How to find an off-campus apartment

Why do students look for off-campus housing as an alternative to life within Tech’s boundaries? Living away from the school offers a variety of both financial and social options that are not possible on campus.

One of the main reasons people choose to live off campus is because of the cost. A North Avenue apartment is almost $900 a month, whereas renting a house on Tenth Street can be as little as $300 a month, which comes out to about one-third of the cost.

Unlike Tech housing, finding a place to live in Atlanta requires a lot of time and effort. Before even looking at properties to rent or own, would-be tenants need to consider their own lifestyles and budget to narrow down a search pattern. House or apartment? Suburb or city? Roommate or individual?

The more time spent planning, the easier the apartment or house hunting will be. Making a list of ranked priorities grants insight and eases decision making.

Apartments are generally good for groups of college students who want to rent out living space for cheap. A landlord will provide assistance when needed and cover repair costs.

Houses also can have landlords, but most neighborhoods have a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) which requires an extra fee and sometimes community standards like paint color and yard appearance.

Location matters a great deal as well. Some parts of town are valued higher than others because of proximity to hot spots like office buildings or malls. The atmosphere of each neighborhood is unique as well.

Home Park, the neighborhood area north of Tech before Atlantic Station, is usually quieter and maintains a calmer lifestyle. However, it has been plagued with crime in recent years. Midtown, on the other hand, is constantly alive and beckons a more active lifestyle. Downtown is noisier and more business oriented, while Decatur, Vinings and Buckhead are family-oriented suburbs with lesser activity.

When visiting potential new homes, a priority should be the availability of basic but important amenities such as a dishwasher, washing machine, stove, climate control, good lighting, clean water and grounded electrical outlets. Sometimes it is worth paying a professional to inspect the house for leaks, insects and general defects.

Once an apartment has been selected, it is critical to review the contract several times over before signing. The contract or lease is the only legal binding between the tenants and the landlord; failure to adhere to the document can result in the premature termination of the renting process.


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