Staff editorial 11/21: ‘Tis the season to shop for housing

Ever since the national economy took a dive, it’s been no secret that the real estate market is in dire straits. The foreclosure rate in Florida this year is one in every 396 households, sixth highest in the nation, according to CNBC.

But the fact that there is now a buyer’s market could mean good things for students looking for off-campus housing.

The search for a new home between semesters is an issue that plagues a good portion of the student body at the University of Miami. Everything from roommate problems to studying abroad could leave a student searching for a place to live. Fortunately, it’s a smart time to be looking for a new home. Prices are falling and the real estate market in Miami is the strongest it’s been in five years, according to a report by Realty Times.

UM’s Department of Housing and Residential Life has many resources to assist in the quest for off-campus housing. Among them is a housing database that enables users to search for availabilities by neighborhood, price, proximity to UM and a number of other variables. There is also an apartment complex listing that compiles the policies of different buildings. A listing of roommate-finding resources is available, as is a guide on how to search for housing and other pertinent information for renting a home.

While looking for a home off campus, it is important to remember to exercise caution and be safe. Craigslist is notorious for a lack of integrity from some of its users, and students should be careful when using it – and similar sites – when looking for a roommate.

Looking for off-campus housing can be a daunting challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Help is available if you seek it out and it can make the process less stressful. If you’re planning to move off campus, now is as good a time as ever to make the leap.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.