Living off campus is a prize upperclassmen earn after surviving two years of noisy neighbors and strict RAs. It is much cheaper and has much more freedom than on-campus options. However, it requires a good bit of effort and energy to make it work. If you can manage, you can have a cool off-campus crib that all your friends will want to visit.
Searching Process: As with most tasks these days, the search for your future home probably will begin online. However, a quick Google search will not immediately solve your quandaries. You will most likely to have to make phone calls. You might have to call owners of houses for more information. There are also many agencies in Macon that can help you find a place to rent.
Another option is to talk to friends who live off-campus. Many professors rent houses to students and having them as a contact is a great idea. They work with students on a daily basis and have a keen understanding about the lives of the students who rent from them.
Students who live off-campus tend to live in houses close to campus. If you are willing to travel a little farther however, there are nice apartment options around Macon. Apartments are typically easier to rent, as there are more likely to be multiple availabilities. They also have more safety features than old houses, and landlords are more used to renters because they have multiple leases at once. However, apartments often lack the character and convenience of houses close to campus and they often have more strict rules about what you can and cannot do there. Plus neighbors can be noisy in apartments.
Roommates and Landlords: These two groups of people have a lot of influence in your life if you live off campus. They can make your experiences wonderful or miserable, depending on with whom you choose to live and the person from who you choose to rent. Make sure you and your roommates are compatible before you move in to your new house. On campus, you have the possibility to change roommates if things get really bad, but out in the real world there is no quick fix if your roommate smokes, steals your stuff or does crazy things late at night.
In the same vein, landlords can be fickle or friend, depending on the person. Try to get to know about your landlord before you make a decision to rent from them. If you are asking around for professors to rent to you, ask other students who have rented from them to see what they think of them as a landlord.
Pros and Cons of living off-campus: No room-checks or quiet hours make life off campus a lot more relaxed. Plus, you can have pets! It can be cheaper to live off-campus than it is to live on-campus, and you can control what space you do or do not have to share. On the other hand, you are living in the “real world,” meaning the consequences you face may be more severe. If you make a lot of noise in the middle of the night, it is the police who come tell you to be quiet instead of a friendly RA. Also, you cannot change rooms if your roommate ends up being crazy or terrifying. At the end of the day, it is your decision if you want to do the extra work to live off campus instead of living on campus. Happy hunting!