Renting an Apartment near Georgia Tech
Renting an apartment near Georgia Tech (or on campus) will be different from rentals in China. We want you to know about these differences because they may affect your decision about where you live while you are here. You should consider the total cost of housing each month you are here, the cost of purchasing furniture in some cases, the cost of transportation to and from campus, and the general location of your apartment or room.
Price of the Apartment:
Apartment companies and managers are all aware of what their competitors are charging and they consider competition when they set the price. If two apartments are otherwise equal (close to campus, well maintained, and with similar space and “amenities”) the price of an apartment which requires you to pay your own electric bill will usually be lower than one where electricity is included. In the end, the total monthly cost for housing (rent, parking, utilities, etc) will be similar for any of these options.
We recommend that you choose a location that is within 1 KM of the campus. Usually, these locations will be safe and easy to come and go. There are many good locations that are more than 1 KM from the campus, but there are also unsafe locations.
Be very careful about a “bargain” price. Apartment owners know about the “market” price for their apartment. If the price of one apartment is much lower than other apartments, the location (or the apartment) will have negative features. The apartment may be in bad repair, it may be far away from campus, it may exhibit high utility bills, or be in an unsafe neighborhood. If you have questions about an apartment, or the area, check with us before you rent. Remember that once you sign the documents for the apartment, you will have to pay the rent – usually for a year – even if you decide that you don’t like the location or if you feel unsafe.
There are four types of apartments that most students consider. Each one has different advantages and disadvantages, so there is not a single “right” answer. Consider these items carefully as you decide about where to live. Decide what is most important. You might decide that it is most important to be near your lab or your classes. Someone else may want to have a car and wants an apartment with free parking. Decide on what is most important as you compare the possibilities:
1. Campus Housing (GLC, 8th Street Apartments, etc): When you rent campus housing, the price that you pay covers everything that you will need for living. Your apartment will have furniture, and you will not have to pay for electricity, heat, internet, or other “utilities”. The price you pay covers the cost of these additional items.
Because the housing is on campus you will not need to have a car while you are here. The campus also provides shuttle bus transportation. Georgia Tech charges an extra fee (about $700 per year) to park a car on campus.
The campus has a recreation center for exercise, etc. There is a charge to use the center.
2. Off-Campus Student Apartments (Westmar, 100 Midtown, etc): Like campus housing, these apartments provide furniture, electricity, internet, etc. as a part of the rental price.
Parking at the off-campus apartment may or may not be included in the cost. You should ask the off-campus apartment about parking. Some apartments are close to campus and you can easily walk. Others provide a shuttle bus to and from the campus.
Off-campus apartments often provide some “amenities” (swimming pool, game rooms, etc) at no additional charge. Ask to see what is available.
3. Traditional Apartments (Solace, Arium West, etc): Traditional apartments do not provide furniture and you usually must pay for your electricity, heat, and internet in addition to the rental fee. Ask the apartment management about what is included in the price and what is additional to the price before you sign a contract. The apartment management should be able to give you an estimate of these costs. Add the cost of utilities to the rental cost, so that you can accurately compare prices with the other options.
Traditional apartments may offer some “amenities” such as a swimming pool, game rooms, etc.
In a traditional apartment, you will have to rent or purchase a bed and some basic furniture. Some apartments will connect you with a furniture rental company. The furniture rental cost is in addition to your monthly rent.
Many students who live in a traditional apartment go to the IKEA store near campus. IKEA charges extra for delivery of the furniture to your apartment and for assembly of the furniture. Ask about delivery and setup fees, and how long delivery takes.
If you order furniture over the internet, check for the delivery interval. Some companies cannot deliver until several weeks after you place the order. Your apartment may be too far away to walk to campus. Also, the apartment or delivery company may require that you wait in your apartment on the day of delivery to let them in.
Finally, when you leave the apartment you must remove the furniture. You must either sell it to someone else or pay someone to remove it and dispose of it when you leave.
Most traditional apartments provide free parking for your car, but you should verify that this is the case.
4. A “Room” in a Home: A “Room” rental will be much like an apartment rental, but you will be dealing with an individual rather than a company. You should ask the same questions about furniture, utilities, parking, etc when you consider renting a room. Each situation may be very different on these matters.