One of the most exciting aspects of going to college is the opportunity to move out on your own (or with friends). There are many housing options in Kansas City, and finding the right place can seem like a daunting task, but it can be much easier if you know where to look.
The residence halls
For many incoming freshmen, the obvious housing choice is the dorms or “residence halls.” This is a convenient way to stay on campus and have many resources not available to people living off campus, such as Resident Assistants. They are student leaders who exist to make the transition into college easier. They can help, whether it’s a problem with a roommate or a problem with studying. You can choose who you live with or you can be placed with a roommate. The downside is the rooms are small and you have to share a bathroom, but the experience of living in the dorms is a rite of passage for many students. For more information, visit www.umkc.edu/housing/.
Oak Place Apartments
Across the street from campus are Oak Place Apartments. This is an option for students who want a bit more space or who want to live with a few friends. You can get up to a four bedroom/four bathroom apartment that is fully furnished. You still get to be close to campus, but you have your own place that is away from UMKC enough that you don’t feel like you “live on campus.” The building is highly secure and has desk attendants, so parents need not worry. For more information, visit www.umkc.edu/HOUSING/apartments.asp.
Located next to the Hospital Hill campus, this is an apartment complex for independent students, students with families and non-students. There are many floor plans to choose from, including townhomes, and even low-income prices if you are financing it alone. It is a gated and secure apartment complex that is within walking distance to the Hospital Hill campus and is right by the metro bus stop. For more information, visit www.longfellowheightsapts.com/.
In an attempt to revitalize Midtown, Mac Properties has transformed many old buildings into beautiful and modern apartments. With high-end design and mostly reasonable prices, Mac Properties is a great idea for upperclassmen and older students who want to be completely independent from campus and close to Kansas City life. For more information, visit www.macapartments.com.
UMKC owns many of the houses around campus, and those homes can be rented from the university. Many people would prefer to live in a house instead of an apartment, but also still want to be close to campus. This is one of the best ways to do it. This option also allows pets and is within walking distance from campus. Prices are reasonable, about the same as you’d pay for an apartment, but with a bit more freedom to make the place your own. For more information, visit www.cohenesrey.com/copy/apartments/property_profile.asp?pid=780.
Whether you choose to live in the dorms or in your own house, make sure before you sign a lease to view the place, and take a copy of the lease home with you. You should go over the terms with your family, especially if this will be your first place.
Know whether you’ll want a six-month, nine-month or 12-month lease, and if the place you choose doesn’t offer the length of lease to fit your needs, move on. You don’t want to be stuck paying for an apartment over the summer if you’re not living there. Also, many places will require a guarantor (usually a parent or guardian) signature if you don’t make at least three times the rent per month. Make sure you know all of this before writing any checks to hold an apartment or paying any money down. This will save you a big headache in the long run.