Students consider social atmosphere, price, location when apartment hunting

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Location, location and location are said to be the three most important factors in choosing a place to live. In Provo, however, the priorities are not exactly the same.

For BYU students looking for off-campus housing, the three most popular factors are often social atmosphere, price and location.

Taylor Wood, a finance major living in The Elms Apartments, said the biggest factor in choosing a place to live, for him, is the social atmosphere.

“Honestly what’s most important to me is where my friends are,” Wood said.

He said he loves the atmosphere and the short walk that gets him to campus in just under 10 minutes.

Allie Boyce, a sophomore also living in The Elms during Spring and Summer Term, said she wishes she could stay there for fall and winter, but the contracts were signed already.

“I wish I could still live here,” Boyce said. “The wards are really awesome — the apartments, not as much, but you’re never really at your apartment anyway.”

Price is not a high priority on Boyce’s list and was not a factor when she chose her living quarters, Liberty Square, for fall. Her reason for choosing Liberty Square was because she “heard it was really social.”

It may be hard to find a social atmosphere, location and price or quality of an apartment altogether. If a student wants a nicer apartment, he or she has to pay a higher rent and may have to sacrifice location. But if that student wants a cheap apartment, he or she often must sacrifice luxury for location to campus or a social ward.

Liberty Square is $345 per month. It is the same price as a year-long contract at Alpine Village, and despite the fact that it does not have all the amenities Alpine Village has to offer, more students live at Liberty Square because of its social reputation and the closer walk to campus.

Alpine Village is located northwest of campus and about a 10-15 minute walk to the Tanner Building.

Chelsey Tobar, a recent graduate from BYU and a leasing consultant at Alpine Village, said it was the amenities and the wards that made her want to stay there.

“I loved the parking and the wards,” Tobar said. “I had the best ward. I just never wanted to leave, so I stayed.”

When Tobar discussed parking, she was referring to the giant underground parking facility Alpine Village has to offer, complete with video camera surveillance.

Alpine is known to be one of the nicer apartment complexes, and has been grouped with places such as Belmont Condominiums, Old Academy and the newest addition to Provo housing opening Fall 2012 — The Village at South Campus. Such complexes get a reputation based on the type of students who live there and how much they pay for rent.

What draws a lot of the tenants to these nicer complexes is the amenities. The Village at South Campus, which opens in August, offers fully-furnished apartments, including a big screen TV in each apartment, private rooms, a washer and dryer in each apartment, an indoor pool and hot tub on the premise, a 24-hour gym, movie and hang-out rooms in the buildings and on-site restaurants. There is also a complimentary valet trash service that will take your trash out for you if you leave it out on certain days.

Some students believe paying a high cost in rent with no extra amenities means at least being taken care of.

Katie Tehrani, a BYU student who lives off-campus at Old Academy, said the elevators and underground parking are the only extra ammenities they have.

“[Old Academy] is close to campus and it’s a nice layout, but it’s a high cost and there isn’t even a pool,” Tehrani said. “And I’ve gotten stuck in the elevator before.”

Tehrani said she thinks that with the $375 cost of rent, at least the elevators and the underground parking should be taken care of.

Old Academy roommates Dan Ellis and Aaron Lutz say they believe some rent money should go toward camera surveillance in the underground parking.

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