Page 1

spring 2012

housing guide

thebatt.com


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e housing guid

22 20 20 2 18 4 10 23 8 11 23 3 9 12/13 14 17 5 7 19 6 4 16 20 16 18 15 21 24 3

Page 3 Housing Guide

available online View the 2012 Housing Guide online at www.thebatt.com

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Page 4 Housing Guide

Finding your home away from home

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story by manjusha sala Seeking a home away from home can be daunting. “I love living here – It’s my favorite place, I think it’s really safe here,� says Lauren Adams, a sophomore at Texas A&M and one of the 450 residents of a Bryan apartment complex. “I think I saw it in an advertisement. I came here and saw the room they had on display and liked it. It was kind of affordable. I live in a four-bedroom apartment with three other roommates,� she says. House-hunting is one of the major tasks for many during the college years. “Generally, they look for a place they feel safe. We have a very good relationship with Bryan Police Department, because of that we have been able to keep ourselves looking good,� says Travis Braugh, assistant general manager of a Bryan apartment community. “Rent is a very important factor too. But, I found that people are willing to pay more if they find a better proximity and

feel safe,� he says. While many don’t mind shedding a few extra dollars on fully-furnished apartments, some prefer unfurnished units, which are comparatively cheap to live in. However, the students have to buy such basics as bed, mattress, and kitchen appliances. The second option is preferred usually by international students, who choose homes or apartments in the vicinity of their own country’s communities. “I did not know anything about Texas and did not have friends here,� says Siddhita Sankholkar, a graduate student at Mays Business School. “Luckily, I found the India Association at Texas A&M on Facebook. They posted some pictures and videos of some Nagle Street apartments, where most of the Indian students live and which is on the bus route to campus,� she says. Although the apartments are older compared to others in the same area, Sankholkar opted to live there for three reasons: low rent, campus at a walkable distance and the Indian student community.

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Page 6 Housing Guide

Will it be apartment, house or dorm-style? story by john tee So you’ve cancelled your on-campus housing contract. Now what? This move brings a number of options when it comes to off-campus housing. Some students choose to live in apartments, others choose to live in houses, and then there is the option of dorm-style housing. Each has its ups and downs. Apartment living is the most common option for students to take because it is usually the cheapest out of the three. Complexes vary in size from fairly small to extremely large, and many of them are reasonably close to campus. However, there might be disadvantages that come with living in an apartment, mostly involving the convenience of seemingly mundane tasks. “For the cost of living, it’s cheaper in an apartment,” said former student Lili Zhu.

“But an apartment has disadvantages like doing laundry; you have to go to public centers in the complex. Sometimes you even have to drive to other places.” Another disadvantage of apartment life might be a lack of privacy while another advantage might be proximity to bus stops. “You also have less private space but you are nearer to bus stops, which is good for people who have no means of transportation,” Zhu said. People who choose to live in houses might have advantages over people who live in apartments. Houses are larger and tend to have more rooms so there is more personal space for the tenants. When compared to apartments, the laundry machine tends to be in the building and not in a separate facility. While houses tend to cost more and are generally farther from bus

stops, people who live in houses feel that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. “It’s more peaceful,” said John Charlesworth, junior mechanical engineering major. “It’s a better value because you have more space.” Other students opt to live in dorm-style housing. While not under the jurisdiction of Texas A&M’s Department of Residence Life, this option is similar to the on-campus residence halls. Residents interact more often among each other and while expensive, the rent covers meals at a cafeteria within the facilities. “You get to be with everybody all the time,” said Evan Lange, junior international studies major. “I met a lot of people having lived there. Also, it’s expensive but food’s included.” According to Lange, rent at a typi-

cal dorm-style housing option averages around $700 a month but when meals from the cafeteria are included, it becomes a good option for students who may not like to cook or eat out often. Rooms are single as well. “You have much more of a sense of personal space than you do in a dorm,” Lange said. However, the similarities to a dorm might a lead to a disadvantage. Rowdy neighbors, for example. “I had to deal with a bunch of drunk idiots smashing things,” Lange said. The three main options for off-campus housing have much to offer for potential residents. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, but it all depends on what the tenant wants. “You get what you pay for,” Zhu said.

