A guide to moving off-campus

Moving off-campus next year? Check out this list of “do”s and “don’t”s.


Grant Walter

Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Joseph DeClercq, Writer

Alumnus Zach King ('12) and his friend Aaron Benitez chat at the table while senior Brad Storey washes the dishes. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

There is something to be said about freedom: Use it responsibly. Living in an off-campus house is one of the better decisions I have made while at Biola. In my opinion, the pros of living off-campus greatly outnumber the cons — and all of them have to do with freedom.

There are no quiet hours. There are no open hours. There are no communal bathrooms. I could go on and on about the benefits of living in a house or apartment off campus. However, this freedom does require you to step into a different kind of maturity — one that isn’t preached at school.

Here is a list of “do”s and “don’t”s of selecting off-campus housing.


  • Start the search early — don’t wait until summer to look for fall housing.

  • Choose a place close to campus — commuting is killer.

  • Make it as affordable as possible.

  • Live with people you know and get along with.

  • Find a house with personality — make sure it is a place that feels welcoming.

  • Establish a good relationship with the landlord or homeowner.

  • Do the proper groundwork — research the cost of utilities, etc.

  • Find a place with appliances. A fridge is a good thing to have, as are a washer and dryer. A trash compactor is a cool feature, but not necessary.

  • Seek advice from your parents or a knowledgeable individual.

  • Ask the homeowner good questions such as: Does the plumbing work? Electricity? Do you care if we kill your lawn?


  • Don’t live with someone you know will drive you crazy.

  • Don’t do all the work yourself — make sure you have help in the search.

  • Don’t get lazy — get out and visit a few houses.

  • Don’t base your selection on size alone — a big house doesn’t always make a good home.

  • Don’t be afraid to share your opinion with your potential housemates — let them know what you want in a house or apartment.

  • Don’t expect to get everything you want in a house.

  • Don’t forget to pray about it.

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