A student guide to off-campus housing

It can be intimidating for students to sign their first lease, and getting a head start at looking into all the aspects of housing options is important. On April 11, UCCS Housing hosted a housing fair to orient students to the properties near campus.

Before signing a lease, a student should understand their budget. Off-campus living spaces offer varying prices, amenities and room options. Students should keep in mind what they can afford and their preferences for specific apartments. Creating a pros, cons and neutral list can help make such a big decision. Budgeting not only includes the flat rent price, but utilities, groceries, cleaning supplies, other essentials and fun money.

There are options for paying in full, approving credit to pay rent monthly or being represented by a guarantor. Paying in full is a hefty option, as students must be able to afford the rent in a single check and be locked into their lease until the move-out date. Some students may not be able to pay by themselves monthly which is why a guarantor is an option. A guarantor is a legal agreement for another person, such as a parent, to help pay costs.

Another factor to consider is finding compatible roommates. Roommates can make or break a living situation. Understanding a person’s cleaning, organization, sharing, social, eating and entertainment habits are key to feeling comfortable when choosing to live with someone. In many student living options, roommates are chosen after a survey evaluation to match students with similar habits.

Manager Jada Thompson from West Edge said, “Based on survey answers I can try my best to pair you with the best fit. You can get specific [with options] such as grad students … quiet students or certain people.”

After deciding where to live, a plan for payment and who to live with, it is time to sign a lease. Though they can often be long and dense, reading every word of the contract is a must. The fine print in leasing will reveal late fees, important dates, community rules and other somewhat-unspoken information.

Students ready to head off on their own have many options. At the housing fair representatives from West Edge, the Lodges, 11 West, Lion Village, Lookout on Cragmor and Union Heights Apartments introduced themselves to prospective students.

West Edge

West Edge apartments are located just across Austin Bluffs, west of campus. According to representative Kennedy Evans, “We’re here for students to be their home away from home during their education.”

The apartments are pet friendly and offer free Wi-Fi and individual leases. In their variety of floor plans each bedroom comes with its own bathroom. Their amenities include a 24-hour fitness gym, a resort-style pool with lounge chairs, a rooftop deck and a view of Pike’s Peak, a parking garage and elevators.

The complex offers six bed and baths for $579, four bed and baths for $599-649, three bed and baths at $929, two bed and baths at $899-949, one bed and bath at $1530, and a studio space at $1,429.

The Lodges

The Lodges are West Edge’s sister property. All apartments come with a balcony, roommate placement, free Wi-Fi and free parking. Their amenities include a heated pool and sauna, a 24-access gym, a yoga room and property on the Bluff rock trails. Notably, the Lodges offer a shuttle from the property to UCCS.

The lodges feature a one bedroom and bath all the way to a five bed and bath. Their prices range from under $799 to $1,575.

Alta Living

Alta Living used to be a landmark hotel 15 minutes from campus. Their amenities include two pools, a 24-hour fitness center, firepit area, sundeck, pickleball and tennis courts, a theatre room and more.

With so many amenities in one apartment complex, Assistant Manager Cassie Kohrt calls it “a little neighborhood in one property.”

Alta Living offers three different studio floorplan spaces with rent ranges of $885-985, or a space with one separate bedroom for $1,450.

11 West

This property is walking distance from campus in a neighborhood without much street noise. 11 West has two to three bed and bath fully furnished room plans. They also include individual leases, in-unit washer and dryer, free parking and Wi-Fi, key fob access to all front doors and security cameras at all breeze points. There are options to live in a fully furnished apartment as well. They are located near parks, welcome pets and have historically been a popular choice for upperclassmen.

11 West offers a two bed and bath floor plan starting at $899, and a three bed and bath starting at $679.

Lion Village

Sister property to 11 West, Lion Village is student housing with a townhome feel. At this property, residents must be actively enrolled in school and between the ages of 18-30 years old. Bedrooms have their own bathrooms and come fully furnished with a TV, bed and desk. Utilities and Wi-Fi are included in the rent, and amenities include a pool, gym, study areas, shuffleboard, snacks, coffee and a club house.

Floor plans range from two to four bed and baths with prices from $599-1,175 depending on rooms and size.

The Lookout on Cragmor

These apartments are on UCCS property in between Cragmor hall and the UCCS Farm. It is a 10-minute walk to campus from a small and quiet property. They are fully furnished, with private beds and baths, and offer in-unit washer and dryers. There are community events, and the management gets to know residents. Amenities include 24-hour fitness, package lockers, free printing with color and supplied ink and paper, outdoor firepit and grill area with tables and a hammock garden to be added this summer.

The floor plans offered are studio, one bed and bath, two bed and bath, three bed and bath, and four bed and bath. Currently available to rent are the three bed and bath at $750, and the one bed and bath at $799.

West Edge. Photo courtesy of West Edge.