After four years of Hopkins, you probably know Charles Village apartments like the back of your hand. But finding and renting an apartment may be a little trickier in a new city and without quite so much parental (and Off Campus House Office!) guidance.
Tips for Apartment Hunting:
- Know your price range ahead of time, and stick to it!
- Know your location. Is it important for you to be near public transportation? Where are the nearest grocery stores in that area? What is the crime rate?
- What are the local colleges and universities in the area? Many of them have off-campus housing sites that are accessible to the public or via guest account that can help you search for low-cost housing
- Walk in the apartment. Pictures online don’t cut it. Once you have narrowed your options down to a couple of apartments, go through the specifics: which outlets don’t work? do all the major appliances run smoothly? what about the locks? Bring these details to the attention of your prospective landlord to make sure these problems will be fixed before you move in.
Many leases have provisions and terms that aren’t necessarily expected. The University of Pittsburgh’s Off Campus Housing Guide is an excellent resource for general renting expectations and obligations from looking for apartments to after signing the lease.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when reviewing the lease that might not be so obvious:
- Terms and Expectations
- What are you expectations as a tenant in regards to cleaning, recycling, and disposing of waste? Painting, building, and decorating?
- How do you handle broken or faulty apartment features?
- What is their policy on long-term visitors and subletters?
- Are pets allowed?
- Are there penalties for breaking the lease?
- How do you make sure you get your security deposit back?
- Are there any “hidden” fines you should know about (noise, mess, etc)?
- What security measures are in place?
- Are you allowed to install your own safety measures?
- Before signing the lease, go over any questions or unclear points in the lease with your landlord. Consider reviewing the Maryland Attorney General’s guide to managing a relationship with your landlord and Hopkins’ off campus housing guide to landlords as well.
Cooking After College
Ramen noodles and frozen pizza can only take you so far. Learning how to cook for yourself is a lifelong skill and can save you money in the long run. Not sure what to cook? Not sure how? Here are some resources to help get your acquainted with your kitchen and awaken your inner chef.
- Guiltless Cooking has recipes indexed by their most prominent ingredient, and provides nutritional information for each recipe to help you stay on top of your health.
- Post-Grad cooking tips http://www.the-postgrad.com/2011/06/postgrad-cooking-tips/
- Grad Gastronomy has tips for “making time to cook on a grad school budget”
- Easy Healthy Cooking
- Big Girls Small Kitchen is a guide to “quarter life cooking”
- Check out the recipes from the Food Network TV show “Ten Dollar Dinners.”
- Need a bigger selection? 100 Cooking Blogs for Students is the ultimate list of student and post-grad friendly food blogs.