College life question


Rear Admiral
I've been accepted into some on campus apartments. I have 3 choices. Number 1 is to stay at home and drive and pick up about $1200 off of grants. It's just a 40 mile drive down there. Choice two is live in the apartments. Choice 3 is buying a $10,000 fixer upper 2 bedroom house.

I've got until August 1st to back out of the contract. Just wondered what ya'll think about it. I'm just a wet behind the ears freshmen. Thanks guys.

I was really impressed by the apartment. 4 bedroom 2 bath living room and a kitchen with everything but a dishwasher. Free wireless internet/local phone.

The little house needs alot of work on it. It'd be a scramble to get it good enough to live in by Fall semester.


gh0d (Administrator)
How do the costs of the options compare?

The costs for each option, as I see things:

1) Obviously, gas costs are a concern. Also a concern are maintenance costs for keeping your car working while putting extra miles on it. And then there's the non-monetary cost, particularly the possible hassle of driving that much each way, through traffic and other potential problems.

2) Rental and utility bills are the primary concern here. Likewise, there's the issue of who you wind up with as neighbors.

3) How much money and other resources would it take to get the house in order? Consider that you may wind up putting more money into it than you could possibly get out of it when selling (another hassle in itself, more often than not), after you're done with college.

To me, 2 is looking like it might be the least overall hassle, but that's without knowing what kind of bills it entails.


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
We'd need to know the price of the apartment to make a good decision. It sounds like that's where you're leaning, and that's probably fine. I'm inclined to drive, but my car gets excellent mileage and I'm a fast driver. 40 miles each way would be pretty long for most people to commute each day, especially in Europe.


I know people who do 30-40 miles each way. It's longer than most, but if you're spending 6 to 8 hours on location, it's not terribly far.

I think a lot depends on your schedule. If you have only an hour or two of class on some days, you may spend more time commuting than getting stuff done. If you have a long break between classes (I sometimes have a class in the morning, then nothing for three or four hours, and then another class in the afternoon) you don't want to get stuck on campus. Either scenario can lead to skipping class.

Aron Figaro

I'm leaning towards 2 or 3...the last thing this planet wants is one more long commuter. Besides, with fuel costs only going up, you're probably saving money in the long run.


i'd advise against 1) once you've met people at college, you'll always be the one on parties who can't drink cos you still have to drive home. it sucks, i can tell you.
i'd go for the apartments, simple because this way you're in the middle of campus life. though 10 grand for a house is intriguing


As a student living in residence I would reccomend the apartment. Odds are the rates are better than almost any other apartment you'll find near campus, you'll be meeting some new people right away and as a freshman you'll be able to enjoy frosh week in all of its depravity.
The house isn't a bad idea, simply because it means you don't have to deal with fluctuating residence fees, which do happen. However it will be isolated, and freshmen really shouldn't be isolated from the campus experience. That's for Juniors and onwards.


Rear Admiral
I live in rural Oklahoma. Tornado alley and the heart of the Bible belt. The house is really a fixer upper. Looks like a renter trashed the place. Decent houses cost about $45,000. Luxury houses prolly $150,000. The cost of living in rural oklahoma is about a 1/3 of the national average, I think.

1: Gas would be just about $60 a week.
2: Everything is included on campas, except for cable. The whole campus is wireless, though. The contract is $483 a month for 10 months.
3: The house would be a hassle. Id prolly need to put about $9,000 or more into it. Some house was reduced to $35,700 in the sale paper. I'd be getting alot of help from my grandpa though. It's kinda reverse Grapes of Wrath--but that's another thread.

My mom is with you. She wants me to drive and pick up the fafsa and other grants and drive on it, maybe save for a truck even. It's about a 35 minute drive (I'm a 'time traveler' cough). I get like 21 mpg ish. Gas is going up though. Sorry you lost your job.

The apartments are brand new. They're a year old. And some were just finished in April so I couldn't see them when I enrolled.

I'm enrolled in hard classes. I should drop and add as soon as I get my freaking AP scores from Lit and Calc. Chem I, comp, calc 1, and some history class.

I still dont know what I'm doing, thanks though


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Claymore said:
My mom is with you. She wants me to drive and pick up the fafsa and other grants and drive on it, maybe save for a truck even. It's about a 35 minute drive (I'm a 'time traveler' cough). I get like 21 mpg ish. Gas is going up though. Sorry you lost your job.

Thanks, but I'd been trying to quit for a year. I was finally able to do it to coincide with a manager that was let go for trumped up reasons. A 35 minute drive is fine. I commuted for all four years of college. The first two years, my commute was more than an hour, and the last two years, I had it down to about 25 minutes. Saved like $15-20,000 in rent payments even after factoring in travel costs (which allowed me to instead buy a brand new car, much better use of funds).


Here's my two cents...

I would strongly evaluate option 3. Why? Because if you do fix it up and get it looking pristine the end of your college not only will you have a degree you will likely make some money off selling the house. First of all, I'd advise having someone with some know how evaluate this house and tell you if that's doable. If the house is trashed beyond hope then this is probably not an option. However, how nice would it be to receive your diploma and a check for $20-30,000 for your house? :) Houses are typically a great investment. Property prices always seem to rise and if you fix this thing up then you should be doing alright.

Mjr. Whoopass

<FONT color=lightblue><B>I was going to say someth
I can't say whether you should buy the house or not since I don't know how much the house would be worth after putting the 9 grand in. My parents bought my sister a house when she was in College and she rented out the other rooms to other students and friends. That deal REALLY paid off for my parents.

I agree with Maj. Striker that you should consider finding someone with some know-how to look at the house for you. Is it listed with an agent? If so, you could choose an agent that specializes in this type of property to represent you as the buyers agent with no charge to you. If not and you want to buy it yourself, you could hire a property inspector. In Illinois that'll run you about $200-250 and you may need to hire a specialized inspector for the problems that turn up. Sometimes you can make an offer on the condition of having a home inspection, but the seller may be selling that "as is" due to the low price. I'm a Real Estate agent with GMAC real estate, so if you have any questions, let me know and I'd be happy to help a fellow WingMan.


If you're looking ahead longterm, buy the house (yeah, where do you live that you can get a house for 10k?...that's freaking cheap!).

Fix it up, then rent all of it, or part of it. Let someone else pay the mortgage. You can't go wrong with property (in most cases at least).