Apartment Searching

How to find student housing in Philadelphia

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Finding an apartment is always an ordeal, especially in a big city. And in the past year it’s gotten exponentially harder, as cities rebound from the effects of COVID-19, renters are met with low inventory and even higher rent prices. 

For students, finding a place to call home can be especially tough. Your home should be a retreat from long days in class, a quiet place to study and unwind, and it needs to have just the right lease terms to match the school year and the ideal price to match your budget. Overwhelmed? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Common is here to help. Finding student housing is hard, but just like everything else, we make it easy. Keep reading for our tips.

Know your options

As a student, you have more housing options than you might realize. And no, we’re not talking about dorms. While those might be fun for freshmen, they can cost even more than a traditional apartment when they’re in a large city. Plus, do you really want an RA knocking on your door whenever you have people over? If you’re looking for housing in Philadelphia, you need to know your options.

Subletting

Many students sublet rooms or apartments for the summer or school year, taking on a portion of another person’s lease while they travel, move in with a partner, or change cities for a new job. You can also sublet an apartment without roommates, although that’s less common. 

There are a few upsides to subletting. Typically, the space will be furnished, which saves you hundreds of dollars and tons of time furnishing the bedroom or unit yourself. If you’re moving in with roommates, you might also have the opportunity to meet new friends, whether they’re your roomies themselves or in their extended network. 

Subletting isn’t without its downsides though. It’s typically an informal process, done through word of mouth rather than through a leasing agent. And because subletting is so informal, many subletters don’t put their sublettees on their lease. That means you might be paying a higher price than what’s needed for rent, and that you have fewer protections when it comes to evictions.

Living on your own

Of course, you can always rent an apartment for the school year in the traditional way, whether that’s alone or with roommates. Listing sites are your first best bet, and many allow you to sort by location, amenities, price, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other factors. In your own apartment, you can decorate however you like and truly feel at home knowing the place is yours for the entire lease term. 

However, if you’re just planning to stay in your apartment for the school year or summer semester, you’ll have to get creative. You can either find an apartment that offers short term leases, which are few and far between, or sublet to another renter once you leave the city or program. Renting your own apartment is also a huge investment: between the first and last month’s rent, security deposit, and furnishing the unit, you’ll likely spend thousands of dollars.

Coliving

What is coliving? It could be the answer to your student housing search. Coliving is roommate and city living made easier, and it’s been adopted in countries around the world as a solution to high rents and low housing supply in major cities. This type of living arrangement is a great option if you’re looking for a hassle-free move to a new city. 

It’s not for everyone — some people get squeamish at the idea of sharing a bathroom or living with strangers at all. But luckily, coliving suites are also available to rent out with your friends. Instead of springing on a 3-bedroom apartment for a semester, you and your friends can each rent a bedroom in a 3-bed coliving suite. 

What’s included in your rent with coliving differs between property managers and apartments, but we’ll share what’s included at Common.

Let’s start with lease length: instead of having to sublet a room for three months from a friend of a friend or maybe even a stranger, coliving at Common allows you to rent a room for as short as three months, and as long as 12. We also offer nine month leases — a sweet spot for those looking to travel once the spring semester is over.

And when it comes to a great deal, you won’t find one any better than at a coliving home. Coliving units come fully-furnished. That includes your essentials, like a couch, bed-frame, mattress, and dining area, but it also includes all the little things, like forks, small appliances, and even household supplies like toilet paper and dishwashing soap.

Not only do these added perks save money, but they  make roommate living way easier. With one all-inclusive rate, you’ll never have to worry about splitting the bills or arguing over whose turn it is to buy toilet paper. An added bonus? Your suite is professionally cleaned on a regular basis, so you won’t have to stress if your roommate’s cleaning habits are different than yours. 

Last but not least, coliving offers a built-in community you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re moving to a new city solo, you’ll both be paired with roommates and have access to awesome events. And if you already have a crew (lucky you!) you and your friends can move into the same suite AND expand your social circle with free community events at your home and across the city. Think wine tastings, hikes, craft nights, and pool parties!

Common at Broadridge

Coliving is at its best at Common at Broadridge, our largest home in Fairmount, Philadelphia. Alongside the convenience of coliving, members at Common at Broadridge also have complete access to the home’s 42,000 square feet of amenities. Spend your summer study seshes by the rooftop pool, end your day with a drink in the community lounge, or finally launch that podcast you’ve been planning in the building’s sound recording studios. In the colder months, cozy up with a book at the outdoor firepit or catch a game of pool with new friends in between classes. 

Rent at Common at Broadridge starts at $1150 for a single private bedroom in a fully-furnished shared suite,  $2108 for a fully-furnished, all-inclusive 2-bedroom apartment, or $3715 for a fully-furnished, all-inclusive 3-bedroom apartment. That price is net-effective with 6 weeks free, and includes WiFi, utilities, on-site laundry, alongside access to everything we listed above! To book a tour, head to our website.

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