One of the most exciting things about student life is moving into a place you can call your own. At the same time, finding the right place at the right price can be a stressful task.
Surprisingly, the best time to find a rental for the school year is in the spring, when students are finishing up the year and landlords are looking for new tenants. However, if you find yourself without a place to live in August or September, there are still deals to be found. For those who are last-minute hunters, here are a few tips to help any student find the right space:
• Do your research: Use online classifieds, like Kijiji.ca, as a starting point. Landlords and renters are constantly posting new ads. In fact, last year, the site saw a nearly six per cent increase, approximately 41,000 ads, from the start of August through to the end of September, so the summer months are still a great time to find something. If you find yourself stuck, be sure to check back often since new ads are posted every minute.
• Make a commitment: When you find an amazing spot, grab it. Signing a longer term lease will help you lock down the space and often means getting a better rate from the landlord. While some landlords in areas that are close to schools increase the rental prices as September approaches, signing a longer lease may give you more power when it comes to negotiating your rental rate.
• Consider an investment: If you or your family is in the position to purchase a property, it can be a worthy investment. By renting out the additional rooms, you can alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with higher education, while building equity at the same time. When it comes time to purchase, use an online classifieds site like Kijiji to find a home that's for sale by owner to minimize some of the costs associated with buying real estate.
John Graham is the head of real estate for Kijiji Canada. He is responsible for the overall product as well as the deployment of new initiatives for Canada's most visited real estate website.