FILLED WITH STUDENTS — Northerns Woodland Park, providing on-campus housing for NMU students. Woodland Park is one of four apartment complexes on Northerns campus.
FILLED WITH STUDENTS — Northern’s Woodland Park, providing on-campus housing for NMU students. Woodland Park is one of four apartment complexes on Northern’s campus.
Harry Stine/NW

Editorial — The many problems with Marquette housing

Whether you are a commuter or a resident, new to town or a long-time local, you probably know the housing situation in Marquette is less than desirable. Ask anyone you know, college-age or  long since graduated, and they will tell you all the difficulties they have had in finding a place to live.

This week, the North Wind Editorial Board met to discuss our opinions, feelings and experiences dealing with housing in Marquette. From the desperate search to find an apartment in the area, to grueling wait lists for on-campus housing, to simply living with your parents, everyone has their own story on housing.

The city of Marquette is home to over 20,000 people. At the same time, it holds only 8,988 housing units, creating a struggle for available places to stay. If you take a quick peek at the available places from MQT Rentals, you will see apartments around the $1,000 – $2,000 range. The cheapest listed is $795, featuring a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and nothing else.

Many of us have already heard horror stories about MQT Rentals, and since you cannot see their entire lease unless you get through their application process, the baggage that comes with their apartments is not public knowledge. But based off tales from coworkers and friends, you would be hard pressed to find a tenant who is a fan of them.

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Some members of the board shared their experiences renting an on-campus apartment from Northern. Monthly payments are much more forgiving there than with MQT Rentals, going as low as $2,149 a semester, with more than just three rooms as well. 

However, the system is not without its problems. For some, the waiting period to get into a rental is quite long, and the roommate process has its own difficulties as well. One member of the editorial board shared an experience where they signed up for an apartment with their intended roommate, only to be placed in different apartments, leading to a back and forth over email to get the situation resolved.

Then there is the option of living with your parents. This is only possible if your family lives in the area, but for many commuters, it is a pretty normal experience. The worries of paying rent and fighting with your landlord are gone, and the task of getting groceries is even forgotten for some, but the tradeoff might be less independence than you hope for.

Everyone has different parents, with different parenting styles and different expectations of how you should act in their house, so experiences may vary. But generally speaking, you will probably have a different experience living with your parents than with friends in college.

Some students are also just afraid of being known as the person who lives with their parents through college. Some members of the board shared their feelings that they were missing out on college while living at home. Try to remember that it is not that big of a deal, and saving money is more important than someone else’s opinion of you. Besides, you should worry more about your family driving you crazy instead.

Finding an apartment in college is not fun. It is lengthy, expensive and unrelenting. You will probably get lucky and find a nice place to live, but it is going to take some time, and maybe even some trial and error first. Just try not to get too stressed.

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