How much should I expect to pay?
The right place doesn’t have to be the most expensive. It takes persistence to find something that meets your needs and budget. Average rent in Provo varies, but for singles' housing, it is generally somewhere around $350 in Fall/Winter and $150 in Spring/Summer.
Look out for...
- Undetailed expenses: Parking permits, utilities, cleaning fees, security deposits, and other down payments may make a low rate more expensive than a slightly higher, all-inclusive rate. Some managements claim a low rent fee, then charge more for other random amenities. Be sure to inquire about the utilities you'll be responsbile for paying, then ask the current tenants how much they pay on average for them.
- Yearlong contracts: If your plans change, contracts that require a yearlong lease can be difficult to sell. Management will often tell you otherwise, but quite often, students end up paying rent for a place they aren’t occupying.
- Confusion over utilities: While many utility payments are included in the rent payment, some utility expenses are charged to an account that’s set up by a tenant. Be sure to set up the account quickly and to develop a method of collecting money from your roommates.
- Laundry resources: Does your apartment have a washer/dryer, or is there a coin-op laundromat nearby? Ask about laundromat rates, if necessary, and see if it would be more or less expensive to find a place with a built-in washing machine and dryer. Consider any increases in rent, utilities, and a monthly estimate of your laundry costs at a coin-op place.
- Walk score: If you're wondering about the quality of the apartment you're considering, then check out Walk Score. This website provides detailed information about your apartment options, such as commute time, public transportation, the neighborhood, and other nearby resources (such as grocery stores). Walk Score may be particularly helpful to married and graduate students.
- Transit score: Will you be needing public transportation to reach campus, the grocery store, etc? The Transit Score measures the public transportation access to a certain area. Click here to learn more about this patented method.
- Renter's Insurance: Do you own valuable objects, such as a musical instrument, technology, precious jewelry, antiques, expensive appliances, etc? Could you afford to replace these items if they were damaged in an apartment fire or stolen by a burglar (or even your roommate)? While renter's insurance may not be necessary for everyone, it can be a valuable protection for your personal belongings. Check out this article from the Insurance Information Institute to learn more and to find out what policies and discounts are right for you.
Where do I start?
Ask friends and family for ideas and referrals, and remember the importance of timing. Some Fall/Winter contracts at larger complexes are for sale up to six months in advance. Spring/Summer housing is considerably less expensive. The online resources listed below are helpful, but talking to friends and looking around yourself can be much more effective.
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