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Page 9 Housing Guide

Ditch the ramen and make a real meal story by michaella walton You’re looking for an apartment that fits your needs, your budget and your lifestyle. A kitchen and good food are necessities, yet they can render useless if you don’t know how to properly make yourself a meal. College students often are unaware of their inability to cook nutritious meals until their first week of independent apartment dwelling; then the epiphany surfaces: previous years of having parents cook or eating at the dining hall have done little to teach nutritional culinary skills for just-for-one meals. In addition, the first years of dorm life and dining halls don’t properly educate students on what a normal-sized portion looks like, or how to limit the all-you-can-eat dessert. Some recognize the food flaws of freshman year and plan to change their ways once they become apartment tenants. “It’s safe to say the dining lifestyle that comes before one’s first year in an apartment does little more than teach students how to survive off of pre-made meals and ramen noodles,” says Kristen Hudman, a junior

agricultural communications and journalism major. So why the lack of cooking competence? Bailee Niles, a junior university studies major says “Not enough time, high expense of healthy options or lack of taste in comparison to less-nutritious foods are the main reasons why students don’t cook as healthy as they should.” With this said, the Internet has an answer to students’ culinary conundrum. “Many websites are devoted to collegiate lifestyles and offer recipes that are quick, nutritious, and less expensive than eating out at a rstaurant,” says Becca Felix, junior education major. Internet blogs and websites like Pinterest offer recipes that are relatively simple and incorporate fresh ingredients for a balanced diet. “After looking at Pinterest, I am excited to be out of my dorm and in an apartment where I can actually make meals with fresh produce,” says Erika Kadi, freshman biology major. “I just need to pick a few recipes to help me get started.”

$55/Hr + One Time Truck Fee

Check out these ideas: Tomato and Basil Pasta Bake 2 cups uncooked wheat-blend rotini pasta (Healthy Harvest is best) 2 cups tomato and basil spaghetti sauce 2 cups mixed thawed-frozen broccoli, carrot and cauliflower 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or Mrs. Dash extra spicy seasoning 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. 3. In a medium bowl, combine cooked pasta, spaghetti sauce, thawed vegetables, and seasoning. 4. Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray (olive oil Pam is best); add pasta mixture and sprinkle cheese on top. 5. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes. * Thaw frozen veggies by running cold water over them for 1 – 2 minutes or heat in the microwave briefly.

Easy Mexican Salad Any of your favorite salad lettuce, (easiest if prepackaged in a bag) 1 can of black beans 1 can of corn (also good if it has peppers included) or add your own fresh red peppers 1 Handful of shredded mozzarella or cheddar bagged cheese (you can choose the fat-free option if desired) ½ package of Tyson’s grilled fajita meat (chicken or steak- choose chicken for a low fat option) ½ slice of avocado to top it off Directions: 1. Wash and dry lettuce if it’s not already prepackaged. 2. Heat up the can of black beans and corn in a microwaveable bowl and add to lettuce. 3. Heat up pre-cooked chicken or steak from packet. 4. Add cheese and let melt on top of other warmed ingredients. 5. Add the sliced avocado on top. 6. Eat with chunky salsa instead of dressing, or use a cilantro lime for best taste results.


      

                

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Page 16 Housing Guide

Happiness is finding the right roommate story by bailee niles Yana Schimdt was so excited to start rooming with her good friend and two potluck roommates. Then one thing led to another and she found herself in a situation she knew she had to get out of. “My friend that I decided to room with and I got into arguments all the time,” said Schimdt, a sophomore biomedical science major from Mansfield, Texas. “Then for no reason at all the other two turned on me too. They treated me like a maid and always took advantage of me. I was the one

that did all the chores around the apartment and then I was finally sick of it. I knew I had to move.” When she finally decided to change apartments, Schmidt went to the managers of her apartment complex to let them know. They told her there were only three rooms open and two of which were smoking rooms. That made the decision easy for her because she wasn’t a smoker. “My new roommates are awesome,” Schmidt said. “We have so much in common. One of them is even Pre-Vet like me!

