Avoid luxury apartment hype, opt for good deals
February 17, 2020
If you’ve been anywhere on Green Street in the past few months, chances are you’ve been greeted by enthusiastic pleas to sign forms and clipboards by employees of the soon-to-be-finished luxury apartment The Dean. When hearing about it from the shiny new tower’s representatives, your future life at The Dean seems too good to be true. With a rooftop pool and hot tubs, a cohesive community and a prime location just steps away from your classes on the Main Quad, as well as the extravagant rewards teased for those who apply now, many students with little experience apartment hunting may find it hard to delay signing up now for their own piece of Champaign paradise.
The Dean isn’t the only luxury apartment or private housing company in the area guilty of such relentless and endlessly positive marketing. Local YouTube ads for apartments like The Retreat or polished actors warning that most students found their apartment in September can create a sense of panic among those who haven’t pinned down a living space for next year. The fact is, despite what these marketers want you to think, hype for a swanky new apartment shouldn’t override financial restrictions and common sense about what you really need as a 20-something student.
Worry about covering more important expenses first
Time in the hot tub to relax in advance of an upcoming exam sounds amazing, I’ll grant it that. But how much do those hot tubs, which you really may end up using once a week at the most, add on to your rent when you already have to squeeze to afford groceries, utilities, new running shoes after your five-year-old pair gets worn down and other expenses that will inevitably pop up in your new adult life? Even if you plan on hot-tubbing like clockwork, when will this new form of relaxation act in the same way as your Xbox tempting you from across the room: yet another distraction from working and studying?
Be aware of the gimmicks
Some of you are probably rolling your eyes at this buzzkill telling you to squash your dreams of living in luxury when you have the chance in your incredibly stressful student life, and believe me, I get it. But not every apartment is perfect, even with dozens of desperate student employees charged with signing up passersby telling you otherwise. Companies offering cash prizes to a demographic they know are largely strapped for extra funds in exchange for you paying more than you need in yet another Green Street luxury apartment feels more predatory than promising, and regardless if you pay $300 or $1,300 a month for your apartment, owners and landlords all have the same goal: to draw in more students who will fill their pockets.
While the hype for whatever new tower on the horizon is high, take the chance to make a honest list about what you truly need in a living space for next year or semester and save money on in building gyms and hot tubs for more important spending after college when you’re truly an independent adult with a stable career and solid plans for future financial stability.
Clare is a sophomore in Media.