The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • 8:37 am

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • 8:37 am

Campus Life | Tips for off-campus house hunting

This week on Campus Life, Shriya Yadamreddi talks about some tips for finding a place to live off campus.
Campus+Life+%7C+Tips+for+off-campus+house+hunting
TPN File Illustration

The transition from living on campus in a dorm to living off campus in an apartment can be a very big change. I remember how scary and daunting it was when I first started touring apartments in South Oakland during my freshman year. So, here are some tips for when you start looking for your first off-campus housing.

My first tip would be to start looking very early on in the school year. Especially if you are a first-year student, the last thing on your mind is finding a place to live in for the next school year. Even though you’re still finding your way around campus and figuring out classes, I recommend you start your search immediately. I started to look for apartments at the end of February, so my options were limited. Most of the houses and apartments that were somewhat up to our standards were already taken. Luckily, we found a place that was not too far of a walk from campus and signed the lease. 

My second tip would be to lower your standards. My roommate and I went into the apartment searching process thinking we would find a high-rise apartment for cheap — which was not the case. All of the nice apartments were very expensive and far from campus, proving it was not worth it for the price tag. However, a few of my friends did live in One on Centre and SkyVue and loved it, but the commute in the winter was definitely a pain. They had to rely on the bus most of the time, but as we know, it can be unreliable. Once we realized that we definitely had to lower our standards, the search became much easier. However, don’t lower your expectations too much! Make sure that your unit or house has the basic necessities that work for you. Some houses in South Oakland don’t have a washer or dryer, and in order to wash your clothes you’ll have to walk a few blocks with your laundry basket in order to get the job done. This is very inconvenient and time-consuming, so make sure that is something that works for you.  

Another tip is to tour the place before you sign the lease or confirm that you will live there. I almost signed a lease with my roommate without touring, but when we did find the time to look at the apartment, it was much smaller than we anticipated. In pictures, the living room and bedrooms looked huge, but in person they were smaller than our freshman year dorms. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure that you communicate clearly with the landlord to schedule a tour — it is definitely worth it. If a unit is not up to your standards, then they might have other apartments to show you that you might like. Also, make sure that they are not scamming you into paying more than you need to. My last apartment luckily included running water, so we only  had to pay for heat and Wi-Fi, which was really convenient since we only needed heat for the winter. A downside is that some apartments don’t come with AC and you might have to purchase a window unit. This wasn’t a huge problem because I was able to sell it once I moved out. 

Overall, the search for finding a place off campus can be challenging, but once you find the place for you, it will be well worth it. Hopefully some of these tips help, because I wish someone told me all this before I started my search. Good luck house hunting!

 

Shriya writes primarily about her everyday experiences on Pitt’s campus. Talk to them at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Shriya Yadamreddi, Senior Staff Writer