Top Ten TCU Off Campus Housing Tips:
1) Ask About Your Utility Costs Before You Commit:
You never know if this will make or break your decision, but it’s a good question to ask especially if your renting a house! The last thing you want to find out is that your electric bill is $400/month in the summer!
2) Thoroughly inspect the place & note flaws:
This is one of the things that can come back to bite you when you move out of your house or apartment! Most forget to note scratches on the hardwood floors or scuffs on the wall, but these items (and many more) can end up being taken out of your deposit when you move out.
3) Learn from other’s mistakes: Talk to upperclassmen:
Find out the best places to live off campus by talking with those that have done it before you. Seems simple enough because it is: Upperclassmen are the ones that know where and why to live in a particular apartment, on a particular street and/or in a particular house, so ask and listen to them!
4) Start your search early in the year: Pre-leasing starts in the fall!
That’s right, the fall! Reserving your house, apartment or condo before the winter break alleviates any worries of not finding your perfect place. This is especially true if you want to live near the TCU campus, as many houses go very quickly.
5) Be prepared to sign a lease & pay your deposit upon first look:
You never know if the students seeing the house after you are prepared to sign up, so be ready in case it happens to be the house or apartment of your dreams.
6) Factor in your new commute time to class:
You may find a great deal, but then realize that it comes with the price of an extra long commute. Take time to actually make the drive at different times of the day so that you know what traffic or parking is like.
7) To save money on household items, buy generics & from $1 Store:
This may sound silly, but it will save you some dough throughout the year. Most generic products have the exact same ingredients in them as their brand-name counterparts!
8) Always read (don’t skim) your lease:
Not always a fun thing to do, but it may open your eyes to some specific fees or responsibilities that you thought weren’t yours. Talk with your landlord or leasing agent if you don’t understand something. Do not be embarrassed if you don’t know something; It’s always better to ask a question than to find a surprise hidden fee in the fine lines!
9) Consider Renter’s Insurance- It’s cheap!
For around $20 per month, you can insure most of your personal items in case of fire, theft, etc. This is a small price to pay just in case something happens. Check with your car insurance agent for rates, as most offer renter’s insurance as well.
10) Be a Good Neighbor: Not everyone is pulling your all-nighter!
Being a polite neighbor will go a long way when it comes to realizing that you’re not living in a dorm anymore. Again, this is especially true when renting a house but can also apply to apartments. Even if you are living near TCU, not everyone around you stays up until 3am on a random Tuesday night. The respect will go both ways when your non-student neighbors are leaving for work the same morning at 6am:)