Off-campus housing fair set for Thursday

By Parker Perry, Sports Editor

Choosing where to live next school year is a huge decision.

In deciding whether to move off campus or stay in a dorm, or to look for a different place to live rather than renew a current apartment lease, each student must pick carefully.

One of the best places to start gathering information about next year’s housing options is the Spring Off-Campus Housing Fair, sponsored by University of Akron Off-Campus Student Services.

This year’s fair is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 6 on the second floor of the Student Union near Starbucks.

At the fair, students will be able to compare the amenities and prices charged at various off-campus properties.

School of Law students and faculty will be on hand to answer questions about rental agreements.

According to Off-Campus Student Services, properties and vendors planning to attend the fair include 22 Exchange, 401 Lofts, Bowery Management, Buchtel Place Town Homes, Castle Apartments, Cedarwood Village, Cort Furniture, EnVision Apartments, Fir Hill Towers, Portage Towers, The Depot, Timber Top, University Edge and Varsity Rentals.

In addition, community resources such as Metro Regional Transit Authority and the Downtown Akron Partnership will offer information.

Many factors come into play when choosing a place to live, though affordability is a big one.

Another important consideration is whether to live alone or to split costs with one or more roommates.

Living alone means more freedom and privacy, but having a roommate means paying s smaller share of the cable, Internet and utility bills. However, even the best of friends will have their struggles when sharing a living space.

So before signing a lease with someone, consider sitting down and discussing responsibilities and living conditions.

The condition of the residence also is crucial when deciding where to live.

It is vital that students visit the place they plan on staying before signing any agreement. Bring along someone you can trust to give honest advice. The condition of the rental unit can mean the difference between being able to pay attention to school, work and a social life or having to spend time nagging the landlord to fix a sink or toilet.

Other important factors to consider, according to Off-Campus Student Services, include the safety of the neighborhood, the distance from campus, available parking, the landlord’s policy on pets and the length of the lease.