Leave the Dorm Life Behind and Rent an Apartment​

It’s the time of year for college students to start searching for a new apartment before the fall semester begins. Many students who are looking for apartments are moving out of their parents’ home for the first time or trying to leave the dorm life behind.

Leave the Dorm Life Behind and Rent an Apartment

Getting your very own apartment can be exciting and scary for students who are first time renters. Perks to living in off-campus housing is that it can be a less expensive option compared to living in the dorm with a meal plan, your move-in and move-out dates are more flexible, you don’t have late night curfews, you can have your friends visit, and if there are any problems you can speak directly with your apartment rental company.

We have developed some informational tips to help make the renting process less stressful and more effective to get you in your new apartment as soon as possible.

college students collaborating

Start with your Apartment Search

Before you leave the dorm life behind, make sure you have a list of prepared questions to ask the leasing agent and/or landlord when you are viewing an apartment. Some key items and facts you should ask about are when rent is due and if the landlord accepts late payments, what utilities are included in the rent, any additional fees per month or with the application, lengths of leases, move in/move out forms, parking and local transportation, guidelines for decorating your apartment, maintenance upkeep and what are the penalties for breaking a lease.  Keep the location of the apartment in mind compared to your school, shops, groceries, and more.

college student working on project

Rent Payment and Budget

It’s a good idea to sit down and calculate your expected living costs and decide how much money you can actually afford for rent. Be sure to calculate your living costs and include food, utilities, cell phone bill, cable and Internet. This way, you won’t make the mistake of signing a lease on the high side and then realize you can’t afford to pay your rent and your expenses. If you are taking out a loan, this will also help you decide how much you will need. Many landlords will require you to have a co-signer on the lease if you are a first time renter and haven’t established credit or have a poor credit history. A co-signer is someone that takes full responsibility for your apartment and rent should you be unable to pay.

college students


A great way to save money is to rent an apartment with a roommate. This helps cut expenses like rent, food, utility bills, electric bills, and more. Make sure to write a detailed list of what kind of roommate you are looking for. Many students share an apartment with a friend or fellow classmate who they are compatible with and who you know are responsible. When looking for a roommate ask lots of questions to get to know if you will be compatible when living together.  What are your common interests, work and school schedules, find out if they are financially stable, are they were ever late on an assignment, job, or bill, and find out how the chores and bill payments will be divided. You should always be cautious with who you rent an apartment with, you don’t want one person leaving abruptly and leaving you stuck with the rent bill.

Apartment Checklist

Not sure what you need for your first apartment? Before moving in to your new place it’s essential to create a checklist of items you will need prior to moving in. We also recommend you bring a measuring tape with you when you view an apartment so you can find furniture that will fit properly. Be sure to take a careful look at your apartment and the building so you will know where your laundry and parking is located, and how much storage you have in your apartment.

college student holding books

NH’s Apartment Rental Leaders: When looking for your apartment, Red Oak Apartment Homes can make your life a lot easier. We have over 1,900 apartments in 7 NH towns. We have the biggest variety of styles, locations, and prices in southern New Hampshire. Our favorable rents make it easy to live in an apartment while attending college. Text us at 603-668-8282.

Our Facebook page is filled with useful tips for living the Red Oak Life.  Follow us on Twitter. Want to see what you might expect in an apartment? Red Oak has guided apartment tours on our YouTube Channel.

Discover New Hampshire:  Resources for you!

Intown Manchester: Helpful guide to shopping, dining, entertainment, attractions, festivals & events, sporting events, happening all around Manchester, NH.

Encorebuzz: Informs you of all the events, restaurant reviews, shows, and more around Southern NH

nhinfo: Great information for attractions, destinations, and entertainment all over New Hampshire

At Red Oak, we provide our customers with helpful information to make their apartment search successful and dependable.

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