When to sign the dotted line

Photo illustration by Emileé Edwards

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

Students are faced with many decisions as they navigate their way to their first lease agreement: one-year or two-year lease? How many roommates will they live with? Budget? Location? Amenities? Is there a best time to sign?

Most apartment complexes around campus open their next leasing season around October. Those who sign earlier in the season will likely get the lowest rates.

Caroll McCann, the general manager of U Pointe on Speight, said they start leasing mid-October, and those that sign first benefit.

“The best time to sign is sooner rather than later,” McCann said. “You will also get placement preferences above people who sign later, but we still have to take into account any students who decide to renew their leases with us.”

Humble sophomore Julia Ericson held off signing a lease at U Pointe for a couple of months to not rush finding roommates or decide what exactly she wanted in an apartment.

“Though if you sign early you can choose what apartment complex works best for you based on price and location. The longer you wait, the more expensive apartments will be and there are less options to choose from,” Ericson said. “When I signed in December, there were a few apartment complexes starting to fill up, but most still had plenty of spots open. There was still the pressure of rent increasing, so we decided to sign before it raised to a price that was too high.”

Barrington, Ill., junior Lilly Robbins is a former resident of Park Place Waco, another apartment complex just off campus. She didn’t think the price increase by signing later was a big enough difference to matter, so she signed a lease the winter prior to its start date in August.

“A lot of people rush to sign first semester, but then you might get stuck with people you don’t really get along well with,” Robbins said.

Sasha Ramjattan, the sales and marketing manager of Ursa Apartments, said usually rates are lower in the beginning of the leasing season at Ursa too, but there’s no deadline to early signing or general leasing.

“There usually aren’t any deadlines for signing,” Ramjattan said. “In the past, we have done like a certain number of spots for lower pricing and then we will increase gradually.”

Oso Verde Student Living Assistant Manager Brian Brooks said there isn’t a strict deadline to sign at Oso either. While only current residents get access to early signing, new residents can sign starting in October up until there are no more spots available.

Maple Lake, Minn., senior Kinsley Hurt lived in Ursa her sophomore year and signed earlier her freshman year, in November.

“It was nice to get it off our plate,” she said. “After rush, I did get asked to live in a house with my sorority sisters, so at that time I regretted signing so early.”