The current school year is winding down, but as is always the case it will seem like no time at all before Labour Day is here and another school year is about to begin. Homes near the University of Alberta are just a part of the Edmonton real estate picture, but if you’re a student who doesn’t live at home OR in residence at the school then you should start looking for student housing in Edmonton sooner rather than later.
The neighbourhoods of McKernan, Parkallen, Pleasantview, Queen Alexandra, Walterdale, Mayfair, Strathcona, Windsor Park, Ritchie, Hazeldean, Argyll, and Mill Creek Ravine are all ones that are good choices for homes near the University of Alberta, but like any urban area it’s competitive to find affordable, quality student housing no matter where you look. There’s no getting around it, so let’s look at some tips to make your hunting for student housing in Edmonton that much more speedy and successful.
We should start by mentioning that there are 5,904 spaces of on-campus student housing available at the U of Alberta, and it’s been well documented that demand fo on-campus housing has gone down in recent years. The advantages of no commute and proximity to on-campus student resources need no explanation.
However, living on campus looks like it will be more expensive than previously. The University of Alberta Students’ Union is reporting a proposal that lead to a 3% increase to international tuition, a 4% increase in rent on student housing and up to a 15% increase in food costs through changes to student meal plans. The belief is that these increases could push greater numbers of students off campus. If the projection that the average cost of a bachelor-style apartment on campus would jump to $988 per month, up from $950 per month, that’s entirely believable.
Do be aware, though, that living off-campus is also expensive. 1-bedroom apartments tend to rent in the vicinity of 1,200 per month. The first tip is t start looking for rental units during off times of the school year, and as early as May or June is advisable. Further, if you’re from outside Edmonton then travelling to the city for a few days during the early summer is highly recommended. Visiting prospective areas at NIGHT is also recommended.
Next, try to dig up information on what current or former tenants liked / disliked about a building, and when you decide to see one you should insist on seeing the ACTUAL unit you’ll be renting. Take photos with your smartphone for your reference and future use if necessary. Be totally in the know when you show up to see it - listed price, rules, landlord’s name, and amenities so that you can bring them up in conversation.
Other questions to ask:
- Have there been any major repairs recently?
- Is there any history of bedbugs or pests?
- Do you have any renovations planned?
- What specific utilities are included (laundry, water, electricity, internet)?
- What speed is the Internet (if applicable)?
Be sure to evaluate location and amenities when weighing different rent costs. Access to them if they’re not there will add to your monthly expense if you can’t do without them.
Make sure to review rental agreement details and have an explicit understanding of them, and damage deposit specifics in particular. If the unit still checks out, then be 100% certain on when you will able to begin tenancy.
Meeting neighbours, if you can, is a good idea too and if you’re like most students who take transit to school everyday then you should also check out the bus/LRT connections to campus. How long will it take? Where is the nearest bus stop?
Now let’s get to some actual specific suggestions about homes near the University of Alberta and some alternatives that many student won’t come to be aware of. First, there’s a new rental complex with 110 townhomes called Edgeway along 51 Avenue and 117th Street that opened this past November.The two- and three-bedroom homes are modern, sleek and apparently many students are renting there. These homes are not part of the Edmonton real estate market, but they’re new, high quality rentals that may be a good fit for some of you.
For those of you with an open mind and a genuine desire to live economically and take a very different approach, there are up to 25 bachelor suites for rent each year at Strathcona Place Seniors’ Subsidized Housing in Edmonton located near 77th Avenue and 108th Street. $700 per month including all utilities.
Horizon Residence is affordable, furnished student housing in downtown Edmonton, across the street from MacEwan University and just a short walk to NorQuest College. There are 4 suite styles to choose from.
We’ll conclude today by leaving you with a few links that may be good resources for you. Happy housing hunting for the upcoming school year:
- Find roommates - http://apartmate.com/alberta/edmonton-roommates
- Rental house listings in Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg - http://www.rentingspaces.ca/index.htm
- Find student housing in Edmonton - https://www.search4studenthousing.com/alberta/edmonton/
- Living and accommodations expenses calculator for students - https://international.studentcalculator.org/