Students find search for off-campus housing difficult

Next school year might be months away, but  Butler University juniors are already looking for off-campus housing.

Stephen Small, a junior pharmacy major, said the whole process snuck up on him and his future housemates.

They began the search in the first couple weeks of September.

“It has been hard for juniors [to find houses off campus],” Small said. “I can’t imagine what it will be like for [the current] sophomores next year.”

He said the financial aspect was part of the struggle—some houses were pricey but poor in quality.
To him it seemed like the closer the house is to campus, the higher the price is.

“The highest price that we came across was $700 [per person per month], and that was right next to Clowes [Memorial] Hall,” Small said.

Small said some landlords can be difficult to work with, texting instead of talking to the students and raising prices that don’t match the house quality.

“Look out for people treating students like college students and not adults,” Small said.
Scott Jacobson, a local landlord, said he is open to renting to students instead of looking at them as a problem.

“For the 10 houses we have near Butler, I much prefer renting to students for a variety of reasons,” he said.

“While others may shy away from having students as tenants, I’ve found Butler students in general to be more responsible and respectful tenants than perhaps others may assume students to be.”

Jacobson also said that he is amazed at how quickly students race each fall to secure a place to live for the next year.

“This has been a pretty busy last month for me, but it’s great because I’d much rather go through the process now than in March,” he said.

Doug Howell, associate director of residence life, said residence life makes the Apartment Village an option for seniors and that process will begin Nov. 7.

“I have heard from students that they are approached pretty early, like around move-in day or the year before, about off-campus houses,” Howell said.

Howell said he has heard of  roommates having a falling out when someone is rushing last minute to find another living option.

He said that residence life can accommodate students in situations like this and the student can live in AV.

Howell said a majority of people do take their time and don’t rush a decision.

Once students sign a lease, Howell said they are locked into the agreement.

Marcy Thornsberry, a junior theater major and one of Small’s future housemates, said she and Small actually looked for houses with “for rent” signs and that the whole search process was overwhelming.

“Houses that we were considering would be rented in the time from when I called the landlord to the day when we had an appointment to see it,” she said. “I felt like the houses were flying off the shelves sometimes. It was stressful at times.”

Thornsberry said prospective students should think ahead before looking.

“My advice would be to start early,” she said. “Get a reliable group together. Look for houses in your price range, and know how close or far you want to be from campus. Get a good landlord.”

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