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Table of contents 4 Property virgins Make sure you’re prepared to sign the lease on your new place By Megan Gates
15 On-campus Find the residence hall that’s right for you next year at Missouri State. By Lindsey Howard
8 ‘The roof is on fire’ Worried about property damage? Renters insurance may be for you. By Briana Simmons
16 How does my company rank? Check out The Standard staff reviews of their personal management companies.
10 A short-term living affair Not staying a whole year in Springfield? Not a problem with these rentals. By Nicolette Martin 12 A full house The Monroe is packed with changes for the next academic year. By Amber Duran 14 Know your rights You can be discriminated against when searching for housing in Springfield. By Katie Lamb
18 A place for your kitty cat Worried about finding Fido and Garfield a home? Check out these options. By Lindsey Howard 20 Banned Breeds Unfortunately, you can’t bring these guys with you to your apartment. By Lindsey Howard 21 Roommate woes Having issues with your roommate? Check out these sites to find a new one.
Standard staff Editorial staff Steph Anderson photo editor Kelsey Berry life editor Theresa Brickman copy editor Amber Duran reporter Megan Gates editor-in-chief Evan Henningsen photographer Sarah Hiatt photographer Lindsey Howard managing editor Katie Lamb reporter Briana Simmons reporter Sarah Smith videographer Cali Shobe copy editor Gage Turner copy editor
Advertising staff Wil Brawley sales Trevor Collins sales Brandi Frye sales Brent Rinehart graphic design Adam Simpson graphic design Professional staff Jack Dimond faculty adviser Sandy King advertising manager
Housing Guide 2013
This is a publication of Missouri State University’s student-produced newspaper, The Standard. The university has not approved and is not responsible for its content, which is produced and edited by The Standard staff. The Standard 901 S. National Ave. Springfield, MO 65897 417-836-5272 Standard@MissouriState.edu Cover and centerfold design by Brent Rinehart
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Property virgins The Standard
Getting out of the residence halls can be exciting, but also intimidating if it’s your first time. Make sure you’re prepared to take the plunge. By Megan Gates The Standard
You’re finally taking the plunge and moving out on your own to your first ever college apartment. But as exciting as it may be to leave the dorms and resident assistants behind you, there are some important things you need to have in order before you can sign the lease on your new digs.
As college students, we’re all used to pinching our pennies, but this is especially important when moving into an apartment. Figure out what you can afford to pay each month for an apartment, and then subtract about $100 from that. This money will make up your funds for utilities and cable/Internet bills and help ensure that you’re not overstretching your dollars. Once you’ve determined this amount, start saving for your rental deposit, which will be required when you sign your lease.
Determine your budget
Moving out of the dorms, or your parents’ house, is a big adult step, and you need to make sure that the people you’re moving in with are on the same page as you. Sit down and discuss what your budget is for your new place, your deal breakers for an apartment and your living habits. If these don’t line up, you may want to look for a new roommate and save your friendship while you can.
Have a frank discussion with your roommates
Once you’ve decided your budget and talked to your roommates, figure out how far away from campus you want to live. Discuss whether you want to be able to walk to campus, or are OK with driving each day to get to class. Some properties, such as TLC, offer shuttle services to residents, which you can take into account should you not want to have to worry about parking on campus.
Location, location, location
Some apartment management companies are great in Springfield, and others will rob you blind. Make sure to do your research by asking older friends who they’ve rented from and if it was a good experience. Find out how management companies respond to maintenance requests and how much of your initial deposit you can expect to receive once you move out.
Check out management companies
u See FIRST page 6
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Steph Anderson/THE STANDARD
Construction takes place on the Bear Village apartment complex, one of the many apartment complexes for first-time renters to consider near campus.
Continued from page 4 Once you’ve narrowed your apartment search down, call the management company and set up a tour of a property you’re interested in. Make sure all of your roommates can go with you on the tour, and if you’re nervous, try to get someone’s parent to go with you as well to ask questions. This could be your new home in Springfield, and you want to make sure it’s a good investment.
