Thinking of a house? They’re more roomy

By Brittany Abeijon

The decision of where to live may be one of the toughest and earliest choices a student can make.

Residence halls, Greek houses and apartments may have perks, but living in a house has benefits that others lack.

Bankier Apartments, Johnson Rentals and Roland Realty are a few of the main realtors in the Champaign-Urbana area that offer leases for houses.

Luke Adam, senior in Business, lives with four other male students in a house leased by Bankier on Green Street.

“It’s just a much better environment than an apartment,” Adam said. “I like having three different levels and it’s a lot better for social gatherings.”

Like many apartments on campus this year, rent payments have increased, and Adam’s house is no exception.

“I can’t complain about the financial situation of this house,” Adam said. “We are paying for what we get.”

Some apartment management companies fix maintenance problems within a few days, but living in a house may take weeks longer to get something fixed.

“I’d say they get the job done, it just might take a week or two or three,” Adam said.

Leasing the houses can be difficult, too.

“If you know when leases start opening up, it’s actually not that tough, but you have to be able to move quickly,” Adam said. “Another way would be to have someone pass it down to you, which admittedly is a little more hit or miss.”

Emily Zak, senior in Nursing, lives with four other women in a brown brick house next to Adam and his roommates.

The added benefits of a house are the reasons that Zak made the decision to live in an off-campus house.

“We have a lawn, a front porch and a driveway that can fit four cars.” Zak said. “No apartment has that.”

Although they take advantage of the additional space, the negative side of their location is that it is far from the Quad.

“We have no central air conditioning and it’s at least a 15 to 20 minute walk to classes,” Zak said. “We also share our washer and dryer with the apartment complex behind us.”

These aspects have not stopped Zak and her roommates from turning their house into something more personal.

“Our house is literally our home away from home, especially since we’ve lived here for what’s going to be two years. It’s our space,” she said. “We don’t worry about anyone above or below us, we get to put lawn chairs on our roof and observe the world of Green Street below us. And space-wise, well, we could accommodate a large family of 16 if necessary.”