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We are now concluding Week 3 of Winter Quarter. Though it’s only January – now is the time to be thinking about your housing situation for next school year. Whether you are moving out of the dorms or deciding to live with new friends,this guide should help jump start your search.
Questions for deciding who to live with:
- How many people do I want to live with?
- Are they clean?
- Are they dating or in a relationship? Are you?
- What is your comfort level with having guests stay overnight?
- Do you want a friend or just someone to share a living space with?
- Do they like to play loud music?
- Do they want a TV with cable?
- Will you keep everything in the fridge separate? Share and split grocery bills? Toiletries?
- How often would you be OK with throwing parties? Or having people over in general?
Questions for picking a place to live:
- What is my rent budget?
- What type of lease is it? (Majority are 1 year leases)
- Do I want to share a room or have my own? Bathroom?
- House? Apartment? Townhouse? Co-op?
- How close is it to campus? To restaurants? To grocery stores?
- Which bus lines come by? How often?
- Will I or my roommate have a car?
- Is there parking spaces? Is there a fee?
- Laundry? Internet? Other amenities?
Learning from my friend’s living situations I discovered my preferences. I knew that I wanted my own room. I like staying up late and talking on the phone in bed until I fall asleep and wouldn’t want to bother anyone. I like my space. I wanted to live with just one other person. My friends who lived in threes or more would have issues especially with food and cleaning. There would always be some confusion of who’s dirty dishes were laying about or who’s turn it was to take out the trash or who finished the last of their orange juice. Living with just one other person makes things simpler. I wanted a two bedroom 1 bath apartment like my friends Sharon and Kristen had. I knew their total rent was about $1300/month. I found one for under $1000! Very spacious. It’s also right by downtown, a 15 min walk to campus, 10 min bike ride and bus lines to the MU and Silo.
I actually met my roommate Melanie through Craigslist because the girl I originally signed my lease with got into Cal and decided to go there instead. It worked out perfectly. We both have the same interests and aesthetics and the same expectations in a living situation. Furnishing and decorating the apartment was fun. We share internet with our neighbors. We decided against a TV since we watch all our favorite shows online anyways and at our own convenience. We keep food separate but also cook and share with each other. This year I don’t see her as much now that she has a boyfriend but we still make time to hang out during the week.
After you figure out exactly what you want you can start comparing your top choices with each other. Set up appointments to visit in person. I remember freshman year around this time, I only went on the Tandemonium tour and let my friends take the lead in deciding housing. It’s really important to ask yourself these questions before signing a lease.
The site where I found my apartment and also found the most useful was the ASUCD Community Housing Listing. Popular options are Craigslist, Uloop, Marketplace and of course UC Davis Student Housing. I would DavisWiki apartments for reviews.
Did you see the new sustainable student housing they’re building for next fall? Ramble Apartments:
Looks pretty cool. I’m sure with the price to match as well. Anyways, good luck on your search! If you have any advice to add on about picking places to live and people to live with – sound off in the comments!