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College is an exciting time in your life. For many people, it’s their first time away from home and their first experience living on their own. That can certainly be a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit stressful. Choosing the right apartment is a big responsibility, and a wrong choice could land you with a year-long lease for a residence that isn’t to your liking. There’s a remarkable amount of Athens, Ohio, off-campus housing to choose from, and there are a number of different details to consider. Learn what to look for when choosing a student apartment so you can land a great location and make the most out of your college years.

Be Prepared

First and foremost, you should prepare yourself for the process of finding an apartment. You won’t always fall in love with the first apartment you see, and anything promoted as “student housing” might be questionable. Student housing is notorious for being poorly maintained and is often overpriced. It’s a good idea to have a checklist for when you view the property. It’s a lot easier to remember what to look for if you have it written down and on hand.

Take a camera with you. If there’s a dispute later, having photographic evidence will always work in your favor. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Asking questions is a good idea. It may be easier if you write down questions in advance and bring them with you as well. That way, you can avoid forgetting anything important, and you won’t need to come up with something on the spot.

Inspect the Property

This is essential. Never sign a lease sight unseen! Dampness, improperly working appliances, and pests are not uncommon problems. Be wary of water spots, things that look like they’ve been nibbled on, droppings, or anything else that would indicate there are leaks or pests. Although a well-maintained apartment might be a little more expensive, it may be a better deal. Bargain rates usually aren’t worth the headaches and aggravation that follow.

Talk to Tenants

This can’t be stressed enough. Current residents are the best source of information regarding what it’s like to actually live there. Don’t dismiss their concerns or complaints just because an apartment has a fresh coat of paint and a nice television. Sometimes, the furnishings or electronics will disappear before you move in. Be sure to get in writing any appliances, furniture, or other items that are to be included with the rental. As a general rule, make sure that everything agreed upon is in writing.

Location Matters

One common selling point for student housing is that it’s usually close to campus, but that doesn’t always make it a great location across the board. Look into crime rates, transit access, and other considerations. There are many choices when it comes to Athens, Ohio, rentals, and you aren’t obligated to go with the first offer that’s made.


Wharton Rentals is committed to making the off-campus living experience a positive one for college students in Athens, Ohio.

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