Many Oregon State University students have begun searching for housing for the next academic year and are preparing their future living arrangements as in-person learning will begin again this fall.
Although many students typically move off campus after their first year at OSU due to the size of the space and the cost of on-campus residence halls, Associate Director of University Housing and Dining Services Jennifer Viña said via email that UHDS is always striving to provide affordable housing options for students.
“We know housing is an important factor in the cost in funding a college education and we don’t want students to miss out on the advantages of living on campus due to cost,” Viña said. “For that reason we offer several rates for room and board, including economy triple rooms and lower cost dining plans to help provide options to meet a student’s budget.”
A Cauthorn Economy Triple Room is typically $2,280 per term without discount, and Dining Plan 5 — available only to second-year students and up — is $700 per term.
UHDS also offers discounted rates for second-year and continuing OSU students, saving students $1,200 per year, or $400 per term. Continuing students also receive up to a 20% discount on food on campus. Amenities such as laundry, internet, utilities and cleaning services are also available.
For students who are first-time renters, or still relatively new to renting, Tammy Barnhouse from Northwest Realty Consultants in Corvallis, Ore. highly recommends reading the criteria on property managers’ websites. Craigslist is a viable option, but Barnhouse said via email that they may not always have the most up-to-date information.
One piece of criteria that a renter should keep in mind when searching for a home is that their monthly income should be three times the amount of the monthly rent.
“If they don’t meet the criteria, which most first-year students would not, then we have options for additional security deposit or for them to get a co-signer,” Barnhouse said. “All sources of income, as long as it is legitimate income, count towards the usual criteria of three times the monthly
rent for income.”
Barnhouse also recommends reading the lease agreement in its entirety as it is very important that students understand what they are responsible for and what the landlord is responsible for.
The Retreat at Corvallis is a student apartment complex located near the OSU campus, at 700 Chickadee St. Tracy Khang, leasing and marketing manager for the Retreat said via email that, in general, students should do significant
research about properties.
“[Students] should read thoroughly through their website and always ask questions,” Khang said. “No question is a dumb question when you’re a first-time renter.”
Dawn Duerksen from Duerksen and Associates, Inc. said that one important thing for first-time renters to keep in mind is their available budget. Renters should also understand what a budget means and to be conscientious about how much is available in their bank account.
Duerksen also suggests for renters to really know who they are living with.
“I wouldn’t want to live with somebody that I didn’t know,” Duerksen said. “Some people are comfortable with that, so maybe understanding who you’re living with and how long you have known them and get to know them before you live with them and understand what their budget is.”
Gary Rodgers, also with Northwest Realty Consultants, attended OSU as a student in the 1970s before becoming a realtor. As such, he said that he is familiar with the anxiety and issues that commonly comes with renting
housing as a student.
“People need to be ambitious about finding a place,” Rodgers said. “Don’t be afraid to get out and walk the streets, look for signs, check every different place around.”
Rodgers said a lot of the people who rent out are using Craigslist. Although it is more than fine to use Craigslist, he said that students should be careful with any website so that they aren’t scammed.
Other issues that students may face include the property itself.
Rodgers said that old homes oftentimes have old pipes. Water pressure may not be optimal in some homes, as in his experience with housing. Heating may not be available in all new housing, another concern that students should be aware of and confirm with respective landlords.
“Always go over to the property before you rent it,” Rodgers said.