Identifying Your Housing Needs

Questions to Ask Yourself Before you Rent:

What kind of rental unit do you want? Furnished or unfurnished?

  • Apartment:
    • 1, 2, or three bedrooms?
    • Garden apartment or townhouse complex?
  • Converted apartment in a private home?
  • Efficiency or studio apartment?
  • Rooms in a student house?
  • Rooms in a private house?
  • House?

What are your transportation needs?

  • Within walking distance?
  • On an MTA bus/metro route?
  • UMBC shuttle availability?
  • Carpool availability?
  • Do you need to be near shopping facilities or your job site?
  • Close to your trusty car mechanic?

What are your privacy needs?

  • Do you want a private bedroom?
  • Can you share a bedroom with someone?
  • Can you share a house with other students?
  • Can you share a bathroom?

What can you afford? (Include utility costs!)

  • One-bedroom apartments tend to be the most costly option but offer total privacy.
  • Rooms in student houses or private homes tend to be the least expensive.
  • The closer you are to campus, the higher the rent is likely to be.

How much legal security do you want?

  • Written leases offer maximum legal protection, but often require a 12-month commitment
  • Without an agreement regarding the term of your stay, you can legally be asked to leave anytime.