Are you worried about finding the right off-campus housing at Ohio University? The transition from dorm life to your own apartment or house can be stressful, but it can also be exciting—you get to make your own rules now!
We know that it can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? What should you consider? In this guide, we’ll share some practical tips and insights to help you find the perfect off-campus housing for you.
Why Off-Campus Housing?
Living off-campus has some great advantages. Here are a few reasons that make off-campus housing in Ohio attractive:
Freedom and Independence: You have more control over your living environment, from your choice of roommates to your meal plan. You don’t have to follow any “dorm rules,” and you don’t have to worry about monthly cleaning checks from a strict RA.
Flexibility: Off-campus housing offers greater flexibility. Maybe you’re a night owl who likes cramming until 1 a.m., or maybe you like rising early to get your day started. Unlike the dorms, off-campus housing doesn’t have strict quiet hours or visitor policies.
Community Integration: Living off-campus usually means you’re closer to local shops and restaurants in Athens. It’s an opportunity to explore the area more fully, meet locals, and experience the culture beyond the campus.
Real-World Experience: Managing bills, groceries, and chores are all part of living off campus. These experiences can provide valuable life skills that you will use long after graduation.
Where to Begin
Are you excited to look for off-campus housing in Athens this year? Now that you know the benefits, you can start looking! Here are a few tips to help you begin your search in the right direction:
Start Your Search Early
Off-campus housing options near Ohio University can fill up quickly, especially in desirable locations near campus. Starting your search early gives you a broader range of options to choose from and increases your chances of securing a place that best fits your needs and budget.
Plan Out Your Budget
When setting a budget for your off-campus living, there are several factors to consider beyond just rent. Keep in mind that utility bills such as electricity, water, and internet services could be additional expenses and may vary each month.
Also, factor in transportation costs—if you’re living farther from campus, you may need to budget for a bus pass or gas for your car. You may also need to divvy out a little extra for unexpected expenses too, like repairs or medical emergencies.
Know Your Options
When it comes to off-campus housing in Athens, there are a lot of options—there’s definitely something out there that fits your needs. Here is a quick overview of the different types you can find:
- Apartments: Most often found in buildings shared by other tenants. Apartments typically come with on-site amenities like a pool, gym, or laundry room.
- Houses: Often single family homes that you may rent directly from the owner or through a property manager.
- Condos: These are similar to apartments but usually offer more square footage and privacy than conventional units.
- Townhomes: Similar to houses, these are multi-story buildings that share one or two walls with neighboring units. Townhomes typically come with their own private entrances and may have a small yard or patio area.
You’ve Found Housing—Now What?
Congratulations on securing your off-campus housing! Now that you’ve got your new place, here are some important things to consider before you move in:
If you’re considering sharing an off-campus apartment or house with roommates, it’s important to make sure the living arrangement is a good fit. Before signing any contracts, be sure to have conversations about lifestyle expectations, budget guidelines, and any specifics related to shared spaces.
Before committing to any accommodations, take the time to research the area and make sure it’s an environment that you feel comfortable in. Pay attention to crime rates and walkability scores—both will give you a better understanding of the neighborhood. Additionally, ask your landlord about any security features on-site, such as cameras, locks, or lighting.
Read the Contract
One of the most crucial steps in securing off-campus housing is thoroughly reading and understanding your contract—a legally-binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of your housing arrangement.
There are a few key clauses you should pay close attention to: rent (including late payment penalties), the security deposit, and maintenance/repairs.
Remember, if there are any clauses or conditions that you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask questions. It’s crucial to clarify any unclear points before signing the contract (and don’t be afraid to negotiate any terms that seem unfair).
Find Off-Campus Housing at Wharton Rentals
If you’re ready to start browsing, be sure to check out the properties available at Wharton Rentals! Whether you’re looking for a private, one-bedroom apartment or a bigger place to share with roommates, we’ll have something that will fit the bill. Contact us today to start your search early!