How to Finance Your Housing

Living Off-Campus can be expensive, so make certain that you are able to pay for all the expenses associated with renting. Here are some big expenses that you need to budget for:

Rent:

Rent can be anywhere from $200/month to $700/month. Rent all depends on where you live, whom you live with, how many roommates you have, and the state of the dwelling. The closer you live to campus, the more expensive rent. The more roommates you have, the less you pay in rent.

Utilities:

Each lease is different, so make certain you understand your financial responsibilities before you sign the lease. Sometimes the landlord takes responsibility for the utilities, sometimes this is split among tenants. Sometimes the landlord will pay for some utilities and other times not at all, so ask a lot of questions!

Deposits:

Usually you have to pay a deposit when you rent a dwelling. This deposit is used to protect the landlord’s interest in the property and is usually paid upon lease signing. If the dwelling is not damaged during your tenancy, usually you can get your deposit back. If you damage the dwelling, then the landlord will make repairs upon the termination of the lease with the money from the deposit.

If the dwelling is unfurnished, the deposit cannot be more than one months rent. If the dwelling is furnished, the deposit cannot be more than one and one half months rent. If you have a pet, the deposit cannot be more than two months rent.

Start Up Costs:

Most utilities require deposits. Make certain you call your utility providers to determine the amount required before you move in. Additionally, you may have hook up costs for those services, these all vary by provider so call around and find out what they charge.

Additional start-up housing costs should be considered. These include kitchen, dining, and housing supplies that are not necessarily needed when living on-campus or with parents.

Time:

Renting is more time consuming than simply living with your parents or living in on-campus. You will have responsibilities of maintaining the home, cooking for yourself, possibly working with landlord if there are repairs that need to be made, grocery shopping, etc. This loss of time is expensive and should be considered as well.