Apartment finding Tips for University and College Students

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The time for back to school shopping or (if you’re going to university) finding an apartment has begun! Well actually, according to the stores it started in the first week of summer.

I don’t know why, but it always kind of pissed me off, to go into a store in the first week of summer break and already see back to school signs. We just got out of school a week ago and there’s already a 2 for 1 deal on the 0.7mm Paper Mate Mechanical pencils that they know I can’t walk by and not purchase.

cute NYC student university and college apartment shining in the sunlight


Not only is buying back to school supplies important, but finding an apartment to live in is something critical for the majority of university/college students.

And finding an apartment to live in is hard. Trust me, I know from first hand experience that it’s not easy and you’re definitely not going to get the first apartment you really want.

Obviously everyone’s experience will be different and who knows you might get lucky! And I know not everyone is looking for a single apartment when going to university, however these tips could help you when looking for a residence/shared student apartment, etc. 

How do you want to live?

First off, figure out where you want to live. On a campus residence, a single apartment, shared living? Lots of options, some being more expensive than others of course.

I suggest living on a campus residence for your first year and then living in an apartment or shared living for the next couple of years, but obviously do whatever you want and what you feel most comfortable with!

Also, make a budget. Figure out how much money you want to spend per month. Don’t forget, if you’re on your own about all the extra costs like food and WiFi that add up.

Start the search early

Right when you know what university you’re going to, you should start your search. Seriously, the second you know… you should be scrolling through websites looking at postings.

There will be thousands of students all on the hunt for an apartment all at the same time, and if you start sooner your chances of finding a place will be better.

Even if the person renting the apartment to you wants you to sign the contract 2-3 months earlier than your first day, you should definitely take it. Who knows if you’ll get another offer! (But obviously, only if you’re 100% sure you’re going to study there!)

Fill out the profile fully

When you’re looking for an apartment online, you usually have to (or can) make a profile for yourself.

You’re going to want to fill out the profile fully. Include a picture of yourself, and all required information about yourself. What you do, your age, how/who you will be paying the rent, etc.

And my biggest tip would be to add that you’re quiet, a non smoker and don’t have pets. You’re chances of being contacted for a tour will be much higher, trust me. *only if those are true of course!* 

Why do this? 

Because, you’ll stand out compared to all the other profiles. The person renting the apartment will know beforehand what you look like and all necessary information about you, and like I mentioned your chances of getting picked will be so much higher!

I actually went to tour an apartment and wore the same coat I wore in the profile picture and the owner had actually mentioned he remembers the camel coat from the picture!

Now, I didn’t get the apartment (for other reasons), but it’s a good sign if they remember you from the picture!

Make a Good impression

Look Presentable

When you go to the open houses, you’re going to want to look presentable and make a good impression! Clothes definitely make people and you’re going to make a much better impression showing up in something nice rather than in sweatpants and a hoodie. 

You don’t need to go over the top and wear a suit and tie or a dress, but maybe a pair of jeans and a dress shirt or something along those lines. And by no means do you need anything expensive or new.

Show up on time

Get to your appointment on time. Kind of a given, but still wanted to add it in. You don’t know if it’s a group tour or if the time they gave was just for you so you should definitely show up on time.

I actually showed up late to one of my apartment tours and the owner wasn’t to happy. However I did have three tours prior and traffic was “jammed” that day. I still got an offer for that place though, which was kind of surprising.

Bring someone

I’m on the fence with this one, because I’m not sure if bringing your parent will make a good impression or bad impression. When I went, my mom came with me each time.

Since students don’t have enough money to pay rent monthly, they’re most likely going to have their parents paying. Therefore, I think it’s a good idea if a parent comes with, so the owner knows you have someone responsible paying.

But then there’s the side, where it might not actually be a good idea to bring a parent. An 18/19 year old who can’t go anywhere without his/her parent is the vibe someone could get form that, if you know what I mean.

However, if you’re going to be living with someone else in the apartment, both of you should go to check it out!

Two birds with one stone

If you’re going to a university in a city far away from you, try and schedule as many tours as once into one week. Then you can take a “vacation” in that city for a week and tour a bunch of apartments at once instead of having to travel there for each tour.

The city I was touring in was about 1.5 hours away which was kind of stretch when going there two to three times a week, but it was do-able.

I more mean if you’re going to study in a place 3-4 hours+ away!


Tell all your friends, family, teachers, coaches, teammates and even strangers on the street that you’re looking for an apartment.

They might not have an apartment for you directly, but they might know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone that has an apartment for rent!

You have absolutely nothing to lose if you connect and network with others and your chances of getting an apartment sooner are so much bigger!

SO.. now that you have all these tips, it’s time to get out searching for the apartment of your dreams! Have fun and be patient! You’re not going to get the first, second, third or even the tenth apartment you check out. It takes time and you just need to wait it out.

I promise you it will work out.

Comment down below your apartment hunting experience! 



  1. September 11, 2017 / 11:18 am

    Thank you for this great post.
    I moved to a new flat some time ago, but still these tipps are really helpful.

    take a look at my BLOG and my INSTAGRAM

    • Dominick Jones
      September 12, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Thanks so much Amely!

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