Off-Campus Living Guide
The purpose of this guide is to ensure commuter students have a successful off-campus experience while attending Meredith College. Students have varied reasons to live off-campus. We want to make sure you have references and resources to meet your needs.
Step 1: Decide what you can afford to pay each month. Complete a prospective monthly budget.
Step 2: Decide if you want to live alone or with housemates. Sharing a house or apartment with a roommate is a great way to keep expenses down.
Step 3: Decide what type of housing you want.
Questions to ask include:
• Do you want to live somewhere that has a lot of other students?
• Do you need a place that’s furnished?
• Are you going to have a pet?
• How long do you want to be committed to a lease?
• How much space do you need?
• Do you want certain amenities, such as a pool, garage or exercise facilities?
The answers to all of these questions will help you determine if you would be more suited to renting an apartment, a condominium, a townhouse or a home.
Step 4: Do some comparison research.
Once you’ve decided the type of property you are interested in, you can consult the right information source. For information specifically regarding apartment communities, consult the Apartment Section on this site or the Raleigh Apartment Finder. Call the Raleigh Police at (919) 343-3602 for crime statistics of specific areas.
Step 5: Narrow your search, and begin visiting properties. Generate a list of your top 5-10 picks, and call them to schedule an appointment to visit the property. (Remember, many offices are closed or have limited hours on weekends.) If you are going to have roommates, make sure they go along with you.
Once you’re there, ask about flooding, incidences of crime, parking regulations and the upkeep of the premises. Make sure to ask if there is a deposit, and if it’s refundable or not.
Examine the outside of the complex; is it in good repair? Ask if the terms of the lease are negotiable (3, 6, 9 or 12 months; sub-letting allowed?).
Understand the “rules” of the house/community regarding noise, visitors, smoking, parking, pets, etc.
Understand what repairs/damages you responsible for and which are the responsibility of the manager/owner. If you’re looking at apartments, make sure you ask to see the exact apartment you will be getting, and not just the model.
Based on the information you’ve gathered, and your overall impression of the places you’ve visited, you should now be able to select a property.
Step 6: Before you sign that lease...read it carefully!
Also, realize that you may need a co-signer/guarantor (such as a parent) in order to secure a lease. A lease is a legally binding agreement. Should you break your lease, you are still responsible for paying the rent even if you are no longer there. The property manager/owner is not able to make allowances for roommate conflicts - if a roommate leaves, the person who signed the lease is responsible for the entire rent payment. It is your right to have the property manager/owner go over your lease with you. Ask them to do so.
Step 7: Your search is over, now what?
Time to get set-up in your new home! See the utilities section on this site for information on setting up your utilities, phone service, cable, and newspaper service, as well as how get renter’s insurance, and how to make your new home as secure as possible.
Renter’s insurance is a policy that provides protection and compensation for your personal property if it is destroyed or stolen. Renter's insurance covers personal property that is damaged by fire, smoke, vandalism, water and hail and windstorms.
Renter’s insurance also protects you from accountability if an accident occurs in your dwelling. If an emergency requires you to vacate your home, the renter’s insurance may cover temporary living expenditures. With most policies, each tenant of an apartment must have her own renter’s insurance policy.
Time Warner Cable
2505 Atlantic Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27604
Carolina Power & Light Co.
1-800-452-2777 / (919) 508-5400
Garbage/Recycling (Within City Limits)
Raleigh City Sanitation Department
P.O. Box 590
Raleigh, NC 27602-0590
Public Service Company of North Carolina
1720 Hillsborough St.
P.O. Box 1349
Raleigh, NC 27602
1-800-767-2355 / (919) 780-2355
City of Raleigh Water and Sewer Division
Capital Area Transit (CAT) and the CATconnector system provide service on 18 fixed bus routes, seven fixed route CATconnectors and one demand-responsive service zone.
Meredith students, faculty and staff can ride CAT buses for free through the UPASS program. Click here for more information.
Where do I catch the bus? Bus stop signs are located all along the routes. Many of the stops also post the schedules of the routes serving that stop. If there is not a sign near where you wish to get on, don’t worry. The drivers will stop for passengers anywhere it is safe to do so. Please be at your stop a few minutes early–the bus will be there within five minutes of the scheduled time.
If you are interested in one of the other communities in the Raleigh area, visit the chamber of commerce web site for that town.