With the limited number of on-campus housing options available, many students end up looking at other options. These off-campus rentals can vary in price, and finding the right balance between the distance from campus and the price can be a tough decision.
Other than the availability of spaces, some students decide to move off-campus because of the mandatory meal plan. Cathy Huang, a senior biomedical sciences major from Birmingham, said that she moved to the Pointe her sophomore year for this reason.
“What I didn’t like about living on campus was that we had to get a meal plan, and I hate food there,” she said. “I lived in Gardner Hall my freshman year. After that, I moved to the Pointe and then to University Corners.”
The Pointe, an apartment complex located near the university tennis courts with two- to four-bedroom apartments and an outdoor pool, is within walking distance from campus and can be accessed via Troy shuttle, an advantage reflected in the price.
“I paid $430 a month when I lived there (at the Pointe), and then you would have to split the utility bill,” she said.
Huang said she lived with three roommates, and the utility fee was not split fairly. However, it was what happened to her absent neighbors that prompted her to find a new place.
“Whenever the managers have to tell us something, they stick notes on our doors,” she said. “So, if no one is home, the notes keep piling up, and that is how some people notice someone was home or not. Someone went inside my neighbors’ place and stole everything.”
Her one-bedroom apartment at the University Corners (UC) apartment complexes is a rarity, according to Huang. At a cost of $350/month without utility fees, UC, situated just outside the campus gates near Trojan Village, is closer to the campus and cheaper than the Pointe. However, it comes at the price of losing the pool, outside security and having worse maintenance.
“Pointe is really good at maintenance, but with University Corners it takes time,” she said. “At University Corners, we don’t have a wall so it is open to everyone; it was more safe at the Pointe.”
Along South Brundidge Street a little farther from UC, students can find cheaper housing.
Amiya Biswas, a junior computer sciences major from Dhaka, Bangladesh, said she moved from UC to a much cheaper two-bedroom apartment at University Avenue owned by G. Mallone Chandler.
“I used to pay $350 a month, plus utilities, for a bedroom and combined kitchen apartment at the University Corners, but Dr. Chandler’s two-bedroom apartment was only $475 a month (total for the apartment) plus utilities,” she said.
Biswass said she then moved to a similar apartment nearby.
“Now, I live in one of his houses for $550 a month (total). It is just minutes away from campus and the apartments are unfurnished, so we can decorate it on our own.”
For car-owning students, another off-campus housing option is one of the mobile homes not accessible by Troy shuttle, like Forest Acres, a mobile home park on Elba Highway that is a five-minute drive away from campus.
Demarco Berry, a sophomore accounting major from Troy, lived in one of Forest Acre’s three-bedroom lodgings over the summer and said that the price was up to the value.
“It’s like living in a trailer,” Berry said. “You get what you pay for.
“I guess you would pay the same as if you stayed in an apartment. You can possibly get four rooms and just have one. And you can actually have a yard and stuff like that.”
The total amount for the place varies depending on the number of bedrooms. Berry said that he and his roommates split their three-bedroom apartment’s total price of $550 and $40 set water bill evenly, so everyone paid $196 a month for the stay.
“There was time we were paying month by month—because we were planning on moving—so you can do that, but I think they prefer you to do a year lease, and then, I think, you can just keep adding on (rent) if you plan on graduating over the summer or something like that,” he said.
Berry also noted the quiet community and proximity to campus, which allows for small gas expenditures.
“It’s like a straight shot to school pretty much if you live there,” he said. “Takes almost three weeks to get rid of a full tank,” he said.
Berry said that availability during the school year is limited, and students need a good credit score to sign the lease.
“The one downside was the roads,” he said. “The roads aren’t that nice. That’s the only thing I can really remember that I didn’t like about it.”
These options are only a few of the many available housing locations around Troy. But students need to decide quickly and secure their spots before the hunt for apartments resumes when school starts again next semester.