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Last year I had an incredible time planning how I would live in my dorm, living in my dorm, and leaving my dorm. There were things I grew to love, and of course, things I grew to hate about living in an on-campus apartment and long story short, this year I am living in a house right off-campus. While the past few weeks (even months technically) have been pretty stressful preparing myself and my housemates for move-in, the time has also been incredibly exciting and worthwhile. As a clear veteran of the off-campus living experience, having done it for about a month, I figured I could share some tips and a little bit of a timeline for the whole process.


It was about November of the year prior to my off-campus move (which I will refer to as Month B.H {before house} ) when myself and my then-current roommates started to look for a place to live next year. Believe it or not, the searching process really does need to start as soon as possible. Not only will you have more options to choose from, but everyone starts to look pretty early and the more favorable locations leave the market quickly. After months and months of searching, contacting and getting no response, we found a place that we really liked, only a few minutes from the Village.


In March B.H, we signed our lease! It required the submission of a security deposit, and an adult to cosign for each of us, but we got it done and secured a place to live. We were able to come to a final decision because this place met many of our somewhat-high standards.


Distance to Campus

  • Our home needed to be in walking distance, and ABSOLUTELY within the Fryft zone


Newness of the House

  • We wanted a new place, and were able to find a house that wasn’t even finished construction yet


Utilities Inclusion

  • Our house / leasing company needed to include utilities in the lease because we did not feel like setting up water and power.


After signing, we got to take a little bit of a break, up until about July B.H. In late summer, we made sure to confirm that our place would be ready to move in to, which is of course a concern for a house that hasn’t been fully constructed yet, but also for off-campus housing in general. Something that we did not love, but that almost all houses featured, was that we had to furnish it. So, around this time we all scoured Amazon, Ikea and Facebook marketplace to figure out how we would be sleeping, lounging and eating. With our links saved and our carts filled, we waited until about a week before move-in day to place our orders so that they would be there once we landed in LA. 


Finally, it was time to move-in. On Day 1, we rented a U-Haul to gather our things that we stored over the summer, but also to scoop up the purchases we had made that required pickup (FB marketplace couches and beds). We could have planned our route a little bit better, as the journey we took around LA was longer than it needed to be and a small bit fuel inefficient, but by the end of the day, our house was almost a home. 


Ever since then, we have been doing the little things. The last main mission we needed to complete was our Wi-Fi, which some homes come with, but after that it has been small tasks such as decorating, buying more tools for our kitchen, or setting up our basketball net. Luckily, we are most likely going to resign our lease and save most of the stress from this past year. Still, I wish you the best of luck as you find your home, wherever or however that may be.

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