Moving off campus can be a breeze

by Emma Secker

With the school year mercifully coming to a close, many San Diego State students are ready to kick back and enjoy an all-too-brief session of summer bliss before the fall arrives, bringing a fresh year of chaos with it. However, once finals are finished, many students face one last order of business before they can truly unwind.

While many students eventually find their way to San Diego’s sparkling shoreline for a year of beach bumming before they graduate, some follow a progression of College Area living before they plant their roots in the sand. For students looking for inexpensive housing options in close and convenient proximity to SDSU’s campus and amenities, is worth a try.

Freshmen leaving the residence halls, new students in town, exchange students or those looking for short-term, individual leases may want to explore this site as it offers housing options from the SDSU area all the way to Pacific Beach. For students hoping to utilize San Diego’s convenient trolley service, the website also provides a map indicating all trolley stops near these popular locations that might make a student’s off-campus commute more manageable.

To use this website, students fill out an online housing request with the housing criteria that best fits their needs. From here, students are e-mailed relevant housing options and prices. On the form, students indicate whether they want to share a room or have their own, when they would like to move in / out, what area of San Diego they prefer and what amenities they would like included.

For those seeking apartment living, Hardy Avenue, Lindo Paseo and Montezuma Road are convenient locations mere minutes from campus. Often less expensive than house rentals, some of these apartments even offer furnishing and utilities included in the monthly rental fee. For apartment rentals, students are wise to begin their search as early as possible to secure a unit for the next leasing period. The apartments closer to campus tend to fill up the quickest, so students are recommended to submit their applications as far in advance as January for an August move-in date.

Students can also research local property management companies such as Propact Management, which offers tours of homes available to rent. While not as urgent as apartment hunting, students are almost always better off starting their search early for housing rather than later. Houses will fill up just as quickly as apartments, but luckily they become available at more regular intervals and can often be subleased.

For students unsure whether house or apartment living would best suit their needs, there are several factors to consider. Apartments tend to offer less expensive utilities than houses and may even include them in the rent. They often have on-site laundry services as well as swimming pools and barbecue areas for recreation. Mailboxes are usually available and on-site leasing offices may be open daily for students needing assistance.

Houses may be more expensive for students, especially for those who would like their own rooms. Some do not come with washers or dryers, and many entail water and garbage bills that some apartments do not. Both houses and apartments require security deposits from tenants and generally require renters insurance as well. However, many houses have their own front and back yards, driveways or garage parking and offer a larger living space. These perks make living in a house worthwhile, even at a slightly more expensive cost.

Students who are just moving out of the residence halls might want to consider apartment living for their first year off campus, and then they may try renting a house the following year when they are more comfortable with the renting system.