When I decided that I was going to put my house on the market, I knew that I would have to do some renovating first. The house was a good, solid structure, but I hadn’t kept up the outside of it as well as my husband did before he passed away. I knew that I would need curb appeal if I wanted the place to sell quickly. I had my yard landscaped, my home exterior repainted, and my driveway replaced before putting the home on the market. It cost me a bit of money, but it was worth it – the house sold quickly and I was able to move into my brand new condo – much less maintenance work for me. I started this blog about curb appeal, to help others learn how to move their homes quickly too.
Do you have a child at university who wants to move into off-campus housing? Are you concerned about whether moving off-campus is a good idea? Many students reach a point where living in a dorm is no longer enjoyable or convenient. While many students choose to live off-campus, you want to be sure that the house makes sense, from both a safety and financial perspective. If you're going to be contributing towards the expenses, you'll want to do your due diligence before you sign off on the lease. Here are three important questions to ask about the property:
Does it have smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher? Unfortunately, house fires do happen in off-campus properties. All it takes is for one cigarette or candle to be lit unattended for a fire to break out. It can be especially problematic in older homes that may be primarily constructed of wood and may have old wiring.
Before your child moves in, make sure the home has working fire detectors and has a fire extinguisher available. Also, if the home has upper floors, make sure those rooms can be exited via windows in case of an emergency. You also will want to check the lease to see who is responsible for checking the smoke detector batteries. If it's the students' responsibility, there's a good chance it may not get done. You may want to take that responsibility upon yourself or ask the landlord to periodically check the detectors.
Is it an individual or collective lease? Student leases usually come in two forms. There's a collective lease in which all the students are responsible for the rent as a group. If one student is late or moves out, it's up to the others to make up the difference. The other type is an individual lease, in which all roommates sign their own lease with the landlord. Individual leases are usually preferred because then you're only responsible for your child's obligations.
However, if it's a collective lease, you'll want to make sure you know all of the roommates. If possible, talk to their parents too. You want to have some confidence that everyone will meet their responsibilities.
In what condition do they have to leave the house? Normal wear and tear is common in any rental property. However, college students may have a different definition of "normal wear-and-tear" than you have. Get a good understanding of exactly what needs to be done when they move out. If possible, see if the landlord has a checklist so you can make sure every issue has been addressed. You also may want to get your child and his or her roommates to do some periodic cleaning throughout the year, so they're not left with a huge task at the end of the semester.
For more information, talk to a university housing company near your child's school. They can help you find the perfect off-campus property for your child and his or her friends. For more information, find a business to speak with.Share
15 June 2015