Adulting doesn’t always have to be stressful. While it is important to research housing options on your own, you don’t have to do it alone. If you are on the hunt for a new place to live next year, the housing fair is a wonderful resource to take advantage of.
The Off-Campus Housing Fair serves as a guide to help the search for a new home seem less daunting and to support students during their search for the perfect home.
“The housing fair is a great resource for students in their own housing research,” said Sammy Schroen, an international relations major and student employee for the Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing Office. “We always encourage students to do their own housing research and use us as a supplementary source for help. In that same way, students are taking the initiative to come to the housing fair and talk to all these different housing vendors in one place rather than only being able to gather information from housing vendors over the phone, email or having to drive to their leasing offices.”
A big advantage that students will have from attending the Housing Fair is that they will be able to obtain housing information from multiple different leasing companies and get all their questions answered in one place.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when searching for a new home, and as this is a new experience for many students, it is important that they know what questions to ask while talking to different leasing offices at the Housing Fair. Schroen suggests first asking about the type of leasing of the home and whether the price listed is per bedroom (individually leased) or per unit. If it is priced per unit, roommates will have to split the rent, but if it is priced per bedroom, each roommate is responsible for their own rent.
Schroen also suggests asking if utilities, like water and electric bills, are included in the rent, and if there are any other additional fees from factors like pet fees.
For students new to living off-campus, transportation is another important factor that should not be overlooked. Schroen recommends that students ask vendors about bike parking, if there are nearby bus stops and if there are parking fees or parking passes that residents need to purchase.
Additionally, Schroen advises students to take their time throughout the navigation process for new off-campus housing.
“Don’t feel pressured to sign a lease,” Schroen said. “Take your time to have the essentials figured out, such as budget, utilities, amenities and transportation, so you are able to find the place that best fits your needs.”
Finding the perfect place may take some time, and that’s OK. There are a lot of elements to take into consideration when looking for a new home.
“Write your essentials down and compare those things to a pros and cons list of different apartments you are interested in,” Schroen said.
Writing a pros and cons list will give you something to look back on after the housing fair to help you evaluate your best options and find the best fit for your needs.
The Virginia Tech Housing Fair serves as a valuable resource for students planning on living off campus. Rather than spending hours making phone calls, sending lengthy emails and making the trek to different housing companies on your own, you can get all your questions answered right away in person at a convenient location on campus. The Housing Fair this semester will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, in the Squires Commonwealth Ballroom.
Be sure to check out Virginia Tech’s Off-Campus Housing in the Blacksburg & Surrounding Area and Off-Campus Housing FAQs for Families sites as additional helpful resources.