When beginning to look at student housing options in Midtown, many Georgia Tech students are surprised to find out how early their fellow peers usually start their apartment search. Many students will start signing leases a year in advance, during the fall of the year before their prospective move-in.
Why? There are many hidden benefits of signing a lease at a student housing complex early.
At Whistler, we know how much time and effort goes into finding the perfect apartment for you. To help guide you in your housing search, we have written this article to tell you about the major perks of signing a lease early.
How early is “early?”
The time frame for leasing “early” is subjective— it depends on who you are asking and what market you are in.
For student apartments in Midtown, leasing typically starts around 10-12 months in advance, in the fall of the year before your lease would begin.
The process will typically begin with a property offering its current residents the option to renew their leases for next year. A few weeks later, the property will then offer new leases to prospective residents.
It’s important to note that new student housing developments tend to lease earlier and fill up faster. If you are looking to live in a new apartment building, be sure to check their website throughout late spring and summer of the year before their delivery date to ensure you do not miss the start of their leasing process.
So, if you are looking to sign “early” for leases beginning fall of 2023, start looking at new developments in the summer of 2022, and existing properties in early to mid-fall 2022.
5 Benefits to Signing Your Lease Early
Now that you have a better understanding of what it means to lease early, let’s look at all the benefits that come with leasing early.
1. Best Rates
It’s no secret that student apartments in Midtown can be pricey. If you sign at the right time, you can save on your monthly rental rate to make your housing a little more affordable.
When a property’s leasing first opens, its website will be filled with ads saying “our lowest rates,” “don’t miss your chance,” and “sign now.” This is because most of the newer apartments in Midtown offer the best rates when you sign early.
Pricing will typically start low, then increase as the apartment fills up and demand for rooms increases. Outside of flash sales and occasional discounts, signing your lease early is one of the best ways to get a cheaper rental rate on your apartment.
2. Promos & Gifts
In the same way that apartments give lower rates at the beginning of the leasing process, many apartment complexes also offer incentives to get you to sign early.
This is especially true for new student housing developments. These properties want to fill their units fully and quickly, meaning they will give extra perks to students willing to do so. These may include gift cards, property merch, and further discounts to get you to sign early.
Parking in Atlanta can be a hassle, so it’s a requirement for many students that their apartment complex offers a parking spot.
Parking spots come at an additional fee to your rent each month and come on a first-come, first-served basis. As much as properties would like to guarantee every resident a parking spot, there are simply more residents than parking spots available. If you sign too late, there’s a possibility that parking will no longer be available
If having an on-site parking spot is a must for you, consider when you need to sign your lease to secure a spot. Signing early almost guarantees you a space in your apartment’s parking garage.
4. Choice of Apartment Unit and Room
One of the biggest reasons to sign early is the sooner you sign, the more units you will have to choose from.
If you have your heart set on a popular floorplan and wait too long to sign, the units may sell out. Signing early gives you the first pick at rooms with balconies, bigger floor plans, better views, and premium amenities.
In the same way, the earlier you sign, the more room options you will have. For example, if you are living in an apartment with four bedrooms and four bathrooms (4×4), only two bedrooms may have windows while the others do not. The sooner you sign, the better chance you have at getting the specific room you want.
5. Roommate Choice
Lastly, signing early means a bigger pool of potential roommates to choose from. As time goes on, students will make other living arrangements, meaning you have less flexibility in deciding who you want to live with.
If you and your friends have already decided you want to live together, leasing associates at your student housing complex can have your choice of roommates added to your room when you sign. If you have an even larger group of friends, signing early can make it possible for you all to live on the same floor.
There is a small risk that if you sign earlier than your potential roommates, your apartment complex will match you with other random roommates instead. To avoid this possibility, be sure to tell your leasing associates that you already have roommates, and convince your roommates to sign their leases around the same time as you.
If you do not have roommates already and would like to be matched, almost all student apartments in Midtown have roommate matching systems to help you find the perfect roommates with similar preferences to yourself.
Whether you have roommates or are in the process of finding roommates, signing early is the best way to keep your options open.
If you’re looking for a way to save money on your rent, guarantee yourself a parking spot, and have the first pick at units and roommates, signing early is one of the best ways to do so.
If you have any further questions about off-campus student apartments or would like to learn more about Whistler, please contact our leasing team. We are more than happy to assist you in your search for student housing!