What graduates should keep in mind when looking for accommodation
In the festive, champagne-filled glow of graduation, thinking about new possibilities and exciting careers can easily be marred by the stress of one topic in particular: housing.
Although the recently graduated Buckeyes go their separate ways and settle in Columbus and out of town, the combination of being a freshman and trying to find housing can present a unique set of issues. Graduates may face issues from the get-go with housing-related expenses – such as moving, down payments and furniture – that add up before they can access their first paycheck, said Ben Raines, coordinator. of the program for financial well-being within the Student Wellness Center.
“One of the challenges students face is leaving college, where most students have both part-time jobs, maybe family support, and financial aid, and then they often do. transition to a job, but they can’t access their pay until three weeks, two weeks, maybe four weeks after starting work, ”Raines said. “So they have to fund all the different things that happened in between.”
Living somewhere after graduation will likely be different from off-campus housing near the state of Ohio, as off-campus housing is created with students in mind, Raines said. Where parents could previously co-sign in the event that a student fails to meet the monthly rental fee, future tenants should be aware of more stringent measures to secure rent payment, such as credit checks and requirements. in terms of income.
“For students who are supported by their families, often the end of college is when that support ends,” Raines said. “So you might not have the parent who is willing to co-sign, but you don’t have a lot of financial history, which can potentially be a problem.”
Despite the seemingly disheartening change in student housing, Raines said new graduates can avoid financial problems by budgeting properly and creating credit by opening a credit card, spending very little each month, and paying off costs each month. He also suggested communicating openly with potential owners.
Additionally, Raines said that in order to establish an overall budget, new graduates should keep the cost of living in mind and factor housing costs into their budget.
“Have a very explicit budget, including the cost of utilities without the help of college roommates, debt repayment if you’ve taken out student loans, retirement accounts, the cost of living,” he said. Raines said. “Make sure your choice of rent makes sense in the context of the payments that will be made in all other facets of living and the cost of living in your area.”
Rachel DeMooy, program manager for Ohio State Off-Campus and Suburban Student Services, reflected Raines’ philosophy and said having questions in mind and communicating openly with owners is one of the most important things in finding the right accommodation.
“I think the biggest tip is just to be prepared,” DeMooy said. “Know what questions you want to ask and what you are looking for when entering a property. Make sure all doors and windows lock properly. Make sure that if a landlord says they’re going to replace the carpet before the next tenant moves in, make sure you have it in the lease so it’s in writing.
DeMooy said checking the specific unit of interest as opposed to a model unit is the name of the game and allows a potential tenant to check things like working thermostats and smoke detectors, windows that move properly, functional locks and general. security of a given area.
Once a tenant is happy with the unit and has contacted the landlord or management company, DeMooy and Raines both said tenants should do a lease review to have a lawyer make sure ‘there is nothing hidden in a contract.
“I think if you’re still a student here and signed up, at least asking Student Legal Services to verify, that’s a really good idea,” Raines said. “They can give you an idea of what’s in that lease, what your obligations are, potentially things that aren’t legal or enforceable, just to ask someone who is an expert in real estate law about you. help think about it. things.”