House hunting advice for and from Whitworth students

Where to start looking

The Whitworth website:

The Whitworth website offers links that can direct students to local rental property listings.

The Whitworth off-campus Facebook page:

The Facebook page provides a space for students to list off-campus housing needs and collaborate to fill them.

whitworthhousing.com:

The properties listed on the site, “house up to 100 Whitworth Students each year,” according to the website, and are all within a short distance from campus. These properties, recently owned by Bill Meyers, have been taken over by Jasbir Thabel and Patrick Cardinal. Meyers had been renting properties since 1994. However, after undergoing brain surgery to control his Parkinson’s, “it was time to move on while I still could,” Meyers said in a notice to his residents.

 

Encountering tricky situations

Some rentals come with issues and, “even if it is not in your rental agreement or lease, your landlord is required to keep your building and unit in a habitable condition,” according to nolo.com’s legal encyclopedia.

“We had some damage to a railing outside of our house that was a real safety concern. We tried telling our realtor about it and he didn’t listen,” senior Jacob Forrest said in regard to his previous residence. “Eventually it broke and someone fell and got hurt. We almost got in trouble as a result.”

However, because they had reported the damage to the landlord, they were not responsible for the injury, Forrest said. As a result he recommends you always report problems to your landlords so they can get issues fixed quickly and effectively, he said.

Senior Matthew Thomas shared a similar story.

“We had a realtor who wouldn’t respond to our needs,” Thomas said. “He wouldn’t fix the sealant so our house was always freezing cold. We had mold, a broken door and a mouse infestation.”

The main issue was each of the prospective tenants didn’t check out the house for themselves before hand, he said.

“In retrospect, I would have gone and checked out the house so I knew what I was getting into and made sure they fixed it beforehand,” Thomas said.

 

Beginning the search early

Sometimes it is difficult to nd a house that fits students’ needs if they don’t start their search early.

“We had a lot of guys that wanted to live together. We ended up renting both sides of a duplex so that we could all be in the same place,” senior Bryan Walsh said. “However, we had to sacrifice some amenities we wanted in order to do so.”

Most of the houses that fit their large numbers were already rented by the time they began their search in January and February. Because of that, most of the housing attributes they wanted were missing, including a large living room area, a garbage disposal and a second fridge, he said.

Other students, such as junior Maggie Callan and senior Shawna Angle, began searching for rentals a lot earlier in late October and early November. Both were happy with their house rentals.

“We started searching early and signed the lease before Christmas break, and even then a lot of houses were already gone by the time we settled on ours,” Angle said. “Overall we’re very happy with the house and glad we got started early.”

The general consensus of off-campus students is that sophomores should start their search early in order to find a house that fits their needs and number of people.

 

Staying connected to on-campus life

Moving off campus brings a lot of questions, fears and excitement.

“I’m excited about having my own space that I can relax in, but a little worried about the difficulty of staying involved on campus,” sophomore Jaime Quaresma said. “I want to be involved with people that I am not living with.”

Those fears echoed those of other students. However, students who entered the year with those same worries were quick to calm these fears.

“I thought I wouldn’t get to be connected with campus life,” Callan said. “But I feel like it was easy to maintain connection through sports, campus activities and putting effort into relationships.”

 

Parker Postlewait

Staff Writer

Contact Parker Postlewait at

ppostlewait16@my.whitworth.edu

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