With so many student apartments in Midtown, it can be difficult to pick the best one for you, or even narrow down your options.
Read Next: 6 Best Student Apartments Near Georgia Tech
At Whistler, we know what a difficult process the search for student housing can be. To make finding your dream apartment a little easier, we have created this guide that includes the steps needed to find the perfect student apartment near Georgia Tech.
8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Off-Campus Apartment as a Georgia Tech Student
Step 1: Pick Your Ideal Location
One of the most important aspects of a property is location. The neighborhood where you live can greatly affect your daily lifestyle, so it’s important to evaluate all of your options thoroughly.
To understand the popular “neighborhoods” for student living, including Midtown apartments, on-campus residence halls and greek housing, and off-campus houses, read our article on where students live near Georgia Tech.
Once you have a good idea of where you would like to live, you can narrow down your options.
For example, for those who opt for a more spacious and updated off-campus apartment, some of the most popular apartment complexes for students are located on Spring Street. These apartments are across Fifth Street Bridge from main campus and are closest to Tech Square, Scheller College of Business and East Campus.
If this location appeals to you, you can start your search for housing by looking at apartments on Spring Street.
Step 2: Determine Whether or Not You’ll Have a Roommate, and How Many Roommates You’ll Have
After deciding on a location, it’s time to decide if you want a roommate, and if you do, how many roommates you want. The number of roommates you have will affect the size of your apartment and how many beds you need, so it’s important to make this decision early.
If you are looking to live in an apartment free of distraction with the utmost privacy, you might consider not having roommates and having the apartment to yourself. If this is the case, move to step three.
If you are more of the social type, you may want roommates to keep you company (or to keep your rental rate down). Roommates are a great way to help you find companionship and even a sense of community from within your own apartment.
Roommates can also make your apartment rent more affordable. The rental rate, utilities, and other costs will be divided among you and your roommates, reducing your individual cost of living.
If you have decided on living with a roommate, start reaching out to see if your friends are interested. If you do not have anyone in mind, most student apartments have roommate matching systems. After taking a quick survey, they will match you with other students like yourself who are also looking for roommates.
Step 3: Decide Which Amenities You Value
The next step is deciding what amenities are important to you. Decide what amenities are must-haves and what additional amenities would add to your living experience.
Newer student housing complexes boast state-of-the-art amenities to stay competitive in the market. These amenities may include, but are not limited to:
- Pool deck and hot tub
- Fitness center
- Coffee bar on-site
- Yoga studio
- Study rooms
- Spin room
- On-site concierge
- 24-hour security
- Package lockers
Make a list of amenities that are must-haves and a list of amenities you would like to have, but are not absolutely necessary. Use this as a reference when narrowing down your apartment options.
Step 4: Determine Your Price Range
The next step, and arguably the most important part of your apartment search, is setting a budget of what you are willing to pay for your apartment each month. It is highly important to set a limit on how much you are willing to spend before touring any properties.
Outside of just your rental rate, there are several additional fees and costs that can increase the overall price of your living experience.
These may include:
- Parking – Parking usually comes at an additional fee each month on a first-come, first serve basis.
- Pet rent and/or pet deposit – Pets typically incur two additional fees: a pet deposit due at the beginning of your lease, and a pet rent due each month with your regular rent.
- Utilities – Some apartments will charge an additional fee for utilities, while it is included in rent at other locations. Be sure to check each property’s policy.
- Renter’s insurance – Many apartments will offer renter’s insurance at an additional fee each month.
For more information on these fees, as well as other fees to consider before signing, we have put together a list of 9 Additional Costs to Consider When Living in Off-Campus housing.
Once you have reviewed all of the possible fees you could be subject to in addition to your rental rate, you can set an accurate budget for what you are willing to pay for your apartment.
Step 5: Make a Short List of Places to Tour
Now that you have a list of requirements and preferences for an apartment, it’s time to narrow your options. Look at websites of different properties to see what amenities they offer, where they are located, and at what price point they are offering your desired rooms.
After deciding on the properties you are interested in, visit their contact page and book a tour. It’s important to ensure all of your options meet the criteria you have outlined on your wishlist.
Step 6: Go on Property Tours
Now it’s time for the fun part– touring potential new apartments!
Keep your desired amenities and requirements in mind as you walk through each property. Does the apartment check off all of your required boxes? Does it meet any additional boxes on your wishlist?
This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the property or the leasing process.
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? and download our Apartment Tour Checklist
Step 7: Fill Out an Application
So, you’ve toured all of your prospective properties and have decided on the apartment you want to call home for the next year. Great! It’s time to fill out an application!
This form will typically be online and only take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. You can expect to be asked for basic information like:
- Driver’s License
- Emergency Contact
- Pet Information, if interested in bringing a pet
- Current Residence
- Roommate questionnaire, if interested in roommate matching
The application will cost around $50 to $75 to complete. This money goes towards the cost of running a background check and the overall cost of processing your application.
Upon approval of this application, you’re ready to sign a lease!
Step 8: Sign your Lease
You’ve reached the final step: signing your lease!
A lease is a contractual agreement between you and your landlord that outlines the responsibilities of each party.
Even though leases are long and boring, it’s important to read each page thoroughly to understand the exact terms of your lease. This contract is legally binding— it’s crucial you know what you are getting into.
Note the dates and fees included in the lease. This will tell you when your lease ends and begins, how much you will pay each month for rent when you will pay rent, and various other important things to note.
If you are like most full-time students and either do not work or only work part-time, you will most likely need a guarantor. A guarantor is a person who co-signs your lease, most likely your parent or guardian, and will be held responsible for your rent if you fail to make your payments.
Read next: What is a Guarantor?
Finding an apartment is a big task, but when broken down into smaller steps, it becomes a lot easier to manage. We hope these eight steps will help you smoothly go through your housing search to find the perfect student apartment near Georgia Tech.
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.