• You may not need or be required to have a roommate.
  • You may have more space.
  • The setup may better support your life and work outside of school.
  • Longer commute (can interfere with study time).
  • You may feel disconnected from campus life.
  • Costs may be higher (e.g. bus pass, utilities).
  • A landlord may not be as flexible to student needs (e.g. when your student loan cheque is late).
  • You are responsible for: housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking and paying bills.
5 Factors to Consider Before Moving Off-campus

1. Figure out your finances

Knowing how much you can afford is crucial information. Make sure you have thought through the following:
  • Where will my money come from? Will I pay my rent from student loans or a job?
  • Do I have enough cash to be able to pay first and last month’s rent?
  • What will it cost me to commute and buy food?
  • How much will my utilities costs (heat, hydro, phone, cable)?
  • How much can I afford to pay for rent?
  • Can I afford to live alone, or do I need a roommate?

2. Start looking at listings
  • Once you figure out what your budget is, you can start looking for housing.
  • Your college or university housing office will have information about off-campus apartments.
  • Ask friends if they know of anyone who will be leaving their apartments, and where the neighbourhoods are to live.
3. Keep in mind what a year means
  • Before you sign a lease, think through where you will be over the next 12 months. If your lease starts in the fall, will you still be in the area next summer? Will you get summer job in the area, or are you returning home for the summer? Regardless, you will have to continue to make rent payments.
4. Set yourself up to still be connected to campus
  • Make sure you are involved in one or two groups on campus, so that you do not begin to drift too far away from you campus community.
  • You may end up feeling isolated and stressed if you do not maintain ties.
5. Do not overlook the safety factor
  • Life as an on-campus student often runs on a unique schedule. You may be used to staying at the library until 11 pm, going grocery shopping at all hours of the night, and not think twice about the front door of your hall being propped open.
  • However, the contexts for all of these factors shifts if you live off-campus. Will you still feel safe leaving the library late at night if you have to walk, or take the bus alone to a quiet apartment with no one around?
Keeping these important factors in mind will help in making sure your off-campus apartment is all you wanted and more.
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