House rentals have the potential to save students hundreds of dollars


Melissa McLain Zimmerman, an employee of RealtyNET, McLain Realtors, said after rent and utilities, renting a house can be cheaper for students. She said students could find a house that is good quality and privately owned for an average price of $1,200.

“(Rental houses) have always been successful,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve never heard any bad issues. I think that sometimes they don’t make them nice enough, they don’t update them, but Webster Groves does do a great job making sure that everything is to code and safe.”

If enough students occupy the house, the cost will be significantly lower than renting an apartment, according to McLain Zimmerman. She recommends houses on Pasadena and Catalina avenues because of the short distance to campus.

Jim Roberts, realtor at Roberts Realty, said the housing selection for Webster students is thin. Roberts said Washington University has several options for housing close to campus that Webster does not. Providing more housing close to campus would be beneficial, said Roberts.

Paul Nieman, an employee of RealtyNET McLain, Realtors, agrees it’s hard finding places for students. He recommends sharing the housing rent and utilities with two or three roommates to cut costs.

His broker, Brian McLain, was renting a house out to students in need of housing. Nieman said rented houses get passed from student to student, when one group moves out, another moves in shortly after.

Webster graduate Brian Royer lived on campus for two years before he rented a house with his friends.

“Although it is a little more expensive than an off-campus apartment, you have a little more freedom by having your own place,” Royer said.

Royer said the biggest disadvantage is the maintenance.

“At Webster, you would receive service the day of the request or the next day at the latest,” Royer said.

—Reporting by Sierra Hancock

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