Being a young adult can be challenging — especially if you have just started university or a brand-new entry-level position. Young people face other demanding situations, such as making ends meet and finding adequate homes that are great value for money. While for many, the end goal is to own a property of their own, this is no easy financial feat. So, while working towards this goal, have you considered renting a room? Preferably somewhere close enough to your university or place of work? Let’s unpack why renting is the ideal choice for your student years.
There are multiple reasons; however, most of them boil down to the fact that you, as a student, will benefit in many ways. Consider this: say you are specifically looking for UW student housing, but after your research, you found that most places are either already leased or are too far from campus and would require a commute. What would your next step be? You can start looking for rooms to rent, preferably as close to campus as possible.
The benefits of renting are plentiful. Primarily, you can split the rental costs — often ideal for young students. Another highlight of renting a room is sharing the chore load with your housemates. Each person can be assigned to an area to clear and maintain, or you can take turns cleaning your space. This alleviates a lot of time you would have spent cleaning all on your own.
Another great benefit is making new friends. While being friends with your housemates is not required, it is encouraged where possible. Most people believe that being cordial is not enough, and developing friendships with your housemates over time can lead to life-long friendships.
Renting also impacts your grocery spend — arguably the most significant financial concern for students after rental payments. Renting a room with others allows you to split the costs across groceries, utilities, and the internet. Depending on the agreement you have made before occupation, it is vital to outline and agree precisely who pays what and when to avoid any arguments in the future.
The alternatives to renting a room are either student housing or renting an entire apartment alone — both of which can present challenges. Student housing is often limited and costly and can mean limited privacy due to sharing a room with a roommate. Renting an entire apartment yourself is expensive, both in terms of finance and time — as all the costs and chores of keeping an apartment will fall on your shoulders. Renting a room in a home with others solves these two pain points. Renting a room allows you to find a place that suits your needs. And you are afforded a wide selection to choose from.
Sharing responsibility is another advantage that benefits everyone, especially young students. Many first-year students are adjusting to being on their own and have to grow up pretty quickly. Naturally, some mistakes will be made, but it is all a part of the learning journey. Shared responsibility allows you to learn about personal responsibility with the help of others.
Next, we have privacy. It might seem to some that renting a room in a house with others means limited privacy. But this could not be further from the truth. You’ll generally have more privacy than sharing a dorm room with another student. You can stay in your room for hours, and no one will bother you. You can also lock your door if you don’t want to be bothered or when you are heading out.
People research everything they do these days, and it is positive. Research provides you with vital information to assist you in making a decision. The idea is always to make informed decisions and understand the experiences of others in a comparable situation. So, research the area you want to stay in and see what others are saying about it — is it safe at night, walkable, does it have a good nightlife? Consider what is important to you about the area you’ll be living in.
It’s also a good idea to make a list of things you could potentially ask your landlord. Additionally, research what other students on your campus say about renting a room. This would give you an idea of what your experience could be like.
Reaching out to your housemates before you move into the home is a wonderful way to get to know them better and understand a few things before you move in. It is also the time to discuss any concerns, as well as what life is going to be like. But overall, it is a chance to meet the people you will be living with for the next few months or even years.
Before you take this step, think about the type of roommate you will be. Naturally, you would want to be considerate and contribute equally to household chores, utilities, and groceries.
Renting a room can prove advantageous, as you’ll share responsibilities and costs with multiple people. Renting also allows you to be incredibly flexible and affords you more privacy than sharing a dorm with another student. If you play your cards right, renting can be the ultimate choice for student living.