Finding housing at Georgia Tech can be difficult, especially if you are an out-of-state or international student who is not very familiar with the area.
At Whistler, we understand how overwhelming the search for housing can be. To outline the important steps you should take when looking for a place to live, we have written this guide on finding housing as an international student.
7 Steps to Finding Housing as an International Student at Georgia Tech
Step 1: Pick A Type of Housing
Midtown is full of a variety of housing options for Georgia Tech students, so one of your first steps should be deciding what type of housing you’re interested in leasing at.
The types of housing available for students both on- and off- campus include:
- On-Campus Georgia Tech Dorm- and Apartment-Style Residence Halls
- On-Campus Greek Housing
- Off-Campus Student Apartments
- Off-Campus Traditional Apartments
- Off-Campus Traditional Houses
Each of these housing options has its own pros and cons, including amenities, price point, lease type, and location, so it’s important to research what housing option is best for you. For an in-depth comparison including typical price ranges and amenities, read our article on the types of housing available to Georgia Tech students.
Step 2: Pick Your Ideal Location
Once you have an idea of the type of housing you’re looking for, the next step is to decide where you would ideally want to live. Location can make or break your living experience, especially for students as busy and on the go as Georgia Tech students.
Popular locations for students to live include:
- On Campus
- East Midtown
- West Midtown
- Home Park
Living on campus is beneficial because you are closer to your classes, the library, dining halls, and other on-campus buildings. The downside is that on-campus housing is limited to only Georgia Tech-owned residence halls and Greek housing.
East Midtown is a popular location for student apartments and traditional apartments. Just off of Tech Square and across Fifth Street Bridge from campus, East Midtown is full of food, drink, and entertainment unique to the Midtown urban lifestyle, while still being a short walk from campus.
West Midtown is just past west campus where you can find student apartments and traditional apartments off of Northside Drive and Marietta Street. The area is near restaurants and west campus locations like the Campus Recreational Center and the West Village Dining Commons.
Home Park is a neighborhood north of campus between campus and Atlantic Station. This area has houses available to rent for students that are a short commute to campus.
For a more in-depth look into the different areas Georgia Tech students live, read our article, Where Do Georgia Tech Students Live?
Step 3: Determine Your Price Range
The next step is to decide how much you’re willing to pay for your apartment each month. When determining your budget, be sure to include extra fees you may be subject to such as:
- Parking: Typically charged as an additional fee each month on top of your monthly rental rate.
- Pet Fees and/or Rent: Usually a pet deposit required at the beginning of your leasing period, and an additional “pet rent” to be charged with your regular rent on a monthly basis.
- Utilities: May or may not be included in monthly rental rate. Be sure to check each location’s individual policy.
- Renter’s Insurance: Many apartments will require renter’s insurance. This will be an additional fee each month on top of your rent.
While the actual amount of each fee will vary from apartment to apartment, it’s important to consider these additional costs when determining your overall cost of living.
Step 4: Determine Whether or Not You’ll Have a Roommate/ How Many Roommates You’ll Have
The last important step before you start making a list of your favorite housing options and begin touring properties, is to decide if you want to live with roommates.
For someone that prefers a quiet space without distractions, having an apartment or house full of roommates may not be the best decision for you.
However, if you’re looking for a sense of community and companionship within your own apartment, having roommates is a great way to bond with other students and make lasting friendships.
Read next: How to Find Roommates at Georgia Tech
Outside of friendship, having roommates can also lower your overall rental rate. Utilities, additional costs, and rent per square foot will all be divided amongst you and your other roommates.
Step 5: Make A Short List of Places and Set Up Tours
Once you’ve picked the type of housing, the ideal location, set a budget, and have an idea of your number of roommates, it’s time to make a short list of places that meet all of your requirements.
If you’re interested in living in an apartment, visit each property’s website and book a tour to see what option best fits your needs. Property tours are a great time to ask questions about the apartment policies.
Some questions to ask while touring a property include:
- What utilities are and are not included?
- What expenses are due upon application, lease signing and move-in?
- Do you have roommate matching?
- How secure is the property?
For more questions like these, read our article, 15 Questions to Ask When Touring a Property.
If you want to live on-campus in a Greek house or in a Georgia-Tech owned residence hall, scheduling a tour is probably not a possibility. Instead, reach out to friends that you know that live in these locations and ask if you can see their room or apartment sometime to get an idea of what the space looks like in real life.
Step 6: Submit An Application and Sign a Lease
Once your tours of prospective apartments are over and you have made a final decision– it’s time to fill out an application and sign a lease!
A typical application for an apartment complex will cost $50 to $75 and take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. The application will ask for basic information such as:
- Driver’s License
- Emergency Contact
- Pet Information, if interested in bringing a pet
- Current Residence
- Roommate questionnaire, if interested in roommate matching
Application for on-campus Greek housing and residence halls will look a little different– so be sure to check with each organization to see how their leasing process works.
Once your application has been approved it’s time for the last step– signing a lease!
A lease is a legally-binding contractual agreement between you and your landlord– so it’s important to read through your lease before signing anything.
The lease will include important dates like when your lease officially begins and ends, when your rent is due each month, etc. It will also list important fees like your official monthly rental rate. The lease may be long and difficult to read, but it’s crucial to know exactly what you are getting into before signing!
While the task of finding an apartment seems daunting, breaking the process down into individual steps makes the process a breeze.
If you have further questions or would like to learn more about leasing at Whistler, feel free to reach out to our leasing team. We are more than happy to assist you in your housing search.