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Freshman 101: Your Guide To Apartment Hunting In State College

It’s the most wonderful horrible time of the year: apartment hunting season.

Finding an affordable apartment that fits your needs can feel intimidating, especially if this is your first time braving State College real estate. Even if it isn’t your first time apartment hunting, the task may seem daunting. You aren’t alone in this feeling, and we’re here to help.

Google Search

This may seem trivial but starting with Google is the place to begin. Simply searching “State College apartments” will provide dozens of options downtown and further off campus.

Take a look at the search results and jot down a few that sound appealing. Make sure to write down the office contact information, too. Many apartments will allow you to schedule an apartment tour so you can walk through a model room.

Evaluate What’s Best For You

There are dozens of options in State College for student living. One vital question to ask is, “Do I want to live downtown or further away?”

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, so decide what’s best for you and your schedule. If you are worried about living further away from campus, the CATA bus system is extremely valuable and reliable for commuter students, so don’t fear how you’re going to get to and from campus.

If you already have roommates you would like to live with, make sure to discuss with them what their parameters are. You might find that your needs don’t exactly align, and you may need to reevaluate.

Facebook Is Your Friend

If you don’t have roommates lined up just yet, don’t worry. This may come as a surprise, but Facebook apartment groups are one of the best ways to find apartments that aren’t as widely known and find roommates.

Whether you’re looking for a new roommate, a new apartment, or a sublet, you’re most likely to have the best luck in a Facebook group. Many times, you’ll get lucky and see pictures of the unit itself, which gives you an insider view of the complexes you’re interested in.

Here are a few to begin with:

This list is by no means comprehensive, but these groups are active weekly and a great place to start.

Take A Walk Downtown

For freshmen planning to live downtown next year, a walk downtown is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area and look at apartment buildings to see what’s appealing to you.

Take a few friends downtown and walk around the apartments, noting those that you find interesting. Some apartments will allow students to tour a model room without a prior appointment (this depends on the apartment, though).

Talk To Upperclassmen

Sometimes the best way to learn about the State College apartment scene is by talking to an upperclassman or a friend. Hearing other’s advice on their experience is extremely helpful and will allow you to learn the details of living in an apartment downtown and off-campus so you can make an educated decision.

Before and after class, try and talk to neighbors about apartments you may be thinking about. Most will be more than willing to talk about their experience and their recommendations for where to start.

You Aren’t Alone

Finding an apartment isn’t easy, but it is possible. Everyone on campus has to go through the process of finding student housing during their time at Penn State. No matter what, you’ll find a place to live. It may not be your first choice, but you’ll probably have a bed at the end of the day.

Talk to others, do research, and tour apartments until you find the one that meets all your needs.

Take a deep breath because you’ve got this.

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About the Author

Gracie Mullan

Gracie is a senior from Delaware County, Pa, studying telecommunications with a minor in English. In her free time, Gracie likes to read, write, and drink coffee. Get in touch with Gracie on her Instagram @gracie.mullan and for more formal inquiries [email protected].

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