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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Campus Guide: If you’re looking to live off campus, start looking now

Savannah Douglas
Savannah Douglas / Arizona Summer Wildcat Zach Wiess, a senior studying Chinese, and Wendy Huynh, a biology sophomore, work as leasing agents at The Cadence. “I like that [The Cadence] is super close to campus and at a reasonable price,” said Huynh.

Editor’s note: This article is part of the Arizona Summer Wildcat’s 2014 Campus Guide. The Campus Guide is a special issue that runs every year to help introduce incoming students to the UA and campus life.

Of the 6,600 undergraduate UA students who live on campus, more than 80 percent are freshmen. Many will leave residence halls after their first year to move off campus, and it’s better to start looking at options sooner rather than later.

There is no shortage of off-campus housing options to consider for students who are looking to move out of their dorm rooms. Several housing properties near the UA campus and throughout Tucson cater to students, such as The Cadence, Level, The District on 5th, Zona Verde Apartments and The Seasons, among others. The Hub and Next are also new off-campus housing properties slated to open this fall.

While it may seem early to begin searching for a place to live for next year, one of the biggest mistakes students make in looking for off-campus housing is starting too late, according to off-campus housing employees.

“If you want to find somewhere you really like and you want to be able to select your unit and have the best options and roommates, doing it early is your best bet,” said Johanna Adolfs, property manager for The Cadence.

Adolfs said it’s best to begin looking in the fall the year before to get the best options, and then to get settled on a place by the beginning of the spring semester.

Kendal Noonan, leasing and marketing team lead for Level apartments, said they have already received calls from people interested in leasing for the 2015-16 school year.

With the great variety of off-campus housing options available for students, there are several things to consider when trying to determine the best option. Noonan said the most important thing students can do is to actually tour the place they’re considering.

“While the website does show you pictures and give you information, it can also be misleading,” she said. “There’s nothing that tells you what the property is going to be like other than actually seeing it [with] your own eyes.”

Noonan also said when students are looking at housing options, it’s important to gauge what the customer service is like because how you’re treated by staff is a huge part of the off-campus living experience.

“If you have a great staff working on site, that makes a big difference regardless,” she said.
Pricing for off-campus housing varies greatly based on where students want to live, with some locations having rent as low as $349 a month, while other places go up to $1,000 per person, and most fall somewhere in between.

UA Residence Life operates an off-campus housing search website for students that allows them to filter their search for housing options based on their preferences.

Garrett Firestone, leasing expert at North Pointe Student Apartments, said students should always be on the lookout for special deals on housing when they are searching.

“It’ll make or break whether you want to live there and you get some nice discounts,” he said.
Some parents may be concerned with sending their students off of the UA campus to live on their own, so communication with the off-campus housing property is critical, Adolfs said.

She added that it’s important to know that much of the off-campus housing staff is familiar with dealing with students.

“We know how this goes and you can call us and ask questions,” she said.

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