DD and I went to college town yesterday in search of an apartment. She had a list of several she wanted to try and see. One for sure she had talked to (and viewed a friends 3 bedroom apartment last spring in the complex) that had 1 bedrooms available and did pre-leasing and would do less than year long leases. But, it was also the most expensive of all of them at $830 a month. An ok place, a very large complex and older. A couple miles from campus. Lots of students live there.
The only leasing person she got ahold of prior to our day trip was one I had found listed on Craigslist. A brand new small apartment complex (opening next month), but they were a year long lease. She really wanted to at least see the apartment so we had an appointment to meet with the guy at noon. Very nice apartments and $720 a month. They were just about finished - still needed appliances is about all. DD loved it, but we told the guy we had a few others to look at, as a year long lease wasn't on the top of her list of "needs".
We drove over to another complex nearby and actually found someone in the office, but of course she didn't have any 1 bedroom that were available to view (though a one bedroom was becoming available in August). Drove to another one she really wanted to see because the ad said $685 a month, including tv and internet and the pics looked really nice. Only to find out that website info is like 3 years old. Someone new owns the complex now and they can't get the old owners to take down the original website. Rent is now $830 a month with no free tv and internet. And no unit to view. Frustrated again. And of course none knowing for sure if they would have an opening yet for September.
As we walked back to our car it appeared her only option was the place that was $830 and available to reserve a unit for Sept with a 9 month lease (though we still had not been there to try see a 1 bedroom unit and no one answered the 2 calls she placed that morning). My mind started doing some math. The place she LOVED was $720 a month, but a year long lease. The other place she could do for the 9 or 10 months she needed it but at $830 a month - $110 more. $830 times say 9 months = $7470 for the year. $720 a month times 12 months = $8640 a year. Plus the more expensive apartment had a $200 non-refundable "administrative fee" that the other place did not have. A difference in total cost of $970 for the year.
We stopped and had lunch at a cute cafe and did all the math in my notebook. We also compared this to what it cost for housing and meal plans last year. Adding in our monthly estimates for electricity, internet and food and it was still about the same as dorm living. (obviously it would have been cheaper if DD had been able to share with someone, but that was getting too stressful to figure out and rely on). Grandma had also said do not worry if it costs the same as last year. (though of course we did worry about it)
We decided to make one last attempt to view a 1 bedroom at the other complex, but no one was in the office,still. Then we decided that DD should take the apartment she LOVED, so she called the guy back and told him she wanted to apply and he emailed her the link to the application, where she could apply online and pay the application fee online. She also found out that she could let someone else take over the lease for the last 2-3 months. That apparently is common there in town and certainly an option she will try to take advantage of, to save some money. I would think they will not have any problem filling these apartments, since they are new and a good price and that she probably wouldn't have any problems finding someone to do a lease takeover.
The apartment is about 5 miles from campus, but also near a bus stop, that she could take the bus to school to avoid paying a parking permit. It's all new, no one will have lived in it before her. She will have a cute little counter on the other side of the kitchen where she can put 2 bar stools for eating at, and not need to get a small dining table (there wouldn't be much room for a table). She's not getting tv, so will put the futon (or whatever we get) in the living room, along with her desk and bookshelf. The bedroom is decent sized and the bathroom is huge and also has a washer/dryer. Plus she will have privacy and no roommates. LOL.
She is so excited :)