Thinking about going to school, whether it is university or college? Your best bet is certainly to look within the local listings for a home that is the right price. Let's face it, school is expensive enough as it is. Most students would do much better to stay in their parents' home until graduation to cut costs down, but at this age everyone wants to be independent. If you are insistent on pursuing an education away from the family home, here are some things to think about.
First of all, you are in a bit of luck because it is not like the rent prices are the highest ones around. A look at how much it costs to rent in some downtown cores or big cities and you will quickly have you feeling happy about the prices of rent in smaller areas. Remember that it is a university city, so people are out looking to make a dollar off of temporary students. Still, there are worse places you could live in terms of price.
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Another thing to keep in mind is that the closer you are to a school, the more expensive the rent is likely to bet. A good case in point are the dorms; you are paying premium prices for a room the size of a closet at most universities. Looking at areas further out can be very advantageous. And you also have the advantage of the integrated transportation system; renting a dozen kilometres away or more can mean saving big bucks every month, if you don't mind riding public transit.
If you find that you have means already, or that your family does, attending school somewhere else might actually allow you to make some profit. Buying a property and then living there while you are enrolled can mean getting some good equity during your years. Moreover, you can likely find a few more students to rent additional space and offset the mortgage cost. You won't want to get a home in an expensive area like Toronto or NYC, but most places outside of big cities will see you make a profit if you are smart.
Never sign a lease agreement when you are only renting for school. If you are new in town, there is no way that you have found the best deal yet. You want to have some flexibility in case you find cheaper rent as your time in the city goes by. You never know, you might make a friend whose father owns some condominiums where you can live for free as you pursue your education!