt University shows a distinct evolution from the stereotypical student accommodations with nondescript walls into not just student living but student lifestyle

Student housing at Roosevelt University shows a distinct evolution from the stereotypical student accommodations with nondescript walls into not just student living but student lifestyle

Craigslist.com is one of the best places to find student accommodations.  They offer an apartment and house listing and a shared housing section.  Craigslist allows you to search for a variety of useful criteria.

Collegerentals.com is another website that caters specifically to the student housing. campuscribz.com caters specifically to the student housing market and is linked to google maps.

Rent-Related Questions concerning Student Accommodations

If you are new to America, then you might not be aware of what and what not is usually included in monthly rent when it comes to student apartments.  Below are some questions and checklists you might find helpful.

Roosevelt University provides plentiful and modern student housing in 2 upscale residence halls, all within easy walking distance of your classes and university facilities.

Roosevelt University provides plentiful and modern student housing in 2 upscale residence halls, all within easy walking distance of your classes and university facilities.

  • What utilities are included in the rent of your off-campus housing? What is the typical monthly cost of each of the utilities?  Water / Electricity / Gas
  • If sharing an apartment or a house ask if the rent can be pro-rated based on the size of the bedroom.
  • Does the house/apartment have air conditioning?
  • Is there a washer and dryer in the unit or is there a shared facility on the premises?
  • Is parking available? If yes, is there an additional cost?
  • Is there natural light?
  • Do the locks  work properly? Would you feel safe being alone at night?
  • Are the faucets leaky or rusty?
  • Is there water pressure in the shower?
  • Is the carpeting/flooring clean?
  • Are the appliances up to date and do they work properly?
  • Do the neighbors seem friendly?
  • What are your initial impressions of the landlord?
  • How safe is the neighborhood? www.areavibes.com let’s you check by area code.
  • How close is the nearest market?
  • If you’re in off campus accommodations, how long will it take you get to campus?
  • Can you get to classes, the library and other campus locations quickly and easily when you need to?
  • Consider purchasing renter’s insurance.  Allstate ranks the best in recent surveys.
  • Read and re-read the lease.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Ask if you will have the option to renew your lease.
  • Ask if there is an option to sublease for the summer if you plan on going home.  If not, will you or a guarantor be charged the full amount?
  • Ask to fill out an evaluation form.  Take photos and make notes on everything. Sign and date it and give a copy to your landlord.
Wolf Ridge Apartments at NC State University combine modern architectural innovations, Silver LEED certified green living options and unparalleled convenience for upper-class and graduate students on Centennial Campus.

Wolf Ridge Apartments at NC State University combine modern architectural innovations, Silver LEED certified green living options and unparalleled convenience for upper-class and graduate students on Centennial Campus.

Purchase Instead of Rent your student apartment

Depending on the area and how long you plan to stay, buying could be a better option than renting.  For sixty-two straight months, Southern California home prices have gone up.  Five years ago, you could purchase a median-priced condo in Orange and Los Angeles counties for about $280,000, 76 percent less than today’s prices. A median-priced house cost $323,000 in L.A. County five years ago and $495,000 in O.C., about $260,000 less than today’s prices in both counties.  No one is predicting a decline anytime soon. Purchasing a home or a condo could pay for your college degree!

Financing Your Student Housing

FHA “Kiddie Condo” loans The easiest way to purchase student housing or accommodation would be with FHA financing.  Your child would be in title to the property, and you would pay the minimum amount down.  The FHA “Kiddie Condo” loan program helps students qualify for loans by allowing them to co-borrow with a blood relative. Down payments for this type of loan can be as little as 3 percent of the total purchase price.  Often, interest rates are lower than those on investment properties. The maximum FHA loan varies from county to county.

Developers are even working with renowned firms like Tigg Coll Architects to renovate student housing. Pictured here, student accomodation in London's Kings Cross

Developers are even working with renowned firms like Tigg Coll Architects to renovate student housing. Pictured here, student accomodation in London’s Kings Cross

Non-owner occupied loans A Family Opportunity Mortgage is an option for families wanting to put 20% with conventional financing.  This type of mortgage allows parents to classify the property as a second or vacation home, enabling them to pay less in points than on a rental property mortgage.

Essential criteria:

  • The student will need to provide adequate documentation showing their enrolment in college
  • The student must live in the home as their primary residence for at least one year.
  • The student housing will need to be within a reasonable distance to the college or university.
  • The home must be far enough away from the parent’s current home to be considered a second home.
  • The parents are not allowed to own any other vacation homes or second properties within the same area.
  • The parents are the only ones considered for the mortgage. The child will not be part of the loan.

Interest Only Mortgages An interest only mortgage can keep monthly payments low and afford the borrower larger home later by qualifying for a larger loan amount.  An interest only mortgage also places extra money into investments to build net worth. During the interest-only period, the whole amount of the monthly payment qualifies as tax-deductible.  Families should consider this type of loan if they know that the home will be sold within a short period, want the initial amount to be lower, and are fairly sure they can get a significantly higher rate of return investing the money elsewhere.

Tom Harris Photography provides an emotive shot of US firm Studio Gang's student residential complex for the University of Chicago that features towers sheathed in glass and sculptural panels

Tom Harris Photography provides an emotive shot of US firm Studio Gang’s student residential complex for the University of Chicago that features towers sheathed in glass and sculptural panels

A Better Path through US School Accept

Do you dream of studying abroad at a top U.S. university? Do you think you want to study in a top technology and research university, but you have yet to take the SAT, and your grades are just okay?  You can spend the next 6-12 months studying for the SAT and applying to second tier schools. Alternatively, you can go right into a 2+2 Bachelor’s Program where you start at a community college and finish at a top university like the University California, Santa Barbara, that counts six Nobel Prize winners for landmark research in chemistry, physics, and economics among its renown faculty.

U.S. School Accept can help you navigate the college application process and determine a major and a career path through career and academic counselling.  These decisions guide the identification of the best-fit university for you.  You enter the 2+2 Program at California’s top community college in one of the safest and most beautiful small cities in the world – Santa Barbara.  This crucial step, helps you acclimate to college life in America, saves money on tuition, and side-steps the TOEFL and SAT/ACT requirement when entering a university as a freshman.  We walk you through the entire process, from community college to university to bachelor’s degree.

U.S School Accept helps all of our students find the best possible living situation.  We help our students find rentals where they are safe, comfortable and focused on their studies.  We also help our students and their families purchase suitable student accommodations and condos near campus that yield high financial rewards for years to come.


 
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