Published: Feb. 7, 2022
Housing fair

Do you know where you’re living next year? Attending the CU Housing Fair is a great way to find housing, meet with landlords and have your questions answered. This will be especially helpful if it’s your first time living off campus in the Boulder area. The next CU Housing Fair will be on Feb. 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the UMC’s Glenn Miller Ballroom. Here are some tips for making the most of your expo experience.

Do your research

Think about your wants, needs and constraints for housing. Here are some things to consider as you research and narrow down options.

  • Create a budget. This will include not only rent, but costs associated with housing like utilities and commuting.

  • Look into different Boulder neighborhoods. Popular areas include The Hill, Goss Grove, East Aurora, Martin Acres and North Boulder. Many students choose other areas of Boulder or neighboring communities outside of Boulder as well.

  • Consider how you’ll get to and from campus. Commuting availability, time and costs vary depending on where you live.

  • Explore different types of housing. Houses, townhouses and apartments each come with different responsibilities for tenants.

You can use Ralphie’s List to complete most of this research, and also look for potential roommates. 

As you research, remember that you are a Buff wherever you are. Your neighbors may be Boulder residents, fellow CU Buffs or both. It is important to be aware of your responsibilities as a Boulder community member. Learn more about living off campus by participating in the online Off-Campus Living Orientation.

Questions to ask landlords

During the fair, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of potential landlords. Once you have an idea of what kind of housing you are looking for, prepare some questions to ask landlords about their specific properties. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:

  • Are utilities included in the rent?

  • What are the responsibilities when it comes to upkeep?

  • Am I allowed to sublet? 

  • Who is responsible for lawn maintenance and snow removal?

  • Are there any deposits or fees due after I sign my lease?

  • What amenities are available to me as a tenant?

  • What are the options for parking? Are there additional fees for parking?

  • What are the security features of your property?

Your research should help you prepare questions to ask about details you weren’t able to find on Ralphie’s List or other websites. Taking a full inventory of what needs you would like met helps ensure you love where you live.

Follow up

Reaching out to landlords after the fair lets them know you are interested in their property and helps establish a rapport. Be sure to ask for contact information. You can ask what kind of tours they are offering, including virtual options. Many landlords will also be willing to send you a sample lease for you to review. 

When you find places you are interested in, get legal advice on any rental concerns you may have. Students can make an appointment with attorney Bruce Sarbaugh through Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations (OCH&NR) to get a free lease review before signing or for any questions or concerns you may have regarding your housing situation.

Visit the OCH&NR website for more resources to help you find housing.