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GREady: Get Ready for Graduate School

Do you want to attend graduate school? If the answer is yes, shift the gear in drive. This blog will help you 1) stay informed about graduate programs, 2) decide on graduate schools, 3) apply for graduate schools (including the GRE and personal statements), 4) prepare for interviews, 5) find funding and lots more. Although this site cannot guarantee a masters or doctoral position, it does promise that you will be a very competitive candidate for your desired program!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Housing Search-Part1


Attending graduate school can mean living in a new area that might be as different as moving to a foreign country. Part of a successful graduate school career is attributed to living in an apartment or home that is conducive to your learning style such that you will thrive academically, professionally and socially.

Before jumping straight into the apartment/house market, think of the type of environment you would like to spend a good chunk of time studying in. Is it quiet, noisy or a mix of both? Another excellent point to consider is the amount of money you are willing to pay for an apartment/house. If you are planning on living with roommates, the amount of rent you must pay will likely be lower. Also, transportation will play a major role in your final decision. Perhaps you own a car and require a parking space or maybe you plan to ride the bus and need to be near the bus line. It is extremely important if you plan to do science bench research that you understand that you might be in the laboratory late into the night, possibly the best housing location is near the university.

In addition to the above, it is important to have a prepared set of questions to ask the estate realtor or landlord(lady) prior to viewing the place. Here are a few questions that may serve as guidelines for your housing search:

1) How Many rooms are there? What types of rooms?
2) Is there a possibility for roommates?
3) How much is rent per person?
4) Are utilities covered or do I have to pay for them? If so, how much do utilities typically cost?
5) Is a washer/dryer included? If so, is it coin operated?
6) How big are the bedrooms and bathrooms?
7) What type of security do you offer (cameras, deadbolts, etc.)?
8) What type of heating do you have?
9) Is there a deposit?
10) Is there an application fee?
11) Is the rent at a fixed rate?
12) What type of amenities is offered?
a) pool
b) fitness center
c) air conditioner
d) central ac
e) cable
f) internet access
g) garbage
13) Is parking available?
14) Are there any association fees?
15) What is the neighborhood like? Quiet/noisy?
16) What is the crime rate in the neighborhood?
17) What type of lease is it? Year or month to month?
18) Are pets allowed to stay? If so, is there a pet deposit?
19) What type of tenants do you have? Undergraduates, graduates and/or professionals?
20) Is there a rent to own option? If so, how much would the rent increase by and what percent would go towards buying it?

In part 2 of this series, I will go over different search sites and options to get your housing search underway.

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