Tuesday, July 12, 2016

10 Things to Take With You When Leaving Home for College

When it’s time to drive off to college, you know you’re about to start a new chapter in life. The thought of starting things afresh in a strange place with people you’ve never met can be overwhelming. But like they always say, your best years of life will probably be in college. You should have a lot to look forward to. To help you settle down a little faster, make sure you carry the following essential things.

1.      Hangers: Most college apartments do not provide this. Be sure to carry a few of them from home to save you the cost of buying new ones.

2.      Bedding: You may need to carry a duvet, some sets of bed-sheets and pillow cases. Before you buy any of these items, or carry the ones you have at home, make sure you confirm they will not be provided. Additional pillows and blankets will always come in handy though. Carrying your mattress cover is usually a good idea because you never know who was using the bed before you.

3.      Cleaning products: You need to be prepared to clean your own room at least once in a while. Most colleges have cleaners but they don’t get inside the rooms to clean up. You can carry a few cleaning products like your washing up liquid and a sponge just in case you’ll need them.

4.      Your bathroom essentials: These include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, hair straighteners, dryers, medicine and a first aid kit. You need to think of all the bathroom essentials you need to carry when leaving to college. Remember to carry your bath towels as well and a small laundry bag which will help you to remain organized and carry your laundry to the washroom.

5.      Your favorite books: If you love reading, go over your bookshelf and pick some books you can carry to college. You’ll probably have lots of time to do some reading especially on the first days of campus when everyone is settling in. 

6.      Kitchen essentials: Most colleges have shared kitchen spaces so you might want to bring your cutlery such as chopping board, grater, baking tray, tea towels, your own glasses and mugs.

7.      Diary: You’ll need to pen down your experience in campus so don’t leave your diary behind. You can even get a new one to start over this exciting chapter of your life. 

8.      Electronics: Don’t expect your college room to have as many plugs so carry an extension cord. Chargers for your phone and laptop, USBs and any other external hard drive you might have may also come in handy.

9.      Necessary documents: Don’t forget your passport, medical insurance card and any other documents you might need. If you have any confirmation letters from the school, make sure you carry them as well. Carry your driving license or any other kind of personal identification document you might need.

10.  Medicine: If you are on any kind of medication, be sure to carry enough doses to last you several days. Some painkillers and cold remedies will also come in handy in case you catch a headache or flu.

Posted by: College Park Apartments  http://collegeparkapartments.net/

Friday, March 18, 2016

Questions to Ask Before Booking a College Apartment

Students all over the country experience their fair share of accommodation nightmares when they attend college. Most students will settle for apartments that offer poor living conditions because there are limited options and most properties are in very high demand. To save yourself from the frustration of finding student accommodation, you need to start house hunting early enough. We’ve rounded up a few questions to ask prior to booking a college apartment for yourself or with a group of friends.

Any rules you should be aware of?
You need to know what the rules are before signing the contract. There are even apartments that do not allow access to certain areas in the building. House parties may not be allowed in the apartment. Failing to know the rules may land you in trouble so make sure you ask before signing up.

Are there any additional expenses?
When you live in a college apartment, you may have to pay an extra amount for other services such as laundry. Though this is not included in your rental fee, you may be charged at the end of each month. You need to find out from the landlord what other additional expenses you should budget for.

How fast are repairs handled?
What would happen if you have a repair issue that needs to be handled fast? Find out if the apartment has a reliable maintenance and repairs schedule. You can ask other students living in the same apartment to share their experiences when it comes to issues such as repairs. If the management takes too long to handle simple repairs and rarely performs the necessary maintenance work, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Are pets allowed?
Some college apartments do not allow pets. Some will charge an additional fee to tenants who have pets. The fee may vary depending on the pet you have. Make sure you ask beforehand to avoid any disappointments.

 Does the apartment have air conditioning?
Find out if the apartment is air conditioned and if the units are serviced on a regular basis to ensure they function effectively. You can ask residents of the apartment to share their opinion on this.

Is parking available?
If you’ll bring your own car, it’s good to find out if the apartment has parking available for residents and guests. Will you have to pay an extra fee for parking or security? Get these details as well.

