Opportunity knocks at housing fair
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Finding the right place to live can be a challenge. There are many different factors to consider before signing a lease.
The University of Akron’s off-campus student services wanted to help ease the confusion by holding an off-campus housing fair in the Student Union on Nov. 4.
There were a variety of tables set up that featured places to live, including: 22 Exchange, Envision, University Edge, Cedarwood Village, Fairway Towers, Woods of Fairlawn, Spicer Village, Varsity Rentals, and Fir Hill.
Students also had access to other companies that wanted to inform students about other amenities, which included Zip Assists, Downtown Akron Partnership, Akron Metro, Dining Services, and PNC Bank. The UA Law Clinic was also present to provide legal advice about housing.
There are some important factors that students should consider when trying to find a place to live.
A major concern students have is the question of whether or not utilities are included.
Spicer Village representative Taylor Barnes commented on what students look for. “The big thing is if utilities are included in that price. Another thing is if they have Wi-Fi in the property. In ours we have wires for the Wi-Fi but it’s not included in the price but it’s definitely important to students for them to have Wi-Fi for their school work,” she said.
Some additional factors to consider are: if pets are allowed and if there’s a fee, if a washer and dryer is included, if security is provided, parking location, and if there’s enough storage space.
“When I’m trying to rent a place, I look for how close it is to campus and the neighborhood it’s in,” said UA student Caitlin Hull. “What I like most about off-campus living versus dorms is the feeling of independence and knowing that you can kind of establish your own rules.”
Barnes stressed the importance of not waiting until the last minute to find a place.
“It helps a lot if they want to look like two months ahead of time so they can really look into the properties and do the application process. That way it’s not rushed on them and us,” Barnes said.
Varsity Rentals representative Mindy VanRiper said they start showing places Dec.1 for the beginning of August.
Another concern students may have is about how to furnish their place. Apartments such as Envision and University Edge are fully furnished, but the company CORT offers an alternative to having to rent a furnished place.
CORT specializes in renting matching furniture sets that range from a 3-month to ten-year period, which may be a more hassle free option.
“The benefits of renting is it can be cheaper,” CORT representative Nick Dysart said. “It’s a lot easier because you don’t have to move everything by yourself, it’s a lot cleaner than hand-me-down furniture that’s 10 to 30 years old. We do all the hard work and lifting and you also get to pick out exactly what you want and it all matches.”
Before signing a lease for the upcoming semesters, consider personal needs. Research as much as you can to find the best deal.
When asked how these housing options were chosen, Assistant Director of Off-campus Student Services Zachary Steiner said. “We have a list of landlords in the area that we send out and it’s $100 to participate; with that you get parking and your lunch.”
For more information about off campus housing visit, uakron.edu/offcampus.