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The last minute guide to finding off-campus housing

It’s nearing the end of the semester. It’s the time where students should’ve signed a lease by now if you plan to live off-campus next year. Some people don’t realize that they need to sign a lease nearly a year in advance, and some people put off the apartment search. To all the procrastinators out there, here’s how to find housing last-minute.

Look for signs:

Walk around town and look out for signs posted on buildings. Most realtors have horrible advertisement and rely on old-fashioned paper advertising. High Street, Church Street, etc. are great starting places. I found my current apartment when I was walking through town and found a sign posted. The sign only had a phone number, so I had to call the realtor and hear about options to look at from there.

Search online:

Looking on regular apartment search websites like www.apartments.com won’t work for housing around here, since it won’t tell you which places are student-zoned and which ones aren’t. There are some websites listing local student apartments:

www.springerrealty.net

www.places4students.com

www.westchesteroffcampushousing.com

www.115group.com

www.zukinrealtyinc.com

There’s also local apartment buildings, like The Edge: www.theedgewc.com

There is no website that will tell you all of your options in one place, so there’s lots of digging to be done. I’m sure there are even more local realtor websites that I’ve never heard of.

Word of mouth:

A lot of people find housing from friends and other connections. When I asked some students how they found their apartments, most of them found the place through a connection. Kevin Weitzel, a fourth-year, said, “I live at The Edge. I heard about it from word of mouth and quick Google searches. I chose it because it had nice large rooms for my two roommates and I, and it seemed pretty clean and cared for.”

Karly Thomas, a fourth-year, said “I live in an off campus apartment, and I found it through the landlord my dad is friends with. I chose it because it had a good amount of space for the price and I would only need one roommate. The location is nice too.”

Asking people you know seems to be the easiest way to find a place, as some students may be leaving their apartments and looking for someone to take over the lease. Also, this is a way to find smaller local realtors that you may not hear about otherwise.

Resources:

Students have published articles to The Quad about their living experiences. Read some of these articles to see more information on places/realtors you’re looking at.

On-campus housing 101:

https://wcuquad.com/6014243/op-ed/on-campus-housing-101/

Settling for a scam:

https://wcuquad.com/6015492/op-ed/settling-for-a-scam/

The haunting of house hunting:

https://wcuquad.com/6015116/op-ed/the-haunting-of-house-hunting/

Off-campus rent 7th most expensive in nation:

https://wcuquad.com/6012428/news/off-campus-rent-7th-most-expensive-in-nation/

What’s really in your lease? A warning for USH residents:

https://wcuquad.com/6011027/features/whats-really-in-your-lease-a-warning-for-ush-residents/

Alexis Lincoln is a third-year English major with a minor journalism. AL892562@wcupa.edu

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