How safe and convenient is the location?
It’s important to find out the crime statistics of an area before you rent out an apartment. You can do this by contacting the local police department for information on the area’s security. They are likely to recommend whether the place is safe for students.

Most importantly, take your time to read the lease before you sign. Get someone to help you understand the details and don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications. Do not allow the realtor or landlord to rush you into signing a rental agreement when you’re not ready. Always trust your instincts and choose an apartment that you like.

Posted By: College Park Apartments  http://collegeparkapartments.net/

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why You Should Live in an Apartment During College

College students have the general option of living in campus dorms or staying in off-campus accommodation while school is in session. There are a few lucky students who get to stay at home since their campus is quite close. The vast majority of students often go out of state for school bringing them to the all-too-important decision of choosing to live on or off campus. The following are some of advantages of staying in a college apartment that could help you make this decision.

Variety of options available
Depending on your budget and preference, there is such a wide variety of living arrangements for students outside campus. Campus dorms often have generic problems for living, roommates, flooded corridors, cafeterias and shared bathrooms. College apartments offer students different options for living including single private living units and shared apartments. If you are trying to cut on costs, you can find a couple of roommates and share a single apartment with separate rooms for everyone.

Freedom and privacy
Freedom, liberation and privacy are three of the most common reasons why students choose to live off campus. Especially students who have had a taste of the crowds and noisy campus dorms. Imagine getting stuck with a weird roommate for the entire semester. With off campus accommodation, you get to choose who to live with and set your own rules. You also get to enjoy a lot of privacy allowing you to study or relax without any interruption.

Learning responsibility
Going to college equips you with a lot of technical knowledge but there it teaches very little in the terms of life skills. Considering this is the last bit of your life that you can rely on your parents of guardians before you start fending for yourself, it would not hurt to get a head start on the life skills. You get to learn how to pay your rent and utility bills, budget spending expenses, learn cooking, cleaning and every other thing that a responsible adult does on their own.

Housing throughout the year
With campus dorms, you have to pack up and clear out when campus is out of session. If you have a vacation internship or a get a temporary job, you have to go through all the trouble of finding somewhere to live temporarily. With college apartments, you get to stay as long as you need, whether or not school is in session.

Develop a rental history
After living in your first apartment, you develop the skills of choosing the best places to live, understanding lease agreement details. This knowledge will be very important in future when you are out campus and looking for somewhere to live. A rental history can also help you get another apartment easier that someone without one.

Living out of campus can expose you to a lot of diversity in the neighborhood. You can start interacting with working professionals who can be instrumental in guiding you towards your future career path. 

Posted By: College Park Apartments   http://collegeparkapartments.net/

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Reasons to Live Outside Campus During College

Apart from the learning experience college offers you in class, you also get to learn a lot about life and independence during this time. You have the clear choice of staying in the college dorms or staying in off campus accommodation. Here is a couple of reason why you should choose off campus accommodation:

Good food
Let’s face it, campus dorm kitchen meals are far from gourmet. It will take you about a week before you realize you cannot do this every day. When you live off campus, you have access to your own kitchen where you can let your inner home make out. You can enjoy well-cooked meals to your standards without being rushed by a long cue of hungry students. If you are not the cooking type, you may find yourself living close to a number of nice restaurants where you can enjoy some good food with a friend or treating yourself on a night out.

Campus dorms are often supervised by RAs or you may even find yourself with an incompatible roommate, which will never happen in off campus accommodation. Even when living in shared apartments, you get to choose whom you live with and you can go as far as holding interviews before you decide who to share the space with. This gives you the freedom to be yourself, to live comfortably without interruptions and distractions form other people. Those who have lived off campus can attest that it is a truly liberating experience.

Campus education will teach you all about how to differentiate an equation or draft a polynomial formula but when it comes to life experience, you have to rough it out on your own. One of the best ways to start learning the adult way of living is by staying out off campus. You get the ideal opportunity of being an adult. You learn how to pay bills, how to manage your budget, cooking and cleaning for yourself. At the end of campus, you will have way more life experience than students living in campus hostels with no responsibility to learn from whatsoever. It is a welcoming experience into the real world and within no time, you will have adapted to the pressures of work and life once you are through with campus.

