During your college years, there are some definite pluses to living off campus. Freedom from the dorms can be liberating and fun.
However, there are also frustrations with off campus life that some students may gloss over until it's too late.
All in all, you need to weigh out the pluses and minuses before you decide to make the big move to an off-campus location.
To make sure you're making the right choice, here are five factors to keep in mind when moving and living off campus.
1. Dealing with landlords
Some students take on the task or repairs and only call on the landlord as a last resort. Make sure communication is clear about what you are paying for and what your landlord will be taking care of. You don't want a utility shut off because you assume the landlord is taking care of payments.
2. Utility usage
Off campus, you'll likely have to regulate your usage of water. This means short showers, waiting for laundry to pile up into a large load and using the dishwasher as little as possible.
The same frugality may also apply to gas, so while it may be freezing cold in your place, you might be reluctant to turn on the heater.
While keeping your utility use in check is better for the environment, some roommates might disagree over wasteful usage. You're facing potential roommate conflict if you aren't able to agree on conserving versus waste.
3. Commuting and parking
If you're using public transit, keep in mind that you're at the whims of a schedule that might not be as rigid as you'd like. A late bus can cause you to miss class or be the capper to an awfully long day when you're just trying to get home and relax.
Robberies off campus happen more often, and if you don't purchase renters insurance, theft is a tough issue to deal with.
Criminals may target off-campus housing, since they can pretty much guarantee scoring a laptop or other electronics. And make sure to find a safe place to park, because off-campus cars are more susceptible to getting broken into.
5. More upkeep