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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!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Housing Search-Part 2


This is the second part to Housing Search Basics. So now that you know the types of questions you should landlords(ladies) and reality agents, you need to know where to start looking for housing.

1) Look at Rental and Housing Advertising Magazines and Newspapers. I know this seems like an obvious one; however, by checking out these sources, you will have a better idea of what the housing/apartment market is like and the types of amenities you can expect. A good place to look for housing magazines and newspapers can be at local bookstores (Barnes & Nobel, Borders, etc.), grocery stores, near mall entrances, gas stations, and even motels/hotels.

2) Craig’s List. Did you know that more people advertise and search for housing and employment on Craig’s List than any newspaper? Advertising on Craig’s list is free and the best part of it is that you can access it from your home computer. Craig’s list usually states whether or not the housing building will allow for cats and dogs. Also, it provides contact numbers to the sellers or landlords(ladies) so that you can ask questions or make an appointment to view the place. Remember, you always want to view the place before making a commitment so that you will get a feel for it and know exactly how you will fit with the rest of the tenants and community.

3) Rent.com. This is a great starting place. Rent.com will match apartments and other types of housing based off of specifications by you. For example, on the website’s side button (left), you can fill out a general price range, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want, and if you need a place that accepts pets. In addition, you can fill in if you expect to have roommates and what move-in date you are looking at. If you find a housing arrangement with Rent.com and mention it to the landlord/seller, you might be eligible to have a rent deduction of $100 for the first month!

4) Apartments.com. Apartments.com works a little differently than Rent.com. To start your search, you must click on the state you will be living in and then check off the city in a provided list. This site is beneficial because it narrows your search based on location so that if you wish to live near the universities, the website will only look for places in that vicinity. In addition to stating how many beds/baths and rent range you would like, you have the option of being more specific with the types of desired and community features.

5) Apartmentguide.com . This website works similarly to Rent.com and will be easy to get a good sized list of apartments, houses and condos. You might want to start your housing search here as it sometimes will provide you with rental coupons and online tours of the housing unit.

6) Ask friends & family in your graduate school area what types of neighborhoods are good and which ones will fit in with your lifestyle. Sometimes sellers do not list housing units in newspapers or online so in order to view the scope of apartments/houses on the market you need to view the neighborhood, preferably by car. Be sure to have a good map, a paper tablet, pen and if possible a cell phone. If you find a housing unit that is up for rent or on the market, write down the contact number and the street address. You might want to contact that person right away to set up a viewing time, hence, the cell phone. I know this search method is a bit of a pain and not as convenient as looking up on a computer but you might be passing up on a perfect apartment/house that the owner never advertised in the paper or apartment websites.

7) Ask your program coordinator and faculty advisor/members. Hey, what better people to ask than those from your program. They understand the stresses on incoming students and the necessity to find a place that will be conducive to their learning. Perhaps they know of a great apartment community that many students from your grad program are staying at or a nice community of scholars and/or professionals.

8) Check the graduate school website out. Sometimes graduate schools’ will post a list of communities that are looking for graduate students in particular. This will only cost a few minutes of your time and is well worth the investment.

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