Office of Enrollment Management

Real Estate and Housing

Small house with keys

Real Estate and Housing

Shelter is a basic need. Housing needs can be met through renting or purchasing. Cost, location, and long-term plans are all factors that should be considered when deciding on housing.

How much should I pay on rent or a mortgage payment?

According to CNBC, the general rule is to spend 30% of your gross income. This includes rent or the mortgage payment, utilities, and insurance for housing. This is a ballpark range and can be adjusted. Remember that the type of housing you choose is a choice.

While you are on a student budget, live like you are a student. This means you may need to live further away from campus or share housing to reduce rental rates.

Location, location, location!

Location is what is most likely to drive the cost up or down. Deciding to live a block from campus may be convenient, but may cost you more in the long run. If you want to live close to campus, consider renting a room rather than entire home or apartment.

Should I rent or buy?

Circumstances help to dictate whether a person should rent or buy.  These circumstances change over a lifetime.  There will be times when it makes more sense to rent where in other times it would be better to purchase a home.

Benefits to renting a home include flexibility to move whenever without penalty after lease ends, same monthly payment, landlord handles repairs.  A disadvantage is the landlord can raise rent or sell at any time.  Owning a home provides a sense of stability and community, helps build equity, but you are responsible for repairs , requires large amount of financial leverage, and can lose or make money based on housing prices.

As students, renting is the most likely outcome during your time at MUSC. We are dedicated to helping you find affordable housing while you are a student here, but there may be sacrifices that need to be made to have more affordable housing . MUSC's off-campus housing can help you navigate housing options, including available rentals and roommates. MUSC allots a maximum of $1500 per month for housing expenses.

Students can benefit from the MUSC and 35 Folly Apartments partnership which offers a 5% discount on apartments with all administrative and application fees waived. It'd be great to leverage this partnership with a roommate to keep housing expenses below $1500! 

Housing is a fixed expense, yet being creative can help you reduce your housing costs. 

Learn more about home mortgages and renting

Connect with the Office of Student Financial Literacy to discuss options for more affordable housing.