Finding your first apartment or house out of residence is an exciting albeit daunting task. Here are five basic considerations you should make before beginning your search:
- Budget . Figure out how much you want to spend on rent each month. Keep in mind that you might have to pay extra utility fees if hydro and Internet are not included!
- Location. Choose the general area or neighbourhood in which you wish to live. Important factors might include proximity to campus, grocery or convenience stores, public transportation (metro or bus stop), laundromat (if there isn’t a washer or dryer in the building), and neighborhood safety.
- Furnishings. Some properties come with furniture, some don’t. Decide if you want to find a house or apartment that is already furnished, or if you would prefer to furnish it yourself.
- Building facilities. Any apartment perks that might interest you, such as a swimming pool, exercise facility, parking access, rooftop access, or security personnel.
- Roommates. If you plan on living with other people, make sure you all agree on the considerations above when looking for a property!
Now that you have an idea of what you are looking for, here are some easy ways to start your search:
- Classified advertisement websites like Craigslist or Kijiji have sections devoted to housing. Always be careful when setting up appointments over the Internet.
- Your university website might have a similar classified advertisement page for off-campus student housing.
- Ask around! Friends in upper years might be moving out of their apartments, or might be able to put you in touch with someone who is.
- Take a walk in the neighbourhood you want to live in.
- If you see an apartment building you like, either call or go in and inquire as to whether any units are free.
You are now ready to set up an appointment to visit any of the properties that caught your eye.