Take a tour with someone
What should I ask the landlord? 1. What’s the average utility bill? 2. What utilities are residents responsible for? (Some companies will pay for everything, some won’t) 3. Is there parking for every resident? Is it reserved? 4. When’s rent due, and where do I pay it at? (Some companies let you pay online, others make you pay a check or money order) 5. Is there security on-duty? 6. Do you require renter’s insurance? 7. Do all residents of the apartment need to sign the lease?
Before getting your apartment, you’ll need to talk to your roommates about whether you want to buy cable and Internet for your apartment, and whose name you want the utilities to be in. It’s a good idea to not let one person be responsible for all of those things, so if you decide you want cable and Internet, let one roommate be the account manager. Then, let someone else be responsible for the utilities. That person will need to set up an account with City Utilities if your apartment requires you to pay for any utilities on your own.
Utilities and amenities talk
Once you’ve decided on your new place, make sure to get a copy of the lease your new management company wants you to sign and read it thoroughly. Find out if the company requires you to purchase renter’s insurance, what utilities you are responsible for and if you need to have a co-signer. Make sure to read the fine print so that you’re not surprised by any hidden fees that may come up after you’ve signed the lease.
Ask the tough questions
If your roommate situation goes south, it’s a good insurance policy to have everyone living in the apartment be on the lease. This ensures that no one will have to cover anyone else’s rent should he or she not pay it on time. If you’re concerned about this becoming an issue, talk to your future landlord about their policy on a roommate not covering their rent.
Request that all residents be on the lease
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‘The roof is on fire’ 8 | Housing Guide 2013
Don’t be unprepared if catastrophe strikes your new apartment and burns it to the ground. Instead, consider buying renter’s insurance for peace of mind and to ensure that your stuff is protected. By Briana Simmons The Standard
Many students would agree that living off campus has its perks, but it also comes with more responsibilities than staying in a dorm. What would you do if your belongings were stolen from your apartment or if your dog bit a friend of yours while at your place? Instances like these are giving landlords more than enough reason to require that renters of their properties have renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is a type of coverage on personal property and other liabilities.
In other words, renter’s insurance provides funds for unexpected costs. So why are renters requiring this type of insurance now? Sarah Williams, insurance account representative of State Farm Insurance, believes it may be a safety net for apartment complex landlords. “More and more people are becoming sue happy, so with renter’s insurance there’s that personal liability built in,” Williams said. “Your friend is over, gets hurt and sues the landlord instead of suing the renter.” With renter’s insurance, the right person will be held accountable for the damage
done and will be able to provide assistance for any of the unexpected costs. Renter’s insurance can include medical coverage, personal liability, personal property and other forms of coverage. Get a free quote from some of the “Usually people who are renting get the leading insurance companies at minimum coverage because they may be http://netquote.com on a budget,” Williams said. • State Farm If you’re planning on living off campus • All State or already have required renter’s insur• Progressive ance, take the time to fully understand • Geico where your money is going and if you are • Nationwide getting the most for your money. Get a free quote from some of the leading insurance companies such as State Farm, All State, Progressive, Geico and Nationwide at http://www.netquote.com
What’s it cost?
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A shortThe Standard
As if finding the perfect apartme who wonâ€™t be at Missouri State youâ€™re in the market for a lease Town and Campus Apartments 2010 E. Page St. Springfield, MO 65802 417-866-3449 1.3 miles Rosewood Village 2072 E. Bennett Springfield, MO 65804 417-887-9710 1.7 miles Harvard Apartments 1938 S. Grant Ave. Springfield, MO 65807 417-887-4113 2.7 miles
Woodgate Apartments 2120 S. Ingram Mill Road Springfield, MO 65804 417-887-4661 4.3 miles
Villages at Nathanael Greene 1950 S. Scenic Ave. Springfield, MO 65807 417-887-7373 4.3 miles Polo Club Apartments 4347 S. Weller Ave. Springfield, MO 65804 417-881-3511 4.8 miles
term living affair
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nt isn’t hard enough, added to the list of necessities for students for a full academic year is the challenge of finding a short lease. If that isn’t 12 months, check out some of the options near campus. Quail Ridge Apartments 2546 S. Ingram Mill Road Springfield, MO 65804 417-887-8811 4.8 miles
Fairfield Village 3038 W. Deerfield St. Springfield, MO 65807 417-887-8864 6.6 miles
Pavillion on Battlefield 3039 Ridgecrest Drive Springfield, MO 65807 417-877-9080 6.7 miles
Plainview Park Apartments 641 W. Farm Road 182 Springfield, MO 65810 417-883-1528 6.9 miles
Distance measurement is distance from Missouri State’s campus – Compiled by Nicolette Martin
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The Monroe was purchased by Missouri State last fall from the Miller O’Reilly Company. Since then, it’s undergone significant changes to make it ready to house MSU students. By Amber Duran The Standard
Missouri State’s purchase of The Monroe apartments became official in December of last year, giving students even more options for non-dorm, on-campus housing; however, all beds currently have been leased for the 2013-2014 school year. The Monroe is located at Monroe and National, just kitty-corner to the Taylor Health and Wellness Center, and houses up to 126 upper-class men and women. Each apartment contains private bedrooms and full baths for each individual tenant, which means no bathroom sharing. Carl Watkins, a sophomore biology major, moved into his new apartment at The Monroe one week ago and says he loves it.
