6 Ways to Save Money on Luxury Student Housing in West Campus
by Megan Mills
If you’re a student at UT Austin, you probably understand the allure of living in West Campus. The neighborhood is filled with new, luxury student housing developments that appeal to students with their state-of-the-art amenities and stunning views of downtown Austin.
The terms “luxury” and “student housing” might not historically go hand-in-hand. However, in West Campus, the student housing market has become more and more competitive in recent years. As a result, developers are producing luxury apartments with the newest amenities, and corresponding price tags.
While student housing apartments in West Campus tend to cost more than other nearby neighborhoods, there are ways to make luxury student living more affordable.
At Waterloo, we understand that it is important for students to find housing at a fair, affordable price point. For this reason, we have compiled a list of six ways that you can save money on student housing apartments in West Campus near the University of Texas at Austin.
6 Ways to Save Money on West Campus Student Housing Apartments
1. Have More Roommates
Square footage is expensive, so maximizing space can save you quite a bit of money. Generally, the more roommates you have, the lower your rental rate will be per person. For example, a 2×2 (two bedroom, two bath) will usually cost at least a couple hundred dollars more per month, per person, than a 6×6.
Additional bedrooms and bathrooms aren’t the only way to add more roommates per square foot. There are also the options of double occupancy rooms (shared bedrooms) or shared bathrooms.
While similar to dorm-style living, double occupancy rooms at student housing apartments typically offer much more than a residence hall. With a double occupancy room at a student housing apartment, you and your roommate will have access to state-of-the-art amenities without breaking the bank.
Double occupancy is a good option for those who are interested in dorm-style living, or are interested in sharing a room with a friend.
If sharing a bedroom isn’t your preference, sharing a bathroom is another option. This way, you still have a space that is fully your own for when you want some privacy, but also save some cash. If this is more your speed, be on the lookout for 4×2 options, the most common shared-bathroom layout in West Campus.
Whichever approach suits you best, the more roommates you have per square foot, the lower your rental rate per person will typically be.
2. Bedroom Without a Window
Another way to save money is by finding an alternative to natural light in bedrooms. Apartments that don’t offer windows in each bedroom are a great option for those looking to cut costs.
As nice as it is to have natural light, most student housing apartment complexes in West Campus offer extras in bedrooms that don’t have windows to brighten up the space. These extras may include faux windows, mirrors, TVs, extra lighting, etc.
See how Waterloo added additional lighting to the bedrooms at The Henry to brighten up the rooms without windows:
Additionally, some student housing apartment complexes offer windows that overlook a hallway rather than the exterior of the building. While these do not offer natural light, they still provide a view outside of your bedroom and are a great option to consider.
If you’re considering a bedroom without a window, be sure to contact the leasing staff to see what your apartment complex includes to make the most of the space.
3. Lease Early
At most student housing apartments in West Campus, especially new developments, the way to guarantee the best prices on rental rates and parking is to sign a lease early.
Most apartments begin leasing about 10 months before move-in, and students will typically sign a lease no later than 5 to 6 months in advance for developments of highest demand.
Due to the tier system used by student housing apartments, rates will be raised by approximately $10 to $20 per month, per person, after a certain number of leases are signed.
So, if you want the best deals at luxury student housing developments, be sure to sign your lease as early as you can.
Additionally, if you qualify for SMART housing, the best way to secure a spot with these discounted rates is to sign a lease early, as they are limited.
Not sure if you qualify? We have developed An Undergraduate’s Guide to SMART Housing at UT Austin to help you learn more about SMART housing and determine whether or not you qualify.
4. Choose a Less Popular Unit
As much as we would all love a stunning view of downtown Austin in a penthouse suite, the best way to save some cash is to choose a less popular unit. Two ways to do this include choosing a unit on a lower level or choosing a unit with a less desirable view.
Units on lower levels will typically be less in-demand as they will not have the expansive views that higher units will have. They also have the potential to be louder, especially if the lobby or other amenities are located nearby.
Regardless of what floor you are on, not all units will have stunning views of the UT tower or downtown Austin. If you don’t mind a view of a courtyard or alleyway, consider choosing one of these floorplans – it might save you some cash.
5. Find Rates with Extras Included
Student housing apartments in West Campus vary greatly when it comes to what is and is not included in the monthly rental rate.
To get the most bang for your buck, find rates with extras included rather than offered at an additional cost. These extras may include wifi or technology packages, but could also be windows or even balconies.
Be sure to talk to the leasing staff at the apartments you are most interested in to see how different units compare.
6. Cut Down on Furniture Costs
Furnishing your space is a great way to be creative, but it can also come at a steep price tag. While decorations are optional, you cannot live in an apartment without a bed, couch or desk.
Not only do furnished apartments cut furniture costs, but they help you avoid the process of selecting and buying furniture. Also, you likely won’t need a storage unit to store your furniture if you study abroad or take an internship out of town.
Most of the new purpose-built student living developments in West Campus provide furniture, which is important to factor in when calculating the total cost to live there versus a standard apartment.
If you would rather furnish your own apartment, there are a few ways for students to cut costs on furniture. Consider pursuing discount furniture stores, consignment shops, or yard sales – you can often repurpose inexpensive pieces.
Overall, there are many ways to save on luxury student housing in West Campus. So, before you rule out West Campus Living, be sure to consider these options so that you can snag the best deals in the area.
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