The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Students begin the search for fall semester housing demands


The time has arrived for many Mississippi State University students to make the transition from their current residence to a new one.

Step one for most is determining where they want to live.

Brandon Ballou, community assistant at The Pointe at MSU, said there are several factors to take into account when deciding where to move.

“You have to look at the way you’re billed. Like with us, you just pay one bill with your water and electricity included. Another thing to look at is if it’s furnished or not; moving furniture can be very difficult,” he said. “But in the Cotton District you can paint your walls, hang your TV, have pets, and here you can’t do that. If you absolutely have to have your dogs or paint your walls red, you shouldn’t live here. It’s very subjective.”

Joe Tkach, local landlord, owns 46 properties across Starkville. He said there are definite advantages and disadvantages to living in privately-owned places like his versus an apartment complex from a larger contractor.

“If you live in a big complex, they offer some things we can’t afford to offer like a golf course or swimming pool. If that’s what you’re looking for, smaller privately-owned apartments don’t have those kinds of amenities,” he said. “But some of our properties have yards, your own space and allow pets, which some of the bigger contractors do not.”

Tkach said the buyer’s personality can also influence living preferences.

“A lot of what I tell people is if you’re the type of person who likes to go out and drink at all, you need to be somewhere close enough that you can walk home,” he said. “A lot of our places are within walking distance to downtown.”

James Parker, an MSU alumnus who has moved five times, said moving should not be a scary process if the buyer finds out as much as possible about the rental before agreeing to a lease.

“You need to check it out first. Talk to some people that live there. See not only what happens when you move in and what you have to pay but also what you have to pay when you move out,” Parker said. “You need to definitely speak to your landlord and get in good with them, too. Do some serious investigating before you decide to bind yourself to a lease for a whole year.”

Once students have a place in mind, most landlords allow for tours of their houses or apartments.

Ballou said calling first is essential to see if appointments are required.

“On our property, we’ll show an apartment from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You just come in and we’ll show you,” he said. “Some other properties might work off you calling in and setting up and appointment, but we (the Pointe at MSU) just have a walk-in system.”

Ballou also said he would advise choosing future roommates wisely for any place is a big factor in having a successful move.

Parker said through his experience moving, he could verify roommates made a huge impact on his living arrangements.

“Having a crappy roommate for a whole year is miserable,” he said. “Having an amazing one for a whole year, even in a crappy place, can make up for everything.”

Although some places have already filled their vacancies for the following school year, Ballou said it is not too late in many other apartments.

“We’re more of a first-come, first-serve type leasing. We get really busy around spring break,” Ballou said. “After that everyone realizes, ‘Oh God, I don’t have anywhere to live’ and we have a rush until summer, but by then we have a waiting list. But at a place like Glen Hollow, they’ll have a waiting list about two years long, so as soon as someone moves out they’re already leased up.”

For students still searching for a place to live next year, several rentals in Starkville are advertised in the newspapers and on websites such as, according to Tkach.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Students begin the search for fall semester housing demands