“I love having my own space,” he said. “I also like not having an RA.” Watkins formerly resided in Blair-Shannon and said he loves the apartment style living and would recommend The Monroe to any student. The residence life website has not yet listed the monthly rates for any of the apartment units, but Watkins said his monthly rent is $595 for a room in a four-person suite, which includes his own bathroom. Gary Stewart, director of Residence Life and Services, said that rent rates have not yet been settled upon by the Board of Directors, but that a few dollar increase per apartment type has been recommended. There are two other styles of apartment units: one-person and two-person suites, according to the residence life website.
According to Stewart, in an article from Nov., there are plans for a separate alcohol policy for The Monroe and a new gender-inclusive policy. However, Stewart said these policies are still being discussed, and no decisions have been made yet. Since the takeover in December, MSU has added a 24/7 staff member on the first floor, and a computer lab is being installed for the tenants, according to Stewart. Stewart said that one of the best things about The Monroe is, “Location, location, location!” “Students desiring to live in Monroe Apartments will have all of the amenities they might be interested in an off-campus location, but The Monroe only requires a $100 deposit, and all payments are handled through the students’
accounts,” he said. Other amenities for this facility include a full-functioning kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a front-loading washer and dryer in each apartment, a large gathering room on the first floor, air conditioning and wireless internet access. The Monroe is a LEED-certified and LEED-designed facility, which means The Monroe helps contribute to the going green efforts around campus. If you are looking for a place to live that is on campus, but does not involve a dorm lifestyle, you can still apply for The Monroe, Stewart says, but your name will be put on a waiting list. To get a feel for the layout of each available Monroe suite, check out http://reslife.missouristate.edu/monroe/FeaturesRates.htm.
Top: Michael Reiser, a sophomore acting major, makes a chess move against Shannon Hays, a freshman creative writing major, in his living room at The Monroe. Bottom: The outside of The Monroe apartment complex. Photos by Steph Anderson.
Knowing your rights 14 | Housing Guide 2013
As a college student, you’re not part of a protected class and can be discriminated against by management companies when you’re applying for housing in town. By Katie Lamb The Standard
When applying for housing, you are protected against discrimination based on race, sex, ancestry, color, disability, familial status, creed and national origin, according to the Fair Housing Act. You are not, however, protected against discrimination for being a college student, said Todd Thomas, a real estate broker and a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations. “It is legal for renters to say they will not rent to college students because it does not fall under a protected class,” Thomas said. For example, a renter cannot say, “I will not rent to someone who has a family,” as that would fall under the protection of familial status. However, some properties are exempt
from federal discrimination laws. “If housing is operated by a religious organization, they can limit occupancy to their own members,” Thomas said. “Also, there can be communities where tenants must be 55 years old, or older.” Under no circumstances, though, can someone discriminate based on race, Thomas said. If someone feels they have been discriminated against, the first step is to file a report with the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations. “The complaint has to do with discrimination in a protected class,” Thomas said. “If it is, then we’ll see if we can work it out between the tenant and the landlord.” If the dispute cannot be worked out —as the commission cannot force anyone to do anything —then they can send it off to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. Complaints filed with HUD are investigated by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, according to HUD’s website. Thomas said there are a few reasons as to why renters might not want to allow college students, with the first reason being partying. “The number one thing (for renters) is the right to peaceful quiet and enjoyment,” Thomas said. Another reason an owner may not allow students is because of financial reasons. Because of the wait for processing student loans, it may cause the student to be unable to pay their rent on time. Thomas said he’s had students pay their rent a year in advance before, but obviously that is not an option for everyone. The final reason Thomas gave was that students change roommates frequently, which can cause problems for the property
owners. “That doesn’t give us a chance to vet those people,” Thomas said. When applying for housing, Thomas suggests students bring the following: •A proof of income •A letter of recommendation from a previ ous landlord •A copy of your bank statement •A copy of a recent paycheck stub If you have an interview with a property manager, dress appropriately. “When you fill out an application for a property, treat it like it’s a job application,” Thomas said. “Someone is giving you the rights to a piece of property that’s expensive, and they have to be diligent to make sure that property is safe.” If you would like more information on the Fair Housing Laws, go to http://portal.hud. gov.
