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Housing search begins early for some students, stressful for many

Caitlyn Wasmundt / Lantern photographer

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It’s only about seven weeks into the quarter and students have already begun searching for off-campus residencies for the next academic year.

Michael Linsker, office manager at NorthSteppe Realty, said students are contacting the rental office almost a full year in advance to find housing for the following year.

“We get contacted about things as soon as people move in the previous year,” Linsker said.

Some students have already signed leases, he said.

“I think the demand just drags them to house hunt earlier,” Linsker said. “We just go with the demand. If they’re willing to sign a lease and they know that the house is available, we’re willing to rent it out.”

Ben Alesi, a second-year in finance and economics, said he is moving from an Ohio State residence hall to the off-campus area next year.

“I’m a first-time house hunter so I don’t want anything to be too late,” Alesi said. “It’s just such an important thing to know where you’re living so you have that stable place, it’s important to have that set in place for next year.”

Knowing where he will live next year will allow him more time to plan for house costs, he said.

Alesi said he has taken a door-to-door approach with his future roommates in the hopes of finding a house and sign a lease before winter break.

“Initially, I started online and then I started going door-to-door last week with some of my friends,” he said. “We ask if they’re going to re-lease and live there again next year. It’s definitely awkward but it’s a necessary thing that you have to do if you really want to live off-campus. You actually need to go see houses.”

He said he has found other positives from the experience.

“You meet some cool people and I like looking inside the houses. I’ve seen some really cool bedrooms,” Alesi said. “The initial thought of it isn’t very cool, but when you actually do it, it’s kind of fun.”

Lauren Widmeyer, a first-year in international business, has also begun the search. She and her future roommates have chosen to look at places on websites and then contact realtors, rather than knock on doors.

“(We are) looking on the Internet,” she said. “We’re going to try to set up appointments to different places.”

Despite meeting her future roommates just a couple of months ago, Widmeyer said the housing process has not been aggravating.

“I haven’t really felt very stressed,” she said. “The people I’m living with, we haven’t known each other very long but I’m pretty good friends with them already.”

Mitch Louis, a second-year in chemical engineering, said he has not had a positive experience in his housing search.

Last year Louis did not begin looking for houses until Spring Quarter.

“We were very limited on options,” he said.

He hoped to move into a house that was already leased for the following year where the students were considering moving to another location, but filled out a dorm application to be safe, he said. This option fell through and he currently lives in the dorms.

He plans to start searching for off-campus housing next week, he said.

“I’ve been through being late and paid the price for it, and definitely figured out that’s not what you want to do,” Louis said.

Although Alesi said he has experienced minimal stress, searching for houses poses some inconveniences.

“It definitely is time consuming with classes,” he said. “The last thing you want to do is go east of High and look for houses.”

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