You get time to be alone
Campus hostels are often crowded and if you have a clingy roommate, you may never get a minute to yourself. When you have a designated area that is all yours, it is much easier to have some time alone to study, meditate or even rest without any disturbances. College can be quite stressful and sometimes you just need some time away from the frat boys and sorority girls to take a breather and get a clearer picture of life. You may find yourself more productive within your own space than trying to get work done in a noisy college dorm or a crowded library. Something you cannot get when living in campus.

Posted By: College Park Apartments  http://collegeparkapartments.net

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

7 Things to Check When Viewing a Student Apartment

If you are planning on renting a student apartment, you need to take your time to choose wisely. Start by understanding your budget and needs so that you can find something that is comfortable for everyone especially if you are planning on having a roommate. Most importantly, look out for the following when viewing an apartment.

1.     Check the walls and ceilings for any signs of dampness. You will see patches of black mold forming especially on the cardboard ceiling. Make sure you look for signs of water damage in other areas like the wardrobes. The dampness can cause diseases and needs to be addressed before you move in.  
2.     You also need to look out for signs of pests’ infestation. Students can be really messy and you may end up in an apartment that was used to having piles of trash and hence has rodents and cockroaches all over. Make sure they do something about these nasty invaders before you move in.

3.     Consider the location of the student apartment. An apartment that is close to the bus stop or your university is most convenient. Some of the nicest homes for students may not be situated very close to campus so you’ll have to spend a lot of time and money commuting. Consider what’s more important for you: a nice looking apartment or one that is close to school?

4.     Make sure there is adequate supply of water to the apartment. During viewing, make sure you turn on the taps to see if the water comes out with adequate pressure. You might also want to check the toilet and bathroom to ensure there are no water issues. 

5.     The other import thing to check when viewing the student apartment is the security. The construction of the house itself shouldn’t compromise on your safety. Check whether the apartment has alarm systems, safe doors and window locks. If you have any concerns in regards to security, communicate it to the landlord and find out what measures they have put in place to make the apartments safer for students. You may also consider speaking to a few people in the community around to find out how secure the area is.

6.     Check the electrical components to ensure that you are not at risk of safety hazards. You don’t need to be an expert to tell if a building has basic wiring issues. If you see hanging electrical wires, loose cables or poorly installed plug sockets, they should be a cause for concern. If the apartment has appliances, make sure the size and type present will work for you.

Proper insulation is also very critical in any apartment you choose. Look for features such as double gazed windows and a reliable heating system. Check out the exterior of the building as well and inspect the roof to see if there are any signs of missing tiles or poor flashing. These roofing issues may present insulation problems. 

