Thinking about moving off campus next year? It’s never too early for Arizona State University students to start thinking about housing options for the school year. This is particularly true if you’re planning to move to off-campus housing, which has its own advantages and special considerations.
“We recommend people allow themselves roughly 10 weeks of advance planning to find off-campus housing,” says DeDe Grogan, the services and marketing coordinator of ASU’s Off-Campus Student Services. “It depends on the person, though, as we all work and function at different levels and speeds.”
Regardless of what speed you’re functioning at, getting an early start on your move is certain to help. Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss a beat (or a deadline).
1. Download the Off-Campus Housing Moving Tool Kit
This first step is one of the most important things you can do to make sure all your bases are covered. This helpful guide provides numerous tips for what to do next.
“There are all sorts of downloadable sheets to assist students looking for housing,” Grogan explains. “It has a great section in it that addresses a lot of the things that students need to consider.”
2. Plan a Monthly Budget
Before you start looking for a place to live, Grogan suggests making a realistic budget to examine your monthly expenses, excluding rent. Leave some room in the budget for unplanned emergencies, and consider things like transportation costs for traveling home and around campus. Don’t forget to include the cost of books and the utilities you don’t currently pay in a dorm.
Once you calculate your anticipated expenses, factor in your income to get an estimate of the rent you can afford. This also lets you know if you need a roommate or can afford an apartment on your own. Armed with this information, you’re ready to start looking for an off-campus community that’s right for you. Start by searching for housing using the ASU Off-Campus Housing Guide.
3. Create a Timeline
Knowing what needs to be done — and your time constraints — keeps you on track. There’s a lot to do when you’re moving off campus, and it’s important to stay on top of the details. For help creating a moving timeline, refer to the current ASU Off-Campus Housing Guide.
4. Find Other Students Who Live Off-Campus
Grogan notes that other students who have successfully transitioned off campus make excellent resources when it’s time to make your own move. She recommends connecting with these students through the ASU Off-Campus Students Group on Facebook. You can get advice from other students and learn about areas that interest you.
5. Visit Communities of Interest
“Visit in person if possible, and ask students living there about their thoughts and experiences,” Grogan advises. Make sure you’re comfortable with a community before agreeing to sign a lease, and don’t ignore any red flags you notice.
Before You Sign
You may be excited about signing a lease and moving into your own apartment, but it’s important to carefully review all of the documents before you sign. “Do not sign any contracts or forms unless you understand them completely,” Grogan says. “That includes reading the fine print at the bottom of the page. Remember, signing is binding.”
ASU hosts two housing fairs each year on the Tempe campus, one in the fall and one in the spring. These fairs are valuable ways to learn about many different properties at once. Representatives usually attend from several different off-campus properties, giving you a chance to ask questions and shorten your list to the best candidates. Always keep in mind that it’s up to you to do more research on the property and ensure it offers a safe, healthy environment that suits your needs.
“If students need more information or resources, I encourage them to reach out to me directly,” says Grogan. Her email address is DeDe@asu.edu. She also says students who are moving off campus should pay close attention to the “First Steps” section of the Off-Campus Housing Guide, particularly the “Safety and Comfort” section.
Moving off campus can be an exciting step in the journey to independent living. Using resources and advice from ASU’s Off-Campus Student Services can help ensure the move is a positive one. After finding the perfect apartment, be sure to turn your attention to the right furnishings. CORT Furniture Rental offers student packages designed to help you quickly and easily fill your new home with all the basics without breaking the bank.