Skip to main content
Campus Resources

Moving Off-Campus: What to Know

Women on a couch talking
Article Date
By Carsen Schaefer

As it becomes time to make decisions about student housing for the coming year, it is important to know that there are many factors and responsibilities that come with living off-campus. Signing a lease is a legal contract1 and a major financial obligation. As a result, there are several factors that you need to consider before making this decision. Continue reading to learn some important factors to consider before deciding to move off campus.

  1. How you spend your money will change when you move off campus. For example, you may be paying utilities or increasing your transportation expenses. Because both of these things are financial commitments, before you move off-campus, you should consider if you can afford these expenses. The first step to doing this is creating a budget that incorporates these expenses. 
  2. Many students decide to live with roommates in college. This can not only be fun but also relieve some of the costs of living by splitting them among roommates. Beware, some apartment complexes offer individual apartments leased by the room, whereas others have rent incorporated into one lump sum. If you share a lease with your roommates, you have to split up the rent on your own between roommates, and if one roommate decides not to pay, you will be liable for paying their portion of the rent to ensure your credit is not damaged. 
  3. While deciding where to live, understanding that each apartment complex in the area has its own benefits and drawbacks can help you determine the place that is just right for you. Our suggestion would be to compare apartments by doing an apartment tour. Some important aspects to consider are security, parking, amenities, and whether the furniture is included. And you should also ask about any other costs associated with living in that particular apartment.
  4. Finally, when it comes to living off-campus, a rule of thumb is to draft a list of items you might want or need to purchase when living on your own. Many student-living apartment complexes in the Charlotte area offer furnished apartments, but some do not. In addition, moving off campus will cause you to incur other expenses such as groceries, cleaning supplies, kitchen needs,  and other decor outside of your furniture that you may not have considered. All of these expenses should be considered before you decide to move off campus.

Below this article, you will find Niner Finances’ Off-Campus Housing Document, which goes into further detail about the subjects discussed in this article. This document has some pricing comparisons of apartments in the area, a budget template, an apartment comparison worksheet, and so much more. Please feel free to download it after clicking on it. If you have any questions or need further help, please book an appointment with us through our website at

Off-Campus Housing Guide

1As a student you are entitled to work with the Student Legal Services office which can review your lease and make sure you understand what you are signing before you sign it.