College is a time for firsts and independence. To help you find your first place on your own, there are certain items that are must-haves.
Before you set out to score the perfect pad, get prepared and bring these five items along with you on your apartment or house hunt.
Have a camera or your smartphone ready to take pictures of the different places you visit.
When you're touring a bunch of possibilities, photos will remind you of what each place looks like and allow you to compare the different rooms and features.
2. Measuring tape
Sometimes the person showing you the place will provide dimensions of the space, but more often than not, you'll have to measure the dimensions yourself.
If some rooms are larger than others, measuring each roommate's bedroom space can help guide your decision on how much rent each roommate pays.
You'll also want to measure the furniture you wish to move, so you can figure out what would fit in the rooms -- and what you shouldn't even bother transporting to the new place.
Have a notebook in which you can write down the measurements. Have a list of questions at the ready. You'll want to take note of any answers the landlord provides. Consider having all your housemates write down their first impressions of each place, and then compare notes later.
4. All housemates
Speaking of housemates, make sure everyone goes to see all the open houses or apartments so that they're all on the same page. More people also equals more eyes for spotting any blemishes on the property.
5. Lease agreement
Many places for lease in a college area simply require you to fill out a generic document with all your information. If this is the case, have this document completed before viewing the place. If you find a spot you like, you can submit your papers for review right away. Acting fast can increase your likelihood of getting the place, especially if a lot of people are attending the open house.
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