Sometimes, it can be daunting trying to find a place to live after freshman year. If you arenâ€™t ready to move out on your own or to go apartment hunting, consider spending another year in one of the many on-campus residence halls.
Cost: Rates range depending on meal plan selected from $7,175 a year for 10 meals per week to $7,354 a year for an unlimited number of meals each week. Style: Six-person suites with three bedrooms and one bathroom; accommodates 729 men and women on single-gender floors
Cost: $8,870 to $9,049 per year for a twoperson suite; $8,055 to $8,234 a year for a four-person suite Style: Two- and four-person suites with one bathroom per suite; accommodates 584 men and women
Cost: $7,175 to $7,354 per year; one-person rooms are an additional $380 per semester Style: One-, two- and three-person rooms with one bedroom, and one bathroom; for upper-class students; accommodates 136 in a coed environment
Cost: $6,794 to $6,973 per year Style: Two- and three-person bedrooms with communal bathrooms on each floor; accommodates 740 men and women
Cost: $8,870 to $9,049 per year for a twoperson suite; $8,055 to $8,234 a year for a four-person suite Style: Two- and four-person suites with one bathroom per suite; top floor is coed and reserved for upper-class students; accommodates 605
Cost: $8,055 to $8,234 a year for a fourperson suite Style: Four-person suites with two bedrooms and one bathroom. For Honors students only; one floor reserved for upper-class students; accommodates 115 residents
Cost: $6,701 to $6,880 for a two-person apartment; $6,235 to $6,414 for a three-person apartment; $5,769 to $5,948 for a fiveperson apartment. Style: One-bedroom apartments for two or Wells House three people with one bathroom and two-bedCost: $6,794 to $6,973 per year for a tworoom apartments for five people with two and three-person room; $7,175 to $7,354 per bathrooms; accommodates 186 year for a four-person suite with two bedrooms Style: Two- and three-person rooms, fourperson suites reserved for upper-class students; communal bathrooms on each floor; Woods House accommodates 490 Cost: $6,794 to $6,973 per year Style: Two-person rooms; central bathrooms on every floor; accommodates 376 Compiled by Lindsey Howard
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What’s the verdict on my 16 | Housing Guide 2013
Beacon Commons Affiniti Management Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4 Rent: $510/person, all utilities, cable and Wi-Fi included
Lindsey Howard This is my second year living in Beacon Commons, and it has its pluses and minuses. It’s really nice to be so close to campus so I can walk when the weather is nice, and there is a shuttle stop right across the street for when it’s cold, rainy, snowy or I’m just feeling lazy. I love having my own bedroom and bathroom, and each is a good size. Also, the apartment is fully furnished, and it's nice to not have to go somewhere else to do my laundry, as a washer and dryer are also included. However, I continually have problems with parking that Evan Henningsen/THE STANDARD management doesn’t deal with effectively or Beacon Commons is managed by Affini- efficiently, which is frustrating since we have reserved assigned spots. ti Management.
Elm Crest Apartments
Aaron Property Management Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 1 Rent: $595 per month, all utilities included
As someone whose main transportation is a bike, living this close to campus for this cheap is really nice, and the units are great as well, with lots of space. The apartment Wi-Fi was recently upgraded, and is very rarely slow. Management is easy to reach, and any maintenance problems have been resolved quickly. .
