Whether your university days are just beginning or you’ve been attending classes for several semesters, finding the right off-campus housing is important to ensuring a rewarding student experience. But what exactly does this entail? Which features should you be one the lookout for? With so many options available, it can be a little overwhelming to seek out student housing. Ottawa, in particular, is home to several options, including the fully furnished units from 1Eleven. No matter what you have in mind, the following checklist will help make your search a little easier. Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to finding the best student housing.
Do Your Research
Before you even begin looking at places, it is important to do your research. Take a look at where your university is located and check out the surrounding areas. Here are some things to consider when it comes to choosing an area to rent in:
· Is it close to your university? Make sure your commute is short and it’s easy to get to classes.
· Is rent cheap? Some areas are much more expensive than others, so do your research and make sure you aren’t overpaying.
· Is it safe? Look into the neighborhood and check out the crime statistics. It’s important to put your safety first and to feel secure in your home.
· Is it convenient? Are there shops close by for groceries? Outdoor spaces? Parks? Public Transport? Think about what you might be doing in your downtime and how the location will support your favorite activities.
Check Out The Amenities
Now that you have a good idea of where you want to be living, it’s time to start the hunt. One of the most important things to factor in is the included amenities, as these can make all the difference between a comfortable stay and just getting by.
· Is there a front desk? If so, you may feel safer when coming home after dark.
· Is there somewhere to study? Some residences offer study lounges, so you can get out of your room to work in a comfortable, designated space.
· Is there a gym? This is an added bonus that could actually end up saving you lots in gym membership fees!
· Are their social areas? Of course, socializing is an important aspect of cultivating a rewarding university experience. Finding a place that offers communal areas is the perfect chance to meet new people.
· Is there parking?
· Is there bike storage?
· What is the internet like?
· Are there laundry facilities on site?
Take A Tour
Now that you know the area you want to live and have narrowed down a few places based on the amenities they offer, it’s time to schedule a tour! While pictures can give you an idea of what to expect, a walk-through tour allows you to see everything for yourself. Here are some features to look for on your tour:
· Lighting: Is there enough natural light? Light not only enhances your mood, but it also lowers your electricity bill.
· Locks: Are they working properly?
· Cupboards: Is there enough cupboard space to hold basic necessities?
· Floors: Are the floors in common areas kept clean?
· Outlets: Are there enough of them in the right locations?
A final but important consideration is monthly rent. After doing your research, you should have some idea of what to expect in terms of monthly payments. With that being said, there are a few more considerations to bear in mind:
· Are utilities included in rent?
· What are the typical costs of water, heat, electricity and gas?
· Does the rent scale depending on bedroom size?
· Are there any added costs to know about?
Choosing a place to live is a big decision. It can often help to bring someone close to you along on the search to be a sounding board and offer an extra pair of eyes. This should be an exciting time for you, and the most important thing is to trust your instincts. You will know when you have found the perfect place to call home.