By FuHua Chen, OMN Photographer
When searching for housing, one important factor for students can be the cost, as income sources for college students may be limited.
Although Oregon State University’s University Housing and Dining Services offers discounted rates for second-year and continuing OSU students, a term can still range around $1,880 to $4,000 per term depending on what housing plan is chosen.
When properties are in high demand, the cost for properties generally increase. In Corvallis, the closer a certain property is to OSU’s campus, the higher the rent tends to be due to high demand.
According to Tammy Barnhouse, property manager at Northwest Realty Consultants, the most cost-effective property offered at their company is a one-bedroom apartment for $750.
Closer towards campus, the rents typically run between $1,100 to $1,200 per month for two-bedroom apartments.
Barnhouse said that Northwest Realty does market analysis regularly within the Corvallis housing market.
“[Northwest Realty Consultants] has an obligation and duty to our clients to make sure we are bringing them the highest and best use of their rental property and we do our best to make sure rents are covering their overhead costs such as mortgages, taxes, insurance and general maintenance,” Barnhouse said.
Barnhouse said tenants should weigh all possible options in regards to cost-effectiveness. For example, choosing to live with roommates or opting to live alone.
“Living with people whether you know them prior or not can be tricky for certain,” Barnhouse said. “We can help guide them through this process to find the most suited unit for them and their needs.”
However, even the lower rates are high compared to other property management companies that are available in Corvallis. Northwest Realty Consultants’ most cost-effective property is near comparable to the most cost-effective plan available at The Retreat at Corvallis, a furnished student apartment complex minutes away from campus.
The D1 and D2 four bedroom plan at The Retreat are $710 and $725 respectively, per resident.
Unlike some rentals in Corvallis, The Retreat includes plans that are furnished with all utilities included, with additional amenities such as a gym, study lounge and pool.
“Sometimes paying more for a place with all utilities included is less expensive than paying for a less expensive place with no utilities included,” Tracy Khang, leasing and marketing manager for The Retreat, said via email.
Duerksen and Associates, Inc. is another property management company in Corvallis. For a single bedroom and bath, rents can run as low as $425 while staying not too far from campus at around NW 15th Street.
For two bedrooms near downtown Corvallis, the most cost-effective rent from Duersken runs around $925 per month.
Another option is Pinion Property’s Beaver Lodge, which is half a block away from Monroe Avenue. Costs are nearly comparable to Duerksen’s lowest rates, running at $492 per month for a lease until May of 2022. For a month-to-month option, Beaver Lodge runs at $525 per month.
A closer option for students who prefer to live near campus is at Parkwest Apartments. They offer one and two bedroom plans, ranging from $970 for a one bedroom to $1,365 for a two bedroom.
However, students can and typically do find roommates to split rent with. Josh Brenne, a third-year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student said via email he lived with other roommates and paid around $500 in monthly rent and utilities.
“Splitting rent definitely helped me feel more financially secure and gave me a greater ability to pay for college and other
necessities,” Brenne said.
Gary Rodgers, managing principal broker for Northwest Realty Consultants, said that typically, students will not find the most cost-effective options through the owner directly.
“Generally, older and larger apartment complexes are most cost-effective, especially if [students] can find one owned by a family, not through a property management company,” Rodgers said. “That’s just being honest. If someone wants to find good deals, they might find them through a property owner directly, rather than go through a property management company.”
Rodger’s also explained property management companies tend to keep up their properties compared to other types of rental properties.
“That is not to say that they will usually take care of the properties as well as Property Management Companies,” Rodgers said. “Some I know take excellent care of their properties. Some are just the opposite, and some of those properties are often the cheapest option available.”