Affiniti Management Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2 private Rent: $560/person, fully furnished, all utilities/cable/Wi-Fi included
I have been really happy during my time at Beacon Park. This is the first year I've lived off campus and in an apartment, and they made the process very painless. They're good about fixing things that need to be fixed and it's a very safe environment. I would definitely recommend it.
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TLC Properties Bedrooms: 1 Bathrooms: 1 Rent: $589 total
Going into my lease last Kelsey year, I was a first time renter, Berry and the office agents took the time to sit down and explain everything to me and answer all of my questions —and believe me, I had a lot. They made me feel so welcome in my new home. Since then, I’ve only had to call maintenance once, and they came the very same day and fixed the problem. Even when my roommate and I got a noise complaint, they were very relaxed about it and assured us that it happens frequently and it wasn’t a big deal. Although sometimes the Wi-Fi has been sketchy, the problem is always taken care of within 48 hours. I definitely recommend renting from TLC if you want a friendly and easy-going experience.
Cherry Plaza Apartments
Founders Park Lofts Birmingham and Associates Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 1 Rent: $700 total
My management company, Birmingham and Associates, has been very responsive and easy to deal with. Any issues with maintenance are taken care of within a few days, and the resident manager is always quick to respond to lighting and noise issues. Overall, I am satisfied with their work!
Wooten Company Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2 Rent: $565 total
Megan This is my first year living Gates at a property owned by The Wooten Company, and, in terms of the property, it’s been mediocre. The location right next to campus across from Taco Bell is great, but the responses to maintenance requests can be very slow depending on the time of year. Also, the kitchen area is like a matchbox, with absolutely no storage. If you’re looking for a great location, this place is definitely it, but if you have a lot of personal items, I’d suggest living somewhere with more storage options and amenities.
Evan Henningsen/THE STANDARD
Cherry Plaza Apartments are managed by the Wooten Company.
Finding a place for 18 | Housing Guide 2013
You’ve moved out of on-campus housing, but you’ve also managed to buy apartment hunting difficult. Thankfully, several management companies will
You have moved out of the residence halls and decided to adopt that perfect pet you have always wanted, but couldn’t find a way to smuggle into Freddy. Now that you are looking for a place of your own, you’ve got to consider the well-being of Fido, too. If you are looking for an apartment that will not only house you, but also your pet, look no further than these pet-friendly apartments that welcome your furry friends: TLC Properties are probably the most petfriendly. They allow pets at all of their complexes. Check out some of their properties closest to campus. 3.2 miles from MSU Address: 1530 E. Erie St. Contact: 417-882-5555 or
email@example.com Pet Policy: Dogs and cats 25 pounds and under are permitted in five of the community’s eight wings. However, puppies are not allowed, as dogs must be at least one year old. There is a $150 nonrefundable pet fee and all residents must carry renter’s insurance. Each unit is allowed two pets, and residents must walk their pets in designated areas and pick up after them. Excessive pet noise, such as barking, is treated as a noise complaint.
can have up to three pets per apartment. The damages caused by pets. TLC breed restriction is in place. Marion Park also has three dog stations on the property for Battlefield Park Apartments 3.9 miles from MSU owners to use. Address: 3020 S. Sagamont Ave. Contact: 417-886-9338 or Sherwood Village firstname.lastname@example.org Apartments Pet Policy: Pets are allowed and there is a 3.7 miles from MSU $150 fee per pet. TLC also has a list of 34 dog Address: 1634 S. Marion Ave. breeds that are restricted, which includes: Contact: 417-869-7800 or American wolfdog, Australian shepherd, Blue email@example.com heeler and Boston terrier. Pet Policy: Sherwood Village has a oneMarion Park Apartments time pet fee of $150 per cat or $200 per dog. 3.6 miles from MSU Coryell Courts Apartments There are no size restrictions on dogs, but 4.6 miles from MSU Address: 1725 S. Marion Ave. aggressive breeds, including German shepAddress: 2020 E. Kerr St. Contact: 417-865-1244 or herds, pit bulls and akitas are not allowed. All Contact: 417-864-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Pet Policy: As per every TLC property, tenants are required to have renter’s insurance Pet Policy: Like every property owned by there is a one-time $150 pet fee and tenants with a pet rider on the policy to cover any
your kitty cat the-standard.org
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Garfield in the process, which could make rent to you, and your cat.
