Before you begin looking for housing, try to have a clear idea of what you want and ask yourself the following questions:
- Will I need to rely on public transportation or will I have a car?
Temple University is easily accessible by public transportation from most of Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. The Broad Street subway, many bus lines, and several SEPTA (www.septa.org) regional rail lines all have stops on Temple’s campus and many of our students rely on public transportation to get to school each day. From Temple’s campus, they also take the subway and regional rails to summer and part-time jobs in the law firms, agencies, and courthouses of Center City.
Many of our students do not have a car because they do not need one. Maintaining a car is expensive and insurance and parking can be expensive in the city. Additionally, car and related expenses are not included as part of the financial aid budget, so unless absolutely necessary, there is no need to have a car. If you do plan to have a car, remember to ask if parking is available in the area you are looking for housing. Housing located further outside the city typically offers free parking.
- Do I need or want a roommate?
This is an important question you must ask yourself. Can you afford to live alone? If you need a roommate, will you have enough privacy to study? Remember that the costs of living on your own are more than just your rent (food, utilities, phone, entertainment, household items, travel, commuting). While living in Philadelphia is quite affordable, there are still expenses related to living in a city for which you must plan.
The Admissions Office maintains a list of students who wish to be placed on a roommate list. The list is shared with all of the students who have indicated that they are interested in looking for or sharing housing with another incoming law student. If you decide you need a roommate and would like help looking for one, e-mail Jacqueline Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org from your TUmail account for access to the list. We do not match people up; we simply put the list together and send it to everyone who responded via e-mail. We start compiling and distributing the list in April.
- Do I want to live on campus?
Although most of our law students prefer to live off campus, there is a limited apartment-style housing available for law students on the University campus. If you think you would like to live campus-affiliated housing, you are encouraged to act immediately. Space is limited. All inquiries about campus-affiliated housing should be directed to the Office of University Housing and the law school is not involved in making housing assignments. For information on living on Temple University’s campus visit www.temple.edu/housing/. The University Housing Office also provides information on securing off campus housing. Click here for more information.
- When should I begin looking for housing?
Now that you have made some basic housing decisions and have an idea of where you want to live you need to begin your search. Determine that you want and can afford, and remember that very few landlords will agree in May to hold an apartment until August, if he/she can get someone who will start paying rent sooner. First year registration is in August so it may be best to plan a visit to Philadelphia during the summer to find a house or an apartment. Prepare in advance before beginning your search. In the past organized students have found a place in only one or two days.
- Where do I begin?
Students have told us that they have done their basic apartment-shopping research online and then schedule appointments at the apartments they wanted to visit. Before finding your apartment of choice, you might want to focus on a few choice neighborhoods.
Once you’re ready to start apartment shopping, start with the below websites, recommended by current Temple Law students.
Apartment List asks for several pieces of information before offering a custom list of housing options. Each property includes basic information, amenities, and neighborhood information, including walkability and transit scores. Please note: you must provide your name and email address to view apartments.
Abodo rates properties and offers users the ability to draw an area of the city to search for apartments in as well as the ability to search by commute time.
Trulia.com offers users the ability to sort by maximum and minimum rent, bedrooms, bathrooms, pet friendliness, property type, and draw an area of the city to search.
The Philadelphia Apartment Company offers a free service to renters that allows you to search by neighborhood, minimum and maximum rent, pet policies, parking, laundry, and more. Center City Philadelphia and Philadelphia suburbs are included.
My Apartment Map offers mainly high-rise building apartment options. Students can sort by neighborhood, although it does not offer neighborhood options at the same depth as other sources.
The Sublet offers multiple types of rentals, from short-term subleases to more traditional rentals. Students can search by neighborhood, lease terms, size, rent, and more.
Philadelphia Weekly, a weekly newspaper in the city, has teamed up with Broad Street Classifieds to host area apartments. Many of the landlords/management companies who list specific apartments have other housing options available and may be worth exploring.
(For international student housing)
Additionally, students may want to use a realtor to find an apartment. Realtors know the city well and usually have many places to choose from. Best of all, they don’t charge you anything for helping you find a place. Their fee is paid by the apartment owner.