In the past few years, finding housing on campus has become an increasingly bigger deal than in the previous years. It is now a competition to find the nicest house that is closest to campus. Alongside the pressures of school, maintaining a social life and working, students have to enter a housing competition that they don’t sign up for. It’s not necessarily that you won’t find a house if you wait too long, it just wouldn’t be likely to have it be exactly where you wanted, what you wanted or with the right number of rooms.
David Chavez, a landlord in the Logan community, has lived in Spokane his entire life and he has been a GU landlord for more than 10 years. Chavez thinks that the criteria a student looks for include basic things, like close proximity to campus, a quality home, affordablility and a good landlord.
“The earlier a lease is signed, the more likely tenants are to satisfy more of these criteria,” said Chavez in an email.
This entire process is more than just finding a house, because having a good landlord should be a top priority when considering to live off-campus.
The landlord-tenant relationship is really important for when you need things fixed, to figure out rent and how it’s paid and how their opinions on parties and other issues vary.
“If you have a great house and a bad landlord it probably won’t work well,” said Chavez. “Similarly, if the house is a bad house and a great landlord, probably won’t work either.”
The landlords’ opinion of their tenant is also a huge part of the whole experience. If the relationship is filled with issues, it creates a plethora of problems. Finding a landlord who fits you and your group is essential.
“I don’t want just any student, I want the right fit. It’s better for all parties involved,” said Chavez.
“There is a reason I review the lease with tenants and involve their parents, I don’t want to have to babysit them and they don’t want me harassing them regarding the terms of their lease.”
It’s no secret that off-campus housing is a source of stress in the lives of second-year Zags, but the deadline to find a house seems to be getting earlier every year. Now, first-year Zags are also feeling the pressure of finding a house. This year was the first year Chavez signed a group of first-year students.
“Ten years ago [was] vastly different, [I was] lucky to have a couple of leases prior to Christmas break,” Chavez said.
The final issue that bothers me is friend groups. My group of friends now looks very different from the group I had freshman year because dynamics are constantly changing. The early housing trends create a difficult spot for groups of five, six and seven, and having to choose a group of people to coexist with your first year is a disservice.
Other options are available as well, apartment housing, commuting from another place nearby and on-campus housing or GU-owned houses. In the end, you most likely will find a place to live somehow. The anxiousness associated with finding housing around GU is streamlining the housing process more and more every year, along with the desire for a good housing situation.