Getting in gear for fall ’10

The fall semester has only just begun, and houses to rent are already on the market for students coming back next year to live off campus.

Houses for student rental in Charleston tend to be the first to go, according to Melissa Daugherty, property manager of Eastern Illinois Properties. She said students like the atmosphere of a house to themselves, especially when they have the roommates to fill them.

Houses are typically rented early because of the enticement of having students their own space for entertaining and not worrying about neighbors, she said. Daugherty said the renting demand starts when the students begin the look for their houses.

“EIP primarily has properties around EIU campus from University to 12th and from Polk to south of Carman area,” Daugherty said. “Students who wish to sign a lease and need to find additional roommates should do it quickly before their friends sign other leases.”

Many students are looking right now, and have seen a house on the Web site ( or have toured a house they want to stay in next year.

According to, there are several properties on Grant Ave. still available. Many of these locations include garages, washer & driers, and many of the utilities are included in the rental fee.

Katie Endre, a junior elementary education major, is looking for a house to rent with five roommates next year. Her search began by looking to friends who already rent houses and setting up meetings with their landlords.

“We wanted a house this year because our roommates are graduating,” Endre said. “We started looking last week.”

Endre and her roommates have contacted Kelsor Properties, but they haven’t found a house yet. Endre said she also looks in the classifieds and street promotion for direction in housing.

Hallberg Rentals posts classifieds in The Daily Eastern News. According to its Web site, a one-bedroom house is available to rent on 10th Street. Many of these locations allow students to have pets and lawn care is included at all the properties.

“We’ve gotten really lucky with paying rent under $300,” Endre said. “We want a nice, clean house.”

One to two blocks off campus is the distance Endre is hoping to find in a house. While she lives in a house now, she doesn’t want to end up too far away from campus.

“You have a lot more independence,” Endre said. “You see what your parents did for you, clean up and cook your own meals.”

The standard most student tenants pay is usually around $300 a month per roommate. This may sound high to many parents or students who have paid rent at locations that were not near a college campus or school, but Eastern rental properties are relatively cheap compared to other campuses in the state.

All realtors and property managers recommend finding housing now, so they are not left with rocketing rent or unlivable conditions.

Whether someone chooses to live on or off campus realtors emphasize not making the decision to lightly. Tenants often find living off campus is much more liberating and relaxing, but being faced with bills and rent every month is something many students haven’t experienced before.

Jennifer Brown can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]