Students want to find the most affordable housing possible. Can we blame them? With tuition, facility fees and books, things can get expensive really quickly. Most colleges and universities require freshmen to live on campus. But, by the end of that first year, many find themselves searching for cheaper living arrangements elsewhere.
In addition to cost, other common reasons students choose to venture off campus include noise, limited space, strict rules, non-negotiable meal plans and roommate problems. Sigh no more, though. In this quick guide, we’ll show you where to find affordable apartments in Norman and help you prepare for any expenses during the transition.
Where to Find Affordable Apartments in Norman
With resources like Apartments.com, Zillow and Trulia at your fingertips, you can explore just about any area and its living options. You’ll first narrow your search by geographic location, budget and number of bedrooms.
However, finding the right apartment goes beyond the price tag. Sometimes the cheapest apartments don’t offer the best quality, while the most expensive apartments might be limited in space.
To help jumpstart your hunt, Northstar has five apartment communities in Norman that strike the perfect balance of quality and affordability. Each is strategically placed in an area of Norman that makes commuting easy for its residents.
For example, if you have a tight schedule but would love to run home in-between classes, Alameda Pointe is only eight minutes away from campus. Or, if you only have school 2-3 days out of the week and prefer quiet places to study, The Landing on 9 is a great option.
Another aspect you want to consider during your search is amenities. The majority of our apartments feature saltwater swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds and more. Click here to explore what each of our five Norman properties has to offer.
8 Expenses to Consider With Apartments
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to 2-3 apartments, it’s time to start scheduling tours. As you speak with leasing managers and begin learning more about the properties, you’ll want to take your other living expenses into consideration when weighing the total cost.
Here are some additional expenses to think about:
Landlords and leasing companies usually require a deposit in the case of potential damage to the apartment. During your tour, ask if the deposit is refundable and inquire about the factors that typically cause residents to lose it.
2. Renter’s Insurance
Some leasing companies require renter’s insurance while others don’t. Ask the leasing agent if it’s required and if they offer a resident discount. Typically, this will cost anywhere between $5 to $10 extra a month depending on the policy. If the apartment doesn’t require renter’s insurance, don’t shrug it off just yet. Depending on your belongings and how valuable they are, it might be wise to insure them just in case.
3. Washer and Dryer
The majority of apartments won’t come with washers and dryers in the unit. However, some do and others might have laundry facilities on premise. Ask the leasing agent if they have them in the apartments, and if not, if they have their own laundry facilities
If you have a pet, there will most likely be an extra deposit or monthly fee to let them stay in the apartment. Ask if pets are allowed, what the added cost would be, and if the apartment has special areas for pets to run around and play.
5. Uncovered Utilities
During your tour, ask if any utilities are included in the rent amount such as trash/sewer, water, gas, electric, cable or other services. If they are, score!
If you find yourself in the situation where you need to move, it’s good to know your apartment’s protocol. Ask the agent what the rules and costs are for breaking the lease, how it would affect your rental history and if they would allow you to sublease to another student.
Ready to Start Apartment Hunting?
Rent and utilities will often equal 30 to 50 percent of your monthly income. As a whole, aim for 30 percent but remember that safety trumps affordability. Financial aid can cover some of these costs, but not all of them. If you plan to live off-campus, you can’t afford to overlook any possibilities to save on housing.
Having a roommate or two can help cut the cost of rent, utilities, internet and food significantly. It can also boost your credit standing or lack of references when applying for apartments.
To keep yourself from being financially stressed, use a budgeting app like Mint to track how you’re spending your income. Identify your reoccurring expenses, arrange by priority and sync up due dates with your phone. Being proactive is the best way to make adjustments along the way and save more money in the long-term.
Have a Question About an Apartment We Mentioned?
If you’re ready to start apartment hunting, our team at Northstar Properties is here to help. Reach out to us today at any of our five Norman apartments and we’ll be happy to schedule a personal tour for you!
The Landing on 9 // 405-364-4862
Alameda Pointe // 405-701-3622
Savannah Ridge // 405-360-7887
Savannah Square // 405-321-0002
Savannah Harbor // 405-321-0002