Monday, November 21, 2011

Word to the Wise for Parents...

The Ross Housing Database is now open to new students.  I just thought I'd share my experience as a single parent and my current living accommodations.  First let me start by saying, I'm moving in about 9 days.  I thought I was getting a great deal on renting a two bedroom that allowed children and pets.  Well, it was a tough semester not being comfortable at home.  So, I decided to move closer to campus and pay the extra money to be close to the grocery store.  Now, we will be within 3 min from campus with no hills to climb and 3 min from the grocery store.  Im already in heaven....

When looking through the database, make sure if you have children especially small ones that your living arrangements are accommodating for a lot of walking, meaning will they be able to walk the hills.  If you are living in a hilly area and have children with strollers, etc it may be kinda challenging every time you leave your apartment.  I currently live on Banana Trail on a road called Hilltop.  I thought it would be cool to be able to view the ocean from my apartment, etc.  Well, I dont have a view of the ocean from my apartment, but if I walk to the road and look down the hill I can see the ocean...a wonderful view...

The challenging part is getting home everyday...up and down hills is no fun with groceries, a heavy backpack and an eight year old.  But, we did it.  You can order a taxi at $8EC each way.  But, I spend enough on food and eating out..that I had to cut down somewhere..LOL..

Make sure your place has HOT water...It may not have it at your kitchen sink, but you sure want it to work in your shower.  Many nights we had to take cold showers. One good thing about this apartment is we did have a water reservior.  So, we were never without water completely.  For some reason here when it rains, water pressure becomes extremely low or you lose it all together.

Not to sure if you absolutely have to have a place with a generator.  I didnt.  I think we only was without power maybe three times..nothing to be too concerned about for us.  But, if you want a generator you will pay extra...

The places here are very simple.  Don't expect high quality anything, unless you are willing to pay $1600 US per month...To me that is absolutely ridiculous. 

I would suggest to keep it simple.  Shipping barrels and barrels of stuff may be over kill and expensive (I spent over ($600US to ship two barrels) , but ship what you can not live without.  We were told that we needed bug spray for the flying pest.  I brought 6 cans of Off with me...And we have not used it but twice...The mosquitos are not that bad to us.  Normally, at home in the Houston, we would have to spray down every day going out.  But, here it has not been a  problem. (Although, not to sure about the dry season coming up.)

Now, sunblock you will need tons of it.  May sure you bring it with cost anywhere from $35 to $65 EC here....And a good umbrella.

Check to see if your landlord is providing sheets, towels, dishes, coffee pots, toaster, iron, ironing board, etc.  I did not want to bring any of this stuff. 

Storage in our current place was huge problem.  I dont like a lot of stuff hanging around and in our kitchen we only had one wall cabinet, so we did not have any place to store groceries.  My son did not have a closet....I had a very small portable closet.  So, consider all this stuff.

Also, a wonderful service most apartments offer is maid service.  I can't wait to enjoy this service.  My place did not have it.

There are plenty of laundry services around to get your laundry done.  At first, I thought it was too expensive.  So, I tried to do it a couple of times on my own.  But, I just dont have that kind of time.   There aren't any laudromats and most apartments do not have washers or dryers.  This apartment just had working washer and I had to hang dry the clothes.  The washer was convenient with having a boy who like to use a new towel everyday...LOL..

In the midst of all the apartment hunting do not forget why you are finish medical school...So, dont sweat the small stuff too much...hopefully, you can have comfortable living conditions as you pursue your calling.



  1. I wish I had read this before signing a lease to my apartment. Now I am scared about what I might experience. Great article though! :D

  2. a40yearoldmedicalstudentDecember 6, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    What area did you choose?