Posted By: College Park Apartments  http://collegeparkapartments.net

Friday, October 16, 2015

A First Time Renter's Guide

College is your first shot at independence. If you've decided to live off-campus, remember that renting can be a challenge and will require responsibility. Before you sign a lease, consider these tips.
You need to clearly define a budget and determine your affordable monthly rent. A good way to determine this number is to add together your income and multiply it by 0.3 to get 30% of your monthly pay. Keeping your goal near or below this number ensures you'll have enough cash left over to live comfortably. You may also want to consider the possibility of getting a roommate to help with bills. Ask your friends or post ads around campus. If you have pets, you'll need to make sure each apartment you view allows them, and you'll also need to account for pet fees and deposits during budgeting.
Once you know for sure that you can afford an off-campus space, you need to decide what type of place you're looking for and which amenities you can't live without. Some students do not mind driving to class every day, while others may prefer to bike or walk. A safe and convenient location is crucial. Some properties provide more uptodate features, such as their own washer-dryer unit on site, while others have a communal coin-operated machine. Depending on your location, central heating or air may be a necessity. Larger complexes could have pools, on-site gyms, rooftop spaces, or a variety of other amenities. Knowing what you need and want in your new place will help simplify the search, plus it will save you time and money.
Once you've identified your ideal features, it's time to looking for apartments for rent. Start at your new school. Many universities are affiliated with off-campus apartments, and others can provide resources or refer you to rental properties that are popular with students. This will ensure that your neighbors are your peers. Another option is to find apartments through rent advertisements posted online and in classifieds. There are also probably ads up for rental spaces and roommates all over campus. Look on communal bulletin boards or an online community page for more potential deals.
Once your search has turned up some prospects, it's time to start calling leasing offices. Narrow your list down to three to five properties and prepare to start viewing. Viewing rentals is very exciting and the prospect of having your own place can be distracting. You're going to need to take a checklist to each property you view to keep you on track. The checklist will include basic safety standards and common issues like faulty plumbing, broken doors/cabinets, kitchen appliances, and marked up walls/floors. You can make a personalized checklist or download a generic one from the internet, but do not sign a lease without verifying basic safety and checking to make sure everything functions. Any minor issues you notice at the place you decide to lease should be recorded and reported to your apartment manager. Don't get stuck paying for damage done by a previous tenant.
Apply for apartments one at a time, starting at your first choice. Each place can charge up to $50 for an application fee and if you're accepted by your first choice there's no need to waste that cash. If you're a first-time renter, some apartments for rent will have a first-timer's policy, but you're likely going to need a co-signer to apply with you due to lack of credit. At signing, be prepared to fork over two months, plus fees like safety deposits and pet expenses. Leases are typically valid for a 6 month or 12 month term. Read the entire document before you sign to ensure that you won't be surprised by hidden late fees or other expenses.
Good luck searching apartments for rent and remember, take your time and select a space you love, but don't blow your monthly budget. Ask an advisor at your school for resources or begin contacting leasing offices in your area today. Move into your new home soon!

Posted By: College Park Apartments  http://collegeparkapartments.net

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What to Expect from off Campus Student Housing

Once you have been accepted to college, you need to start making arrangements for where to stay. You can choose to stay in the college dorm rooms, rent out an apartment or choose off-campus student housing communities. College dorm rooms can tend to be quite noisy and crowded with very little space while renting an entire apartment is very costly for a college student. Off-campus student housing communities provide the ideal living environment for college students. You should expect the following:

Close proximity to the college
Most off-campus student housing units tend to be within a walking distance from most colleges or universities. This allows you to stay in touch with the latest from the college while still enjoying your own privacy and spacious accommodation. You do not need to worry about commuting or spending money on gas driving to school every day since you can easy walk a block or two.

Short term and long-term individual leases
Even if you end up sharing a housing unit with other college mates, you still get your own individual lease. You can even lease for as much as 12 months. If you get a job near the campus during college vacations, you do not have to worry about how to find new accommodation with such a lease. You enjoy access to affordable accommodation all year round.

Tenant portal access
Most student housing communities are in tune with the latest demands for technology. You can even have a portal access where you can check your lease details if you need to, contact management for maintenance or even pay your rent and track your payments. This makes is a lot easier to organize your activities.

Ample parking
If you have a car or motorcycle, you are going to need free and safe parking. Off campus, housing offers ample parking areas for their residents. You do not have to worry about paying parking fees or your car getting towed.

Furnished kitchen
Kitchen appliances can be very expensive but you do not have to worry about buying new ones because most of these student-housing units are furnished with everything you need. You will find kitchen stoves, microwaves and refrigerators making it extremely easy for you to prepare your own meals.

Private baths
You can never underestimate the value of a private bathroom until you have lived in a college dorm where the bathrooms are communal. When you rent off campus, you can enjoy the privacy of your very own shower and toilet, which is also good for your hygiene.

The housing communities often have security guards on patrol and a security office. So you know you are safe even when you live off campus. They will assist in solving disputes, identify and prevent potential threats as well as ensure that other tenants adhere to the regulations for the housing community.

Swimming pool
If you are lucky, you can find off campus accommodation with a pool. Granted, the college has its own swimming pool but you may be restricted on when and how you can use it.

Posted By: College Park Apartments http://collegeparkapartments.net