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The Daily Tar Heel

Internet, Word-of-Mouth Key to Housing Search

Internet, Word-of-Mouth Key to Housing Search

Various Chapel Hill resources can help students in the beginning stages of finding off-campus housing.

The Internet, classified ads, e-mail or word-of-mouth afford students many choices for finding housing.

But first students should decide their primary budget and how close they want to live to the UNC campus.

"I've only just started looking at options for next year, but it already looks like there will be a lot to choose from," said Patrick Doggett, a freshman environmental studies major.

The Internet can be helpful for students looking to lease apartments or houses.

Web sites such as www

.chapelhillrent.com, www.apartments

.com and www.rent.net enable students to make specifications on their housing requests.

With options for price, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and choices about extra amenities such as washer/dryer or carpeting, students can limit their search and save time.

"When we first started looking, the Internet was so helpful," said sophomore Natalie Eason from Wilmington.

"The resources are limitless, and it was so easy to make specifications as to the location and price we wanted to spend."

Housing Web sites are updated daily and provide students with names and addresses of people looking for roommates.

But for those students who prefer the old-fashioned way, classified ads in local newspapers such as The Daily Tar Heel, The Chapel Hill Herald and The News & Observer are reliable sources.

"I placed an ad in the DTH on Monday to sublet one bedroom in the Warehouse, and already I have received calls from interested renters," said sophomore Kelly Coleman.

A similar but more effortless approach in the game of apartment hunting is to subscribe to the University housing listserv at http://housing.unc.edu. This listserv allows subscribers to post housing requests or vacancies via e-mail.

"It's great because the vacancies come to you," said senior Langley Scherer.

"I used it as a reference guide, and it gave me so many options to choose from."

For students who know just where they want to live, apartment complex leasing offices are one-stop shops to getting new renters situated.

The Warehouse Apartments has an office on the first floor and a receptionist to help renters with questions.

Mill Creek Condominiums and Bolinwood Apartments also have leasing offices on the property.

But word-of-mouth is one of the most popular ways to find off-campus housing and to hear about vacancies.

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Vacancies open up when students graduate, go abroad or decide to move. Making friends with these people can save students lots of time searching for off-campus housing.

But most students say the biggest problem with off-campus housing in Chapel Hill is the speed with which vacancies disappear.

"I'd suggest that students start looking now and try to have the problem solved by Spring Break," said Harris Swenson, a junior from Dallas.

"We waited too long, and now we live farther away from campus than we would like."

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