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Navigating a New Frontier: Finding the Right Approach to Off-Campus Housing

By Brady Wallace

Freshmen at Texas State University, who have spent their first year on campus, are now embarking on a new adventure: the search for off-campus housing for the upcoming fall semester, flooding local off-campus housing locations with traffic, and even more leases.

With the fall 2024 leasing season starting in the current fall semester, Freshmen are focused on finding the right off-campus living before they leave university housing.

“Our pre-leased percentage compared to last year is up 10 percent,” Leasing Coordinator Sydney Gonsoulin said. “I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we are seeing a high increase volume of freshmen coming to see our property.”

According to Gonsoulin, most freshmen who come on the property don’t know where to begin when it comes to the leasing process.

“This is why touring is so important,” Gonsoulin said. “It gives you time to ask all those questions and get information you might not know about leasing.”

San Marcos has over 30 apartments that are considered student housing complexes, varying in price, location, transportation and amenities offered to students.

“You want to find a community that is going to be right for you,” Gousillin said. “You want to make sure that you are involved and they know your name so you can get the quality care.”

Texas State University provides students will a digital off-campus housing locator on their website. This gives students a chance to see where they are located, what amenities they offer, and if they are on the bobcat shuttle.

“Finding an apartment complex that is close to campus is really important to me,” Freshman Jenna Cline said. “I am looking for something that is fully furnished and gives me lots of options for roommates.”

The University also provides students with access to an attorney for students to review leases before anything is signed to teach the structure of a lease and review for any errors.

“I never took a tour of the first apartment I lived in,” Senior Camryn Hughey said. “When I moved in that was the first time I ever saw the building. If I could go back, I would take one just to get a better idea of what I was getting myself into.”

Most off-campus housing locations provide individual leases, often known as a per-bed lease meaning tenants share a living space but are responsible for their assigned bedroom.

“I think freshmen should look for properties with lots of residential life activities so they can meet people in their community,” Gonsoulin said. “I also think that they should look for a community with a large academic success center because you will still need to focus on studying.”

Typically, internet and trash utilities will be included in the monthly rental installment. Other utilities such as water, sewer and electricity will be a separate charge that is based on a meter. Residents will either pay this through the landlord or the city.

“I feel like I knew what I wanted in an apartment when I started looking,” Cline said. “I was not aware of how soon the leasing period started and I had to start looking so soon.”

Most student housing complexes will provide students with fully furnished apartments, making it easier to transfer from the dorms into their complex.

“I like the complex I am in now compared to the one I signed a lease for as a freshman,” Hughey said. “I feel like if I took more tours touring at went to view the apartments in person, would’ve had a better experience my sophomore year.”

When touring, ask questions like the roommate matching process, how rent is paid, the subletting process and how rent is paid.

For more information visit the Texas State Off-Campus Housing Marketplace.

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