Adulting 101: Signing a Lease

So it’s your freshman year, and the fall semester is already winding down. You have a thriving social life, and you are doing great (or maybe not so great) grade-wise. Now it’s time to add yet another thing to your plate leading up to finals week… leases.

Yep. You read right. It’s time to start looking for a place to live next fall!

We want to make sure you newbies have all of your ducks in a row leading up to Christmas break. Here are five tips to tackling this daunting task:

1.  Start early

The sooner you get the wheels in motion the sooner the stress of finding a place will disappear. This is not to say that you should rush. Be sure to take all the time you need to make a smart decision. Some of the best deals on rent happen early on.

2.  Lock in your roommate(s)

Roommates are either the best part of your college experience, or they’re the exact opposite. If you live with friends, come to terms that you may not be friends at the end of the year. Make sure you talk about your expectations and desires early on to make things easier moving forward.

3. Set a budget

Talk to your families about how much they’re willing to pay before you sign any lease. Make sure you and your future roommate(s) are in agreement. Remember to ask about what utilities are included, what deposits you have to make, and what amenities (pool, gym, tanning beds, furniture, etc.) are available at the property. Those factors are just as important to factor into the budget as the actual rent itself.

4. Weigh your options

Do not be afraid to look at more than one property before you settle on your final choice. If the agents try to force you into a lease using the promise of waived fees, do not be scared into signing then and there. The good deals will still be around after you tour one or two more places. Make sure you look at places on every side of town as well. The commute to campus is different from every property.

5. Be responsible

You are an adult now! This is a chance to prove to not only your parents but also yourself that you can make smart and savvy decisions. The decision is yours, and it is up to you to pick the best place possible to live out your next year at Ole Miss.

You may have read this thinking that you’re just trying to survive through the impending dread of finals week, but we hope that this prepared you for the off-campus housing rush as well.

The hope is that you all have great places to lay your heads next fall, but we’ll throw in a sixth piece of advice as a freebie just for you rowdy rebels: make sure to HAVE FUN!

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Daniel Dubuisson

Daniel Dubuisson is a junior journalism major and Public Policy minor from Pass Christian, Mississippi. He struggles to find the balance between his hectic life as a student and his obsession with glitter, fried chicken and Britney Spears.