They also have animals and I love animals.” Everyone in college doesn’t have a roommate horror story though. For example, Josh and Trevor Watson are “perfect” roommates. “I didn’t start thinking about college until junior or senior year,” said Trevor Watson, junior kinesiology major. “When I finally got serious about college it only made sense to live with Josh.” Josh and Trevor are not just brothers, See roomate on page 23

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Page 18 Housing Guide

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story by natasha ruddock Hosting a party? Having a “Thirsty Thursday” event in your apartment? This is normal for college apartment residents in Bryan–College Station. Students want to have fun, they want to make their college experience a great one, they want to socialize. “We don’t have a problem with our residents hosting parties, it’s just how it is done and if they are taking into consideration the safety of their neighbors and their guests,” said a College Station apartment manager. Residents are given guidelines that they are required to follow and if they are followed, then everything will be conducted in a decent manner. However, some individuals will host a party where they will have very loud music, large kegs of liquor, various drinking games and crowds lined up outside by their apartment door and when this occurs, they are creating a problem between them and management. There are some things that can be done

that will allow students to host their party without making any noise that will result in getting them in trouble. “If rules are followed by these college residents when they are planning their parties, then their party will be a success,” a leasing agent said. There are a lot of things that can be done to prevent problems. One of the property managers said, “keeping the door closed at all times will be very effective, also be sure to lower the music if the door is being constantly opened.” Check all the rules of the property before throwing a party. It is common courtesy to inform your close neighbors about the party so that they will be aware. It is important for the hosts to remains sober so that they can monitor what’s going on. After the party, the host cleans up their apartment as well as the public space. “A host could talk to their neighbors after their party to see if everything went smoothly and if they disturbed them at anytime,” a property manager suggested.

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Page 19 Housing Guide

Hidden costs of apartment living story by angela driver Packing boxes, finding roommates and choosing home décor — the excitement of moving into your first apartment can mask the responsibilities that come along with being a new tenant. New expenses loom: food, cleaning supplies, home improvement items. Food is possibly the most deceiving. Now, there is a pantry and every meal left to concoct. Eating out may seem like an initially appealing option, but Mollie Norman, a sophomore biomedical science major, said she quickly learned “eating out was too unhealthy and too expensive,” leaving Norman to reevaluate her eating habits. Norman learned with a little more effort, she could wisely plan her weekly meals to prevent wasting food and she was able to see exactly where she was spending her money, versus throwing random items in the grocery cart. Kelsey Jones, a senior business honors and finance major, said “me and my roommates each put $20 in a jar for community food: milk, turkey, cheese and bread.” This way, she and her roommates are not individually spending money on items that may spoil if they are not quickly used. Jones said another benefit of the system is “there is always something to eat even if she has not had the chance to go grocery shopping.” Food is a seemingly small ticket cost, but the groceries in the shopping cart quickly add up to make a dent in the monthly budget. Dishwasher detergent, paper towels and a mop might be purchases to make when moving into your apartment. Living in a dorm, most cleaning expenses were taken care of, but now students must plan ahead for these costs. Home improvement items are a surprise expense for most new renters. Items such as light-bulbs and air vents were previously not considered. Budgeting for these items can be difficult because it is hard to pinpoint exactly when a light-bulb will burn out or a shelf unexpectedly break. Catherine Dennis, a junior education major, said she and her roommates “keep a list hanging up in the kitchen of all of the things they need,” that way the expenses can be shared among four people. It also is important to develop a clear understanding with the landlord about who will be responsible for what. In addition to rent each month, students should expect electricity, utility and Internet bills. Having an established method of dividing bills up with your roommates and sending them in on time will eliminate hassle and late fees.

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Page 20 Housing Guide

Making your space beautiful on a budget story by amy bauerschlag Decorating ideas have never been so accessible for bargain-hunting college students, with the creation of Pinterest.com. This is the craze that occupies the time of multitudes of Internet fiends who wish to discover innovative design schemes and learn new ways to transform their living spaces into something all their own. College students’ comfort levels in their new apartments or houses can increase by making simple additions like pictures on the walls, throwing a pillow in the corner, or using different types of lighting to illuminate their newly inhabited living space. But the question remains, how can I do this with only $5 in my bank account? A term that has floated around the blogosphere lately is “upcycling,” which is used to describe the process of taking old, seemingly useless items and converting them into new, better-quality usable items. “There are so many cool, household items that I’ve ended up putting on my wall,” said Tara Walker, senior architecture major. “Things you never would think of using make great textures on paintings, like rice or sugar, for example. They look so interesting! You’ve just got to have an innovative mindset and be willing to think outside the box when creating a piece for your room.”