TLC, there is a $150 pet fee and an close to campus. One pet is allowed per aggressive breed restriction. There is no apartment after a $200 fee, but large and limit on size, and Coryell Courts keeps aggressive dogs are not allowed. treats in the office for pets. For a full listing of TLC properties, Cherry Plaza Apartments 0.7 miles from MSU visit http://www.tlcproperties.com. Address: 1210 E. Cherry Plaza Contact and Pet Policy: Same as TLC isn’t the only company that has pet-friendly housing. Check out some Campus Court Apartments other potential homes for you and your Cunning Apartments pets. 1.2 miles from MSU Address: 435 E. Harrison St. Campus Court Contact and Pet Policy: Same as Apartments Campus Court Apartments Less than 1 mile from MSU For other properties managed by The Address: 1228 E. Belmont St. Wooten Company, visit Pet Policy: All properties managed http://www.wootenco.com. by The Wooten Company are pet friendly, not to mention very conveniently
4.1 miles from MSU Address: 1029 W. Battlefield Road Contact: 417-799-0340 or firstname.lastname@example.org Pet Policy: Pets that weigh 25 pounds or less are allowed and there is a $300 pet fee.
Tall Grass Apartments
Unfortunately, there are many places near campus that don’t allow pets. If you’re looking at any of the following, but room for your pet is a must, it’s probably best to move on: University Properties Bryan Properties Beacon Commons, Beacon Park The Jefferson The Monroe
Sarah Hiatt/THE STANDARD
Brittani Tyree, a cell and molecular biology major, feeds her cats at Sherwood Village Apartments.
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Banned breeds The Standard
Many management companies have a list of dog breeds that are banned on their properites, either because the breed is aggressive or big. Check out TLC Propertiesâ€™ list of restricted breeds. American wolfdog Australian shepherd Blue heeler Boston terrier Bouvier des Flandres Boxer Bulldog Bull mastiff Bull terrier Cane corso Caucasian shepherd Chinese Shar-Pei Chow chow English mastiff English springer spaniel Eskimo dog Fox terrier French bulldog
Greenland husky Italian mastiff Keeshond Kotezebue husky Mastiff Neapolitan mastiff Newfoundland Rottweiler Saarloos wolfhound Scottish deerhound Siberian husky Spanish mastiff Staffordshire terrier Timber shepherd Wolf spitz Any and all breed variations of the pit bull
Sarah Hiatt/THE STANDARD
Brittani Tyree, a cell and molecular biology major, plays with her cats at her apartment in Sherwood Village, managed by TLC Properties. TLC allows residents to have cats, but restricts some breeds of dogs residents can have in their property.
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Not getting along with your current roomie? In need of a fresh start? Check out some of these options to find your perfect match.
This website, http://uloop.com, services more than 1,500 colleges and universities across the country and allows you to create a profile to find roommates, housing and apartments in your area. Uloop also allows housing management companies to post available housing directly on the site. Visit the website and create your profile today to find a roommate near you.
Roommate Click allows you to create a profile and search for people looking for a roommate for free on it’s site. It also allows you to post if you have a room opening at your apartment or house that you would like to rent out to someone else. Check out the website at http://roommateclick.com, to create a free profile to get started.
MSU Transfer Student Housing Roomster Roomster is a and Roommate Finder mates, rooms for
This group on Facebook is specifically for transfer students and those who aren’t familiar with the Springfield area. It offers information about on-campus and off-campus housing options for Missouri State students. Many people also use the Facebook page to post roommate wanted notices, and to spread the word about housing availability. Check it out at https://www.facebook.com and search MSU Transfer Student Housing.
website that lists roomrent, tenants and apartments, all in one location. According to it’s About Us section, it has more than 4 million roommates, rooms, apartments and tenants listed on the site, for areas across the United States. To use Roomster, simply visit the website at http://www.roomster.com, and search for roommates, room, or apartments in your area. It will then pull up a phone number, email address, or Facebook contact for you to get in touch with.
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