How to navigate Fall Housing Fair

By Brooke Eberle, Special Sections Editor

Interested in finding an apartment for next semester? Then look no further than the Fall Housing Fair.

On Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 46 housing companies will have tables set up at the Illini Union South Lounge to showcase the many apartments on campus.

This semester’s theme is baseball, so all tables will be decorated to fit. However, with 46 companies all decorated similarly, it can be hard to find the company you want to sign a lease with. With a few a tips, hopefully you’ll be able to narrow down your apartment search to some viable options.

Pick a location

Before you start looking at the various tables, think about what area you’d like to live in. Try to think about what classes you are going to take next year and how far you are willing to walk to class every day. As you take more classes for your specific major, you may be going to one area of campus much more than others. Several companies only offer apartments in a few locations, so checking which has the best spots for you will help narrow down the few that you plan on talking to.

Price check

Figure out what kind of rent you’ll be willing to pay for next semester. Some apartments can be as low as $400, whereas other “luxury” apartments can be upward of $800. Several companies at the fair usually have all of their apartments at a similar price. Knowing your maximum price before browsing around will help you figure out which apartment will be perfect for you.

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Ask around

If you’re unsure about something, then ask. When you go to each table, make sure to know the deadline to sign a lease, average rent and locations. Being new to the apartment search can be confusing and scary, but the representatives are there to help you figure out the whole apartment process.

Search for free things

Let’s not forget another important reason to visit the housing fair: free things. Each table usually gives away smaller things like shirts, cups and sunglasses just for stopping by. Also be aware of the bigger prizes you can enter to win. In the past, companies have given away for TVs, Apple Watch devices, Cubs tickets for box seats and four-day Lollapalooza passes. Last year, HERE brought a big money blowing machine and allowed students to catch as much money as they could in a limited amount of time.

Even if you’re not sure if you want to live in an apartment next year, the housing fair is a good way to search for living options and get a couple free things in the process.      

Brook is a junior in Media.

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