House Hunters: Syracuse University Edition
College is stressful enough already without the added frustration of finding somewhere to live on campus nearly a year in advance. If you’re part of the student majority that doesn’t know where to begin in the house hunting process, hopefully this housing how-to guide will help.
Step 1: Determine who and how many people you want to live with.
This may be easier said than done. Taking into account the possibility of you and/or your roommates going abroad, your ideal six-person crew could suddenly be down to a two-man band. With that said, when picking your roommates, take these two strategies into consideration:
- Room with people who you know are going abroad the same semester as you. Make it known that each person has the responsibility of finding his/her own subletter.
- Divide your group into the homies who are going abroad fall semester, and the homies who are going abroad spring semester. This way, you only have to find an apartment with as many rooms as the largest group (i.e. if two people are going in the fall and three are going in the spring, you would only need a three person apartment). This way, you would already have most (or ideally all, if your group is evenly split) subletting situations worked out.
Step 2: Location, location, location
Do you and your roommates want an apartment down by Walnut Park so you can go frat stomping every night? Are you interested in a nicer, more spacious house further down Euclid or one of its cross streets? How much do you value a short walk to campus in the morning? Take these questions into consideration while hitting up some of Syracuse’s most popular rental agencies. Here are some pros and cons of the top three:
Pros: Website is laid out clearly with the ability to sort by number of bedrooms. OPR has nice realtors who are willing to give tours of apartments and houses and tons of the ever-coveted three-bedroom apartments.
Cons: Many of their apartments and houses are farther from campus, such as Clarendon, Madison, the 900 block of Ackerman, and the 100 block of Comstock. Also, two-bedroom options and four, five, and six-bedroom options tend to go quickly.
Campus Hill Apartments
Pros: Tons of apartments in close proximity to campus. All Campus Hill apartments are laid out in a chart on the website so apartment browsing is quick and easy.
Cons: If you’re part of a large group seeking a house with five bedrooms or more, you’ve already missed your chance—these options are essentially nonexistant.
Tupper Property Management, LLC (aka Rent From Ben)
Pros: With more than 100 apartments available in the 58 houses Ben owns, he can accommodate everything from one-bedroom to ten-bedroom sized groups. Ben has a great relationship with students who rent from him. Students often describe their relationship with Ben as a friendship instead of a realtor-tenant relationship.
Cons: The website does not provide specifics on the available properties, so you’ll have to actually pick up your phone and call for information.
Step 3: Pay up, bitches
So you’ve found your perfect apartment in the perfect location with your perfect roommates. Now what? In all rental situations, you have to complete an application (either online or when you sign the lease), and pay a security deposit upon signing the lease. Sometimes there might be a lease administration fee as well. All roommates are required to sign the lease, so if this seems like a lot of money to drop before you’re even paying rent. Just remember… you’re splitting the damage.
Step 4: Worry about it later
If you’re worried about finding subletters, don’t freak out. There are always a ton of people whose plans change or who just skip out on the house hunting festivities altogether and wait for people to start subletting their living spaces instead. Utilize the Syracuse class Facebook groups to advertise your subletting opportunity. You can also use sites like EasyRoommate.com and Craig’s List to post the availability of your house or apartment.
This is as close to HGTV as Syracuse gets, people. Try not to let your living situation stress you out too much, and instead look forward to finding your dream (college) home.