Living off-campus can be exhausting for a lot of students, especially when they commute from far. However, there are a lot of perks of living off-campus which you cannot get by living on-campus. Living by yourself allows you to grow as an adult and prepares you for the real world after you graduate. Learning life skills such as cooking, cleaning, unclogging a toilet, repairing small issues in your house, using kitchen appliances, etc. can contribute towards your growth as these are some of the essentials in life that everyone should be able to do. Living by yourself will also help you improve on your time management skills, as well as budgeting and managing your bank account.
There are a lot of misconceptions about students living off-campus not getting the college experience. Yes, living off-campus could you from getting the ‘traditional’ college experience but it shouldn’t stop you from still taking advantage of all that the campus has to offer. With more than 350 clubs and organizations active on campus, off-campus students can take advantage of them just as much as the students on-campus. Just because you commute doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved on campus!
If you are currently looking to move off-campus or looking for a new place if you’re already off-campus, here are some of the steps you can take before you start searching:
- Prepare your budget
- Make a list of all the amenities you want
- Look for furniture
- Research on how a lease works
- Decide a location
- Decide what kind of place you are looking for (Apartment, Townhouse, Condo, etc.)
- List of people you want to room with or a list of qualities you are looking for in a roommate
After you have a basic idea about what you are looking for, you can go ahead and use our off-campus housing finder which is highly recommended because it is tailored towards Mason students. Our housing finder is a website www.och.gmu.edu and you will need to create an account using your mason live e-mail. You can also look through the website without creating an account, but it will limit you from accessing the contact details of the landlords and you will not be able to access the roommate feature. Once you have created an account, you can choose to create your roommate profile and connect with other people who are looking for housing as well. When you navigate through the website, you can select which campus you want to live close to, and then it will take you to a page filled with listings. At the top of the page, there are different criteria you can select to narrow down your search, such as amenities, community features, furniture, distance to campus, etc. Once you find a place you are looking for, you can click on it and contact the landlord to arrange a tour.
We also have many resources available to your right on this website! Check out our budget worksheet, renters rights and responsibilities, roommate questionnaire, and much more!
We hope this information is helpful for your housing search. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our office and we will be more than happy to assist you with your search!