MSU Housing Fair opens new door to students

Minnesota State University, Mankato students were given the opportunity yesterday to explore housing options available to them through the January 2022 Housing Fair. Here, students were able to talk with various property managers about what their housing has to offer and learn which options are best for them.

Sophomore Jared Anderson has been living in the dorms, but is open to other housing options available.

“I live in the dorms right now. I don’t know if living off campus is the best fit for me right now, the possibility is open,” Anderson stated.

While looking at the possibility of living off campus, Anderson is looking for key aspects that will help determine the decision.

“I look for location, accessibility, and overall, just the comfortability of the place. I think about how accessible the place is for me, how much I want to live there, and how safe the place is,” Anderson commented. “I’ve looked at Highland Hills mostly, and then also The Lofts. Those are both close to campus, so I’m easily able to walk from there to campus.” 

Similarly, freshman Lexi Emery is looking at what off-campus housing options are available. When it comes to house hunting, Emery has some requirements in mind.

“I definitely want a room with my own space and my own privacy, that’s really important since I’m going to be paying for it. I want to get along with my roommates, those are the two most important things I’m looking for right now,” Emery stated. 

Emery has found that looking for a new place to live isn’t as easy as it seems.

“I know I’m looking at Highland Hills, and honestly just everywhere. I want to see my options before I stick to one place. I’ve been looking off and on, but now I’m like ‘Okay Lexi, you have to start doing something.’ It’s getting kind of close to the end of the year, and that’s kind of stressful since it’s on my mind,” Emery explained.

Highland Hills was one of the properties tabling at the fair and leasing agents Stephaine Finger and Ben Evansteiner had some advice for students who are searching for a place to live off-campus.

Finger discussed how early students should begin looking for a place to live.

“We think students should start looking right away. We do open our applications starting in November, so that’s a great time to start looking. As we get closer to the spring is when some of our unit cells will start to fill up. If you’re applying more in April and May, that’s when you begin running into the ‘Is the apartment style I want still available’ situation,” Finger explained. 

Both agents gave some advice to students who are beginning their housing search and talked about the different things students should look for in a future home.

“I would say proximity to campus is the best thing to look for, especially in cold weather like this you don’t want to be outside walking for very long,” Evansteiner stated.

Finger added to this, ““Students should make sure they’re doing their research to make sure they’re getting everything they want out of an apartment. They should also talk to their parents who might have a little more experience on how leases work.”

Junior Tyler Pickel and senior Anna Thevnot have experience when it comes to searching for housing options and gave some words of advice to those who are looking to live off campus for the first time.

Pickel’s main focus circled around the location of the property. “You should decide how far you’re willing to drive. The farther you go the less campus housing you get and the cheaper you get,” he explained. “If you’re willing to drive 20 minutes away, you can get a much nicer place for cheaper and, a lot of times, landlords are nicer because they treat you like people, not just like a college student.”

Bouncing off of this, Thevnot expressed the importance of living with people that reflect the same living style.

“If you stay up late studying, sign with people who also stay up late studying. If you go to bed early, sign with people who go to bed early. That way you don’t run into problems later in the year,” Thevnot stated.

As someone who has lived at various property places in Mankato, Thevnot strongly urges students to keep their housing options open.

“Make sure you’re looking at tours and doing research. Shop around, don’t just sign for the first place you look at. There are definitely places around Mankato that are better to live at than others.”

Header Photo: The Housing Fair at MSU allows students to explore a variety of different apartments and living spaces in the Mankato area. (Jenna Peterson/The Reporter)

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