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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Kearney housing market is difficult to navigate


College comes with what feels like a never-ending list of expenses. Whether it be books, tuition, clothing, food or transportation costs, it all seems to rack up. One of the bigger expenses though is housing.

On-campus housing starts around $3,000 a semester, so many students turn to looking off-campus for something cheaper.

Yet, many unexpected challenges come up when students try and find somewhere to live off campus. Kearney’s housing market isn’t easy to navigate.

To help, we’ve compiled some tips for those looking to live off-campus.

Start looking early. Signing up to live on-campus begins as soon as November of the previous academic year. Many students will already be looking off campus at this time since rentals come and go quickly. In the state of today’s housing market, it’s never too early to be on the lookout. Drive around town looking for property for rent signs, browse online listings sites and contact realtors. Many listings get posted to Facebook Marketplace, Kearney Area Exchange on Facebook and other social media platforms  – just watch out for fake listings. 

Ask friends and fellow Lopers on campus what their plans are for housing or if they know of a place opening up. Getting your foot in the door and securing a place often comes down to who you know and who they know. Even if a friend isn’t in need of a roommate or roommates, they might know someone who is. Plus, a lot of rentals never get posted online as previous tenants just pass the place down to friends. 

We also recommend listening to the stories of those who previously lived there. Learn more about the place, landlord and neighborhood to decide if it’s the right fit for you.

Once you’ve found some potential options, there are a few things to look for. Location, parking, utilities, lawn care and price are all things to pay attention to.  Choosing where you want to live is a big decision, so it’s important to take all things into consideration.

 According to the housing section of UNK’s website, an Antelope or Nester Suite costs $597.33 a month for 12 months. Look for a rental cheaper than that if your reasoning for living off campus is to save money. Additionally, pay attention to any hidden expenses. Utilities, wifi or laundry services are sometimes separate from the advertised cost of rent.

If you are still hoping to live off campus, don’t give up on finding a place. On-campus housing contracts have until May 31 to be canceled without being fined. More places will potentially open up the closer it gets to summer since many leases run from summer to summer.

Lopers, no matter what your plans are for housing, decide what’s right for you. Each student’s needs are different, including when it comes to living either on or off campus. 

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