When it comes to moving off campus, one should first consider the kind of residence they are looking for. Is it a house? Apartment? Townhome? These are all great options and can help you take that first step to finding somewhere to live. Of course, what kind of residence you want to live in can be determined by your wants and needs in other areas.
Budget and expenses are probably one of the most important things to consider. You should think about what you can afford and what you can’t. Will it be a two-story home in South Oakland or one of those luxury apartments on Forbes Ave.? Will you cook for yourself or consider having a meal plan? What utilities are included in rent? What utilities are you responsible for on your own?
It may be comical to constantly hear those couples on “House Hunters” always emphasizing location, location and location — but it really is that important. Generally, residences closer to campus are more expensive than those that are a little further away. Can you walk, bike or bus to campus depending on your location? Does the neighborhood have other students living in proximity? Most Pitt students choose to live in Oakland during their time here, as most residences are walking distance from campus. But if you do choose to leave the neighborhood, you should consider whether or not you need a car. Is the neighborhood safe? Is it a family neighborhood? What stores or restaurants are close in proximity?
An important way to afford your rent every month is by having the exact number of roommates that the residence is meant to have. If it is a five bedroom home, aim to find four other roommates. You should take the process of picking roommates carefully. How many roommates is too many for you?