It’s the question on everyone’s mind – even before they start at UBC. “Where will I live after first year?” UBC is fabulous and guarantees housing for all first year students, which definitely makes first year a bit less stressful, but after that year is over, the remaining housing on campus is basically a free-for-all between all students of other years, not to mention grad students (although there are some areas designated for grad students). So housing after first year will typically go one of a few ways:
1) You win the winter session lottery. You lucky bum! Housing is now taken care of for you. However, most of the people who apply for winter session housing don’t get it. So what then?
2) You get year-round housing. Year round housing is often the next stop for people looking for housing on campus. And it’s what it sounds like; you sign a year lease and get to live there for the whole 12 months, and you can renew at the end of the year without having to go on a waiting list again. But let’s say you don’t get into year-round either (or don’t want it). What happens next can be quite different for different people.
3) Stay with family. People with relatives or friends of the family who live close to UBC will often try to rent out their basements. Pretty solid plan, if you’ve got a relative with a vacancy. I however, do not.
4) Find an apartment/basement suite for rent off campus. Plenty of people in the Kitsilano and Kerrisdale areas (and other areas surrounding UBC) will rent their rooms out to students. However, if you want to be close to the university it can often be very pricy, so finding something suitable can sometimes be tricky. There are plenty of sites to look on for places though, such as amsrentsline.com, kijiji, and Rent BC.
5) Get a condo. This is what I’ve ended up doing. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: Oh my goodness, your family must be rich! Well, no, middle class really, we just happened to be able to afford getting a condo. And it’s what’s best for us, I mean, I’ll be sharing with a roommate to share the cost of the mortgage, I won’t have to worry about paying high rent during the summer of a 1-year lease, I won’t have to find new housing every year, if I want to go on exchange the condo will be waiting for me, and all the money we put into the mortgage now, we’ll get back when we sell the place when I graduate, instead of money that we never get back from rent.
Okay. I’ll be honest. Every time I said “we” there I really mean my parents…
I feel sure there are other things people have done for housing over the years, and if I’ve missed any please let me know in comments!