Many students find themselves leaving the housing search to the final week before their courses start. Limited selections and few visible options to choose from usually remain. Many students will also search for rooms or properties by lowest price neglecting important information such as
Who are the roommates?
The track record of the landlord/property management company?
What is the proximity to schools and other amenities?
What’s included in the rent?
This situation more often than not can lead to poor results, such as sub-par living conditions, volatile living arrangements, or paying more than they thought. Students who fail to plan and use effective means and resources to find suitable housing accommodations can jeopardize the quality of their education.
With some simple proactive planning decisions, you will get the first choice on your student accommodations. The following tips will prove effective in helping find the right fit.
1) The Right Place
What are the best resources to find the student housing listings? Many schools will suggest 3rd party websites that have a multitude of listings. They also verify that the proper municipality rental licenses are up to date.
These resources will also help with quizzes to help identify the housing best for you as well as what type of tenant you are.
Facebook groups like Student Housing Waterloo have multiple listings and sublets posted daily by students and landlords. For the largest selection Kijiji reigns supreme for having the easiest platform to find the greatest selection of student housing.
2) The Right landlord/property management company
Look for online reviews through Google or Facebook. Students are more likely to post negative experiences online which should be an indication of trends or neglect by landlords or property management companies. Talk to the current tenants and inquire about the living conditions, if they experienced any problems during their tenancy, if so, how quickly was it resolved. A little due diligence will clearly highlight their reputation, Good or Bad.
3) The Right location
Before investing the time to visit different locations, research what is your comfortable distance is from your school. Take into consideration parking, bus routes, grocery stores and all other important amenities. After that has been selected, think about what type of community and neighbours you would like to have. For example, a lot of mature students prefer to be in a quiet community; eliminating high-rises that are designated for only students, thus removing the distractions of the constant partying that goes on in those places.
4) The Right fit for each individual
When trying to decide if you have the right fit with potential roommates, it’s very important that you are honest about lifestyle preferences. Ask yourself and potential roommates a few simple roommate-matching questions:
Do you want a quiet atmosphere at home or are you very social and looking for someone to party with?
Are you looking for a constant companion or do you prefer more privacy?
Are you a heavy drinker, social drinker or not a drinker at all?
These are some examples of important questions. The answers to these preliminary questions will help you to narrow your search for a suitable roommate. Sometimes you can find student-housing resources that offer a roommate matching service to assist in matching similar personality and lifestyle habits
Finding and living successfully with roommates may require some compromise
Despite a thorough roommate matching and screening process, it’s not a perfect world. Even people who are what seem to be perfect roommate matches will not agree on everything. So, the key to living successfully with your roommates is communication and compromise.