|GSO Main Housing Page||GSO Housing Pages - Hints for Finding an Apartment||GSO Main Page|
If you've never lived off-campus before, we hope these hints will be of some help.
To secure an apartment, most realtors will want the first and last months' rent, a deposit (equal to one month's rent) and a fee (usually equal to a month's rent). That adds up to a lot of money.
You can get an apartment without the realty fee but you have to search around for landlords and realtors that provide their services free (usually this means the landlord pays the realtor or searches for tenants themselves). One way to do this is to find a neighborhood you like, go around to each building and write down the owner/management's name and phone number, and then call them all. By avoiding the realtor middleman, you might save a whole month's rent (the fee).
There are very few genuine bargains. If something is very cheap, be very suspicious. See what is included in the rent (gas, heat, water, electricity).
There can be some very bad ones, speak to the current residents if at all possible.
Then fill it with people. There are many more students than apartments, so if you can secure an apartment you like, and you can afford the deposit, then it might be worth taking a gamble that you can fill the extra rooms.
There are some good ones. But there are some very bad ones who will try to coerce you into renting an apartment you don't want. Beware.
You probably won't get the place of your dreams first time around, so it's better to get the first "reasonable" place rather than end up with nothing.
It's a lot less pressure, and you can get a second opinion you trust on the place.