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Apartment living: Tips to get the best deals

Dandelion+Vintage+%26+Used+Clothing+store+is+located+at+100+N.+Chestnut+St.+downtown+Champaign.+You+can+find+smaller+household+items+for+your+desk%2C+bathroom+or+kitchen+in+secondhand+stores+like+Dandelion+or+other+locations+closer+to+campus.+
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Apartment living: Tips to get the best deals

Dandelion Vintage & Used Clothing store is located at 100 N. Chestnut St. downtown Champaign. You can find smaller household items for your desk, bathroom or kitchen in secondhand stores like Dandelion or other locations closer to campus.

Dandelion Vintage & Used Clothing store is located at 100 N. Chestnut St. downtown Champaign. You can find smaller household items for your desk, bathroom or kitchen in secondhand stores like Dandelion or other locations closer to campus.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Dandelion Vintage & Used Clothing store is located at 100 N. Chestnut St. downtown Champaign. You can find smaller household items for your desk, bathroom or kitchen in secondhand stores like Dandelion or other locations closer to campus.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

Dandelion Vintage & Used Clothing store is located at 100 N. Chestnut St. downtown Champaign. You can find smaller household items for your desk, bathroom or kitchen in secondhand stores like Dandelion or other locations closer to campus.


A new semester is here, and it’s the best time for students to sign leases for apartments. Away from the cramped dorm, apartments offer a more private space that allows you to exhibit your identity. To make the best decision for your wallet and your well-being, consider these helpful tips.

Pick the best parking space

When you sign a leasing contract, you may not consider renting a parking space. However, parking spaces tend to sell out quickly, and finding a suitable parking space is not an easy task.

Indoor and garage parking lots are best, especially during the winter months when weather can become severe. Who wants to shovel snow to get their car out of a parking lot? You guessed it: no one. If you do plan on having a car on campus, look for an indoor space.

If your desired apartment’s parking lot is full or has only outdoor parking available, you can find a spot elsewhere, at a neighboring apartment complex or with the City of Champaign.

If you can’t find an affordable parking space, leave your car behind. There are plenty of transportation options on campus, such as MTD, Zipcar or bike rental services.

Get in touch with previous tenants

You can learn a lot from previous tenants. Different properties have different rules. Beyond the layout of the unit and the cute spiral staircase, underlying concerns may go unnoticed until something unexpected happens.

To avoid unreasonable fines or trouble, take the extra step and ask previous tenants about their experiences and figure out how the lessors handle certain situations such as emergencies or broken appliances.

Be vigilant about payments

Many lessors will charge you a fixed or cumulative fee if your rent is not paid on time or in full. Some are more lenient than others, so be sure you know the protocol.

Read your leasing contract thoroughly. Set monthly reminders for deadlines and due dates on your phone or write them out by hand on a calendar or planner.

Consider secondhand shopping

In your dorm, you may have shared a lot of things with your roommates. The small space didn’t give you much privacy or room for extra items. If you move from a dorm to an apartment, you may find you need or want more things like kitchen utensils, a full-sized mirror, computer desks, chairs, a floor lamp or a TV stand. 

Think outside the box and check out some secondhand and resale options. If you’re looking to save some money and shop local, do some research and find students in the area who may be selling their used items. Students on campus move often — from home to dorms and from dorms to apartments or houses — so websites such as eBay, Facebook or Craigslist are frequently used by these students to get rid of unwanted items and make a couple of extra bucks.

Take advantage of these tips to save money and stay ahead of the game.

Yifan is a junior in LAS

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