It’s getting to be the time where the novelty of living in the residences halls is wearing off for freshmen and the excitement of possibilities for next year is growing. Whether it’s a fraternity or sorority, apartment or house, almost everyone has begun to plan their future living arrangements.
For those not going Greek and who hope to lease next year, it is almost the season for pre-leasing. Pre-leasing is when a person puts a deposit down on a house or apartment but doesn’t plan on living in it for at least four months.
Tom Orlando, a real estate agent for Four Star Realty and Property Management, Inc. in Boulder, warns that pre-leasing may not be necessary if you do not have a specific house in mind.
“If you are looking for a very specific property then it is good to pre-lease, but other than that you are typically paying a premium,” Orlando said. A premium is a fee that you have to pay with the regular payments, and unlike a deposit you do not get it back.
The prospect of finding a place to live next year can be a difficult and confusing process.
“I’m probably living in a sorority next year, but if I did need to live in a house I would have no clue where to start,” said Hillary Dudek, an 18-year-old freshman MCD biology major currently living in Sewall Hall.
Pre-leasing does not normally start until around the beginning of the new year. While students may wish to have concrete living plans already, the houses that are going to become available in the fall of 2010 don’t normally even begin showings until mid-January.
“I’ve thought about thinking about my housing arrangement,” said Matt Sanders, an 18-year-old freshmen open-option major.
This may be the right mentality, seeing as most realtors are trying to lease houses for the spring semester before they concern themselves with plans for August. But for those who do plan on leasing, it is important that they start looking at what they want or need from their home next year.
Orlando said now is the time to start thinking about what you want, but available houses won’t be showing up for a while.
“After the first of the year, they start coming in February more and more,” Orlando said.
There are many elements that come into play when selecting a future place to live: the number of roommates, whether or not you want pets, which amenities are essential to you, and location, location, location.
While many people think the normal progression is to leave the dorms and go to the Hill, this is not the case for many students. Boulder has many regions where there is a large student population and rent isn’t nearly as high.
“I want to live in a house, but not on the Hill. It’s too expensive,” Sanders said.
Outside of the Hill, there are many students living in the Table Mesa area and Goss Grove neighborhood, which is home to students from both CU and nearby Naropa University. Both of these areas have a high density of college-age residents looking for places without paying sky-high rent.
Those looking for a quieter lifestyle will find many residential neighborhoods in south and east Boulder that have numerous rental properties. Outdoor enthusiasts can check out the Flatiron Foothills, although they may end up paying just as much as they would for a house on the Hill to get the views and nearby trails.
For those looking to save themselves some money, and possibly stress, the apartment lifestyle could be the right choice. With amenities ranging from pools and saunas to fitness centers and cafés in the building system, apartments can offer things that no one house has, including early pre-leasing.
“I’m looking at apartments, and I’ve already put down a lease,” said Paige Mowery, an 18-year-old freshmen speech and language major.
“I’m excited because the apartments are still really close to campus, like one-tenth of a mile away,” Mowery said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Halie Noble at Halie.email@example.com.
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