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Off-campus housing search heats up

By James Maxwell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Feb. 27, 2002

Apartment market very competitive, some students look for houses

As mid-semester draws near and the recently imposed housing cap forces upperclassmen out of the dorms, thousands of students must turn their minds to searching for off-campus housing.

With only 1,000 sophomores allowed to return to the residence halls next year, apartments and houses near campus are filling up quickly. Students should be prepared to secure living arrangements soon, said Tim Magill, president and designated broker of Apartment Locators, 2400 N. Campbell Ave.

Magill - whose office gets more than 1,000 student inquiries about off-campus housing - suggested that students searching for an apartment be prepared to put down a deposit and reserve the unit immediately.

"It is a better deal that way," he said. "Prices will get less flexible as the start of the new semester comes around. The best deals are not available in August."

He also suggested that groups of potential roommates fully commit to living together and that people be prepared for the credit process.

Magill said many students who live in dorms want to find a house near campus to share with roommates, but those demands can be difficult to meet financially and supply-wise.

"Unfortunately, those living in dorms have high expectations and want to find a house to live in with roommates," he said. "There is a high demand for houses near campus and a low supply, therefore the price is really high."

Nickie Baillargeon, a communication senior, said the house she and her roommates share is near campus but they had to go through a realtor to find it.

"Having a house near campus is convenient because you can just walk to school, however, it is not very affordable," she said.

Magill said that renting an apartment is typically cheaper than renting a house.

"Houses are tough to find, and apartments are a better deal," he said.

Despite the variety of off-campus housing options, the dorms still sound more appealing to some students who will be forced out of the residence halls next year.

Barrett Nakachi, a pre-business sophomore, is currently in his fourth semester living in a dorm and must move to off-campus housing next school year.

"I would like to continue living in the dorm, especially because I have a single room at La Paz," he said. "Actually, I know a lot of people who want to stay in the dorms."

Chase Haymond, pre-business freshman, currently lives in a dorm but said he intends to live in his fraternity house next year.

"I think (living off campus) is affordable because you have more space and it is better to live within biking distance from campus," Haymond said.


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