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Tips for Finding Off-Campus Housing

August 24, 2019 by West Village Suites  

Most students start off excited about the prospect of searching for an apartment — but they quickly realize that it’s no easy process. Adding to the pressure, you have to be sure that you are making the right choice before you lock yourself into a year-long lease. This can be difficult, especially if you have never looked for housing before. However, approaching your search with a plan will increase your chances of success.

1. Start Your Search Early

All the other students at your university who also want to live off campus will be interested in the same properties as you. Housing at the best prices and in good locations is always snapped up first. Instead of beginning your search right before school starts up, look early in the summer — before you become too busy with exams.

2. Pick Your Roommates

Renting an entire apartment for yourself will likely be prohibitively expensive. The more people you share with, the lower the costs — bear in mind, you’ll be able to split utilities as well as rent. Talk to your friends to find out who has a similar budget to you and form a group to search for housing together.

3. Consider a Sublet

If this is your first year at university, you might not have anyone that you know and that you could share with. A better option may be to find a room in a home. The off-campus housing service at your university might be able to help you find suitable listings.

4. Find a Student-Friendly Apartment

Some landlords offer housing just for students. Such apartments are more likely to meet your needs, such as in rates and rental terms.

5. Sign a Lease

Whoever you do end up renting from, you must sign a lease. This will protect you and ensure that you do have housing for the entire school year.



6. Don’t Consider On-Campus Housing a Backup Plan

You may think that if you are unable to find suitable off-campus housing, you can always apply for a room on campus as your fallback plan. In fact, university campuses are often fully booked and even have wait lists by spring.

Cut your search for an apartment short by choosing student off-campus housing like West Village Suites. Our student rooms for rent are all-inclusive suites just steps from McMaster University. Best of all, our roommate matching service means there’s no need for you to find people who you want to live with beforehand.

Apartment Renting Tips

June 15, 2019 by West Village Suites  

Moving away from home and into your own apartment is an exciting experience. However, it can also be a challenging one, especially if you are unsure about what to look for. You can avoid being stuck with subpar housing or needing to live in McMaster residences by following just a few basic tips.

1. Start as Soon as Possible

Many other students will also be searching for apartments around McMaster University, and all of them will have similar criteria to you. If you wait too long, the best housing will be gone. You need to begin your search at least one semester before school starts — or even earlier if you want to begin a part-time job or internship.

2. Know What You’re Looking For

Make a list of the features your apartment must have, as well as things you would like to have. For instance, you may need to be close to campus or well connected to public transport. You may also want a grocery store or laundry facilities nearby. There’s also the apartment itself: you may prefer it to be furnished or want it to have particular appliances.

3. Schedule Several Visits in a Day

If you live outside of Hamilton, make the most of your time by planning to see three or four apartments. Even if you love the first place you see, continue your visits. There is always the risk that someone else will rent the apartment you want before you have time to sign the lease. Alternatively, you may find something just as good at a lower price.

4. Have a Security Deposit Ready

You can increase the chances that you do secure an apartment by bringing along enough for a security deposit. Be prepared that some landlords will also want a co-signer before they will rent to students. You can avoid this by searching just for student rentals.

5. Read and Understand the Lease

Only rent from a landlord who is willing to provide you with a lease in writing. Make sure that you understand and agree to all the terms. It is particularly important to note terms about subletting, sharing, penalties for late rent, and maintenance procedure.

Save time and prevent stress by renting a room from West Villages Suites — the top choice for off-campus McMaster University student housing. It would be impossible to find anything closer to campus and with better amenities. Plus, the building is clean and secure and has friendly staff available 24 hours a day to help you with whatever you need.