What amenities do you need, and what do you want, but can live without?
For example, if you have a vehicle you will need a place to park it. On the other hand, a dishwasher may be convenient, but dishes can be cleaned by hand. Explore housing options that cover all of your needs, but try to think of wants as additional bonuses instead of deciding factors.
It’s also important to keep in mind that many wants can be compensated for.
The following questions are good to keep in mind when making decisions about your needs vs. your wants:
- What areas near campus do you want to live in?
- How close to campus do you want/need to be?
- What transportation factors do you need to consider? Do you own a vehicle and need parking? Are you okay with parking on the street or on campus? Do you want to be on a MCTS Bus line, is the unit within BOSS range?
- What type of unit do you want? Apartment, upper/lower flat in a house, single-family home?
- How many bedrooms do you need? Trying to save on cost? Consider sharing a bedroom.
- What length of lease would you prefer or need?
- How much can you afford for rent each month?
- What accessibility/accommodation needs do you or your potential roommates have? (More Information on Disability Rights)
- Is there laundry on-site?
- Does the apartment allow pets?
- What is on your “must have” list?
- What is on your “can do without” list?
Once you have thought through each of these topics, and have determined your top needs and wants, you’re ready to start looking at what is available. Check out available listings, and proceed to the next step on showings once you’ve found a place you are interested in.