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“My favorite thing to do is buy a print from my favorite artist online and then find a super cheap frame from a flea market and frame the print myself,” Walker said. There are many easy ways to make use of things that someone may have already used. “I made a canvas-looking wall hanging with an old duck cage as the frame and a ripped white sheet that my mom was getting rid of,” said Rachael Jaggers, junior computer science major. “I think I Googled ‘contemporary art’ or something and found a bird and vine that I was able to paint free-hand. The project probably cost me 30 cents if you count the paint I already had.” As for advice for incoming students, it was unanimous: don’t think you must buy all decorating items at one time. “Keep an eye out for pieces you like,” Walker said. “If something’s too expensive in the store, see if there’s a way you can make it yourself or wait a little longer and it’ll surely go on sale for cheaper.” Annie Kluesner, senior kinesiology major, said, “I’ve gotten a lot of the things that are in my house either at garage sales or Goodwill.” Alex Galewsky, junior sociology major, said, “My main goal when decorating is ‘Let me cover up this ugly, blank wall,’ which I’ve found super easy to do with things that I’ve simply accumulated over the years.” Pinterest and craft blogs have allowed people to decorate and style their room, simultaneously allowing them to remain unstrapped for cash. Launched in March 2010, Pinterest has allowed people to log or ‘pin’ things that they want to keep record of, many of which relate to crafts, do-it-yourself projects, or decorating ideas for homes and rooms. The site describes its goal as designed to ”inspire” and “discover new things.” “It’s like a social network of people that can make awesome things!” said Lauren Halliday, senior economics major. “Depending on how much school work I have, I can sometimes spend three to four hours a week on Pinterest,” Halliday said. Blending the best of both worlds, Jaggers suggests upcycling and utilizing Pinterest’s tips. “I saw this amazing rug that you can make just by tying together old t-shirts! I never would’ve thought to do that!” “My favorite thing that I’ve made would have to be these yarn-wrapped letters,” Halliday said. “It took me a little longer than I expected, but it’s definitely my favorite thing in my room.”


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BRYAN: QUIET, RELAXING 1/1. NEW LAMINATE FLOORS. LARGE BEDROOM AND CLOSET W/BUILT-IN DRESSER. STACKABLE W/D INCL. PET FRIENDLY! 979.764.RENT. www.twincityproperties.com

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BRYAN: 2/2 COMPLETELY UPDATED DUPLEX. WOOD FLOORS, NEW APPLIANCES AND CABINETS. W/D CONN, FENCED PATIO. INTERNET AND CABLE PAID! PET FRIENDLY! 979.764.RENT. www.twincityproperties.com

BRYAN: 2/1 NEAR HISTORIC DISTRICT. UPSTAIRS W/BALCONY. NEW LAMINATE FLOORS. HUGE WALK-IN CLOSET. LOTS OF STORAGE. QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD. PET FRIENDLY. 979.764.RENT www.twincityproperties.com

BRYAN: 2/1 DUPLEX CLOSE TO SHOPPING AND RESTAURANTS! W/D CONN, FENCED YARD. INTERNET, CABLE AND LAWN CARE INCLUDED! PET FRIENDLY! 979.764.RENT. www.twincityproperties.com

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COLLEGE STATION: 2/1.5 HOUSE NEAR POST OAK MALL. WALK-IN CLOSETS, FIREPLACE, W/D CONN. CARPORT, FENCED BACK YARD. LAWN CARE PROVIDED. PET FRIENDLY! SECURITY DEPOSIT $700.00 979.764.RENT. www.twincityproperties.com

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Page 23 Housing Guide

Roommate Continued from page 16

Watson, junior kinesiology major. “We even have the same major and plan to open a physical therapy practice together.” Usually when people are around the same people all the time tension builds in the room, or awkward moments between roommates occur, but Josh and Trevor know each other well enough to not let that happen. “We know what bothers each other and what makes each other happy,” Trevor said. “We aren’t clones, but we have similar interests and like the same food.” Just because they are so much alike doesn’t mean they don’t ever have dis-

agreements, but when they do they’re over quickly. “Our fights are usually over stupid and little things,” Josh Watson said. “Yeah!” Trevor Watson agreed. “The fights usually start and end in the same minute and then there is silence for about five minutes, and then we start a new conversation up again.” The only disagreement they seemed to remember was over who got the bigger room in the apartment. “We played a one on one basketball game to decide who got the bigger room,” Trevor said, “And I whooped that butt!”


Housing Guide 2012  

Housing Guide 2012

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