Housing and Furniture

Housing

How to find a place to stay

On-campus housings are managed by USC. For graduate students, they are Carolina Garden and Cliff. Garden is cheaper and often a preferred choice. For undergraduate students, there are other choices.
Another advantage of on-campus housing is you can apply before you come to Columbia, so you don't have to walk around anxiously in hot summer days to look for place to stay.
http://www.housing.sc.edu/

Off-campus housings are owned by private companies or persons. There are a lot of them around campus. You generally can apply only after you come here.
USC off campus housing service http://www.sa.sc.edu/offcampus/
For apartments, check http://www.apartmentfinder.com/ and other websites. Use Google map to find the exact locations.
For a private house, you can simply walk around looking for houses that have "for rent" signs. The signs usually have phone numbers to call. They are mostly located south of campus. Some houses are actually managed by companies.

Note that we have many railways going around campus, so take that into consideration if you don't want to hear trains at night.

How to find a roommate

send email in the FACSS emaillist
Post message on craiglist.org, IPS www.sa.sc.edu/iss, and offcampus site www.sa.sc.edu/offcampus/

Like it or not?

Please share your experience with different housing choice in town.
Here should NOT be a place about rent ad.

Carolina Garden
pros: living among many Chinese (if you consider that a "pro")
Have University bus (shuttle) available, from school to home, if you don't have a car.

Cons: expensive, compared to the quality offered.
Dirty and not renovated in a really long time.
Tied to the school, so a possible conflict with Administration may lead to trouble at your Department.

Cliff
pros: safe, clean, nice
Have University bus (shuttle) available, from school to home, if you don't have a car.

Cons: expensive. It belongs to the Univ. too, therefore, same comment as about the Garden.

Wolfe

杀虫除菌是他们应该的。丢开公司服务好不好不说,最好还是别住太老的房子。肯定会费电得多。
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 05:01:27 +0800
Subject: 替wolfe辟谣~!
To: UDE.CS.VRESTSIL|CSUANIHC#UDE.CS.VRESTSIL|CSUANIHC

我们租房子最后搬家前清理的很干净 deposit全额退回,没有拿到deposit的请自己去公司询问,并不是被他们扣掉了…而且这个公司服务很好 中间给我们杀虫除霉菌好几次,至于电费 是因为老房子线路老化 花费多 很正常 而且有一个基本gas的钱

—- 09年8月11日,周二, Yuwei Kan 写道:

发件人: Yuwei Kan
主题: Re: Wolfe房子不要租,小心上当!!!
收件人: UDE.CS.VRESTSIL|CSUANIHC#UDE.CS.VRESTSIL|CSUANIHC
日期: 2009年8月11日,周二,上午5:50

不是这里电费贵,是那个老房子电费贵。我换了apartment住,每个月把空调auto到80度一个月才60块钱

2009/8/10 杨昉浩

不开空调还要7、80块,太夸张了吧。那完全不用要多少块?我在Colorado的时候,我们四个人一起住一个四室两卫两厅的房子,不开空调暖气,一个月一共不超过40块啊。是不是这边电特别贵啊?
2009/8/10 Yuwei Kan

我们8月1日退的他家房子,到现在也没有收到返的押金,怕是给吞了。
你说电费很赞同,夏天我们当时的电费都要每个月七八十(根本不开空调的前提下)。

2009/8/10 Jing Liu

Wolfe是 columbia的房产商,他低价收购旧房,然后高价租给别人住。本人租过wolfe的房,wolfe让你租房前交$900押金。wolfe在房约上回隐藏一些条款,蒙骗让租房人违约。比如,他会在房约上非常隐蔽的写着租房人每个月要割房前的杂草,并且当时不告诉你,过几个月,他就给你一张罚单,说草太长,然后扣押金。第二,wolfe的房子很破旧,wolfe的服务态度极差,房子的窗户开不了,wolfe不能及时修理。第三,wolfe房子隔热性很差,冬天会很冷,如果冬天开空调的话,每个月的电费会高达$300。

总之,建议不要租wolfe的房子! 小心上当!

what you should know about renting? contract, late fee catch, etc

Rental Agreement

1. Please read all the detailed prints on the leasing agreement before you sign it. Most of the big apartment complex have very rigid rules about lease. They are normally prepared, review by some of the top attorneys. That means, it is guranteed protect the landlord's interest, not yours. If you have any questions, please make sure to ask.

2. If you are renting from individual owners, some of them are easy to work with, as long as you take care of the property and pay rent on time, they might not be so strict on the rules.

3. The items you need to check are: What if you need to move out earlier than the due date? what kind of penalty will be? will they allow monthly to montly lease? If you do not know how long you will stay, monthly lease is the best. In my personal properties, if it is a good client, I do not mind to do monthly lease.

4. Will the landlord allow sublease, that means if you move out and you find someone to take over the lease, and they are OK with it,

From Yuxiao Li ( property manager www.thehonestloanlady.com)

Buying a house experience. Agent recommendation.

Buying a house may really troublesome, unless you are either permanent here (resident), or you have the money to pay it in cash (if you have, respect…)
—-
There's indeed some agents can get F1 student financed for a house depending on the situation, like the loan amount. But it's not impossible

Chang address after moving (forward mails to the new address)

搬家之后可以上USPS网站修改地址,以前所有的信件都会自动forward到新地址. 网址如下
https://moversguide.usps.com/icoa/flow.do?_flowExecutionKey=_cAA3D17DB-8488-2D6B-FA19-2E0D3BD6ACC2_kEF82917D-B6FC-A35B-E5BA-541647DDDF8F

Or you can just go to the post office store and fill up a "change of address" form and give to them. I think it's free to change the address.

Furniture

"CCFI will privode the free furnitures to the new arrivals. Generally it's free. But you'd better to show your respect to them. Just call them and let them know you are a new Chinese students and need furnitures. You'd better also bring your friends to move the furnitures. If you don't, they will arrange, but the problem is the people there are all senior people(60+). They are really kind and should be appreciated by us all the time. You will be touched by their concern they showed to you.

You can check the website and find out how to contact Ms. Carol Gelhaus (Furnishings Chair)
http://www.columbiacfi.org/furnishings.htm

But also, you can also walk around the community to pick up some free furnitures along the road. It's has high probability that you will get high quality furnitures along the road. Getting free furnitures along the road could be considered the first lesson when you arrive here. It is also great pleasure and one part of the abroad life.

If you really would like to buy some new furnitures, you can visite www.staples.com, or www.walmart.com, they will delivery to your door in around 2 days."
by Ni Bin

Notes

有一件事要提醒住在學校宿舍的新生:
住在宿舍煮菜時,如果煙霧太大觸發警鈴可是會請大家離開宿舍並會有消防車前來檢查,而且如果查明警報是因為你引起的,你可是要賠償請消防車出動的錢,所以請小心
by Allen Yen

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