Upperclassmen hunt for housing

Dina Marin

When looking for senior housing, students may feel lost and overwhelmed at the amount of information circulating. However, the process of finding a house can be navigable with advice from knowledgeable Augustana community members.

To start planning for senior housing, Director of Residential Life, Christopher Beyer said, “It doesn’t hurt to start planning early. We think students would be better served if they learned how to shop around and educate themselves about the market and think about what things are important to them as a renter.”

Area Coordinator Ariel Rogers said that in order to plan for senior housing “something students should consider doing is making a budget. How much money are they really willing to spend on rent? How much are utilities  going to cost? [The students should be] getting to know themselves while living in TLAs to be able to answer all of these questions, while planning ahead for senior housing.”

Junior Ailin Garcia said, “There are many houses to be rented, but the difficult part is finding one that suits your needs and wants. Especially when it comes to a group of different people with different desires.”

Despite the belief that planning and signing the lease should happen during junior and even sophomore year Beyer said, “We recommend students to wait until their junior year to sign the lease. The market is much more of a renter’s market than a landlord’s market, and a lot of students don’t realize that. They might believe there is a lot of rental scarcity and they have to move quickly to find a good place, and that’s not really the case.”

Another important aspect of finding a good house is finding a landlord with whom you feel comfortable. Rogers said, “We encourage students to ask a lot of questions. Make sure you are perfectly comfortable with the landlord. If you are even a little bit off, don’t sign the lease and go look for somebody else.”

Thomas Benson from Benson Law Office recommends that students “should always review carefully any lease before they sign it, and also let somebody else review it to make sure all terms and conditions are acceptable. There are not many options to break a lease and as we know, sometimes it might be against the law.”

As a general tip, junior Genesis Li said to “ask all upper-class friends for their landlord’s phone number. Send the same message to every single landlord, and ask for housing inquiries or possible house tours. Visit the houses and talk to the landlords. Get the general vibes of how the houses are and if the landlords are respectful.”