Finding the Right Place to Live

Choosing a Location

A big question is, "When should I start looking for off-campus housing?" You probably want to start at least 8 weeks before you anticipate moving. For the fall semester, you may want to begin looking in May or June. For spring semester, you should probably start in October or November.

In deciding what to look for in an apartment, you should consider many factors before making a decision. Just because a place looks good does not make it good! Factors you should take into account are:


  • How close is it to a public bus or Raider Express shuttle stop?
  • Does the complex offer its own shuttle bus to campus?
  • How close is it to shopping/eateries/banking?
  • How close is it to campus (walking, biking or driving time)?
  • How close is it to laundry facilities?
  • How quiet or busy is the area?
  • How large or small is the residence?

Safety and Security

  • Does the apartment haveā€¦
    • a working sprinkler system?
    • fire/smoke detectors and who replaces batteries annually?
    • a security alarm?
    • a fire extinguisher inside the apartment?
  • Is there adequate outdoor lighting around the buildings?
  • Is the property gated?
  • Are there any gated properties in area?
  • Is there outdoor electronic surveillance?
  • Does the property have security on-duty?
  • What hours do they patrol?
  • Does the apartment door have an adequate lock such as a dead bolt?
  • What is the policy for replacing a key if you lose one?
  • Does the door have a peephole that will allow you to see who is outside the door?
  • Do the windows and sliding doors all lock properly?
  • Before you sign the lease, talk with a resident about the place.
  • Check the residence out during evening hours and on weekends to see what it's like.


  • Is there a stove/refrigerator?
  • Is there cable/Internet/telephone?
  • Is there sufficient closet space?
  • Is there a balcony/patio?
  • Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished?
  • Do all of the fixtures such as faucets, toilet, drains, lights, ceiling fans etc. work?
  • Is there ample study space for all occupants?
  • Is there a washer/dryer in the unit or on the property?
  • Is there a pool?
  • Other recreational opportunities?
  • Is there a fitness center?
  • Is there a computer center?
  • Is there a shuttle service to campus?