Apr 272010
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

Just about six months ago, I wrote a column about moving out of the dorms and into a new, shiny rental with roommates, something many of you are thinking of doing soon. I also recommended getting started on looking for an actual place to move to around that time.

Then, knowing that people are slackers, I promised to write you a, “Gee, I bet you wish you had started looking six months ago when I told you to,” column. Because I am a spiteful old man, that’s why.

But not so spiteful that I won’t help you! Got all your stuff packed away in boxes? No? Don’t worry, that part comes last. It hardly takes five minutes to get everything packed away. In fact, you don’t even need the dates of your lease to overlap with the first day you can move in –– your stuff can sit harmlessly in a U-Haul for a week or two.

First, you need a destination. This means contacting a rental agency and going on a number of house tours. Keep in mind that this is not like other purchases –– a rental agency can decide that it doesn’t want to offer you its home to live in if you show up, say, still wearing the same toga-and-safety-cone ensemble from the last night’s party.

Herein lies the ticklish little lie that all college students in Fort Collins tell by omission when renting a home. If you and your three friends discuss being interested in renting a home, and the three of you are clearly unrelated, the renter will still rent to you. This is because three-unrelated is a quaint little blue law that doesn’t know it should be dead.

Still, to stick to my theme of good advice masquerading as bad advice, I must suggest that you loudly announce that you and your three unrelated friends intend on renting the property. Nothing makes people more comfortable than laughingly acknowledging elephants in the room.

What should you look for in a good home, you might ask? Well some people think college students won’t read leases or are desperate enough to move into a house built on top of an ancient burial ground that was once a uranium mine until it got closed due to murderous ghost orphans.

The reality, though, is that all housing opportunities are equal, and all leasers are kindhearted enough that they would never foist a property with sub-par living conditions onto an unsuspecting consumer. Go with the first place that seems to have a roof attached to at least one of the four walls.

The lease itself is of course legalise for, “If you so much as sneeze inside this home, your security deposit is ours.” There’s basically nothing you can do about this.
I mean sure, your fees as a student of CSU go toward supporting Student Legal Services, who will assist with this kind of thing for free, but going to them would be admitting that you can’t handle this real-world adult legal stuff. And what kind of adult seeks help in legal matters?

Of course, there are other options to renting. You could always move back in with your parents and commute, assuming they haven’t turned your old room into a greenhouse or art studio. Parents who may be reading this –– quick! Now’s your last chance to keep your kids out for good and enjoy your life for once!

But no, really, they miss you, and I’m sure they’d want nothing more than to host you once again. After all, if the choice is between facing the scary world of adult decisions and moving back in with your parents, who among us would opt for responsibility?

Johnathan Kastner is a senior computer science major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:36 pm

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