Tips on finding an apartment near Santa Monica College

Aug 6, 2020 Filed to: Apartment Hunting Tips Last Update on May 21, 2021

Looking for an apartment near Santa Monica College (SMC) can be stressful! Whether you’re a long time student or starting your first year at SMC, every year you have to find a new apartment in this bustling but expensive area. Santa Monica is a walkable paradise filled with buzzing bars, restaurants, and of course, the famous Santa Monica pier! Not to mention, there are plenty of stylish places to live. Below, we’ve rounded up the best tips to help you find your new home near Santa Monica College.

Consider Seasonality

The average rent in LA is always higher than the national average, but when looking to live near a college, keep in mind that the busiest seasons for renting will be right before the fall semester starts. If you can start looking for an apartment while school is in session, landlords are more likely to give you a better deal as there is less demand. According to a recent study, the best month to rent in LA is November and the worst month is September. It might not be an option for you to wait until November, but even starting early and looking in July or August will help.

Live with a Roommate

There are a lot of perks to living in Santa Monica, but the rent prices are not one of them. However, you can make living in Santa Monica affordable by living with someone. Sharing bills can reduce costs and provide a buddy so you’re not alone in a new city. Websites like are a great resource to help you find a roommate. If you've had trouble with roommate disagreements in the past, be sure to check out our article about handling roommate conflicts!

Ask Questions

Especially as a college student getting your first apartment, it may seem daunting to ask a lot of questions. Our advice: don’t hold back! It’s important to know what to expect and a lot of places have hidden costs or noisy neighbors that they neglect to disclose. Here are some questions you should ask: 

  • Where can I park and what’s the cost?

  • What’s the policy on pets?

  • Do I need renters insurance? 

  • Are utilities included?

  • Where can I do laundry?

  • Is emergency maintenance provided?

  • What’s the guest policy?

Lots of people at Santa Monica beach

Explore the Neighborhood

Santa Monica is walkable, so take time to explore the area around the apartment you are considering. Make sure you have everything you need nearby, like a grocery store, a gym, restaurants, and parks. As a student at Santa Monica College, you’ll benefit from getting as close to campus as possible so that you don’t have to have a long commute in the middle of finals week.

Go For It!

When you find a place that you can really see yourself living in, don't hesitate. Rent prices for many apartments fluctuate daily, so pricing could go up while you are deciding. What’s even more stressful is that someone else could grab the apartment! Apartments get rented out quickly, so it’s best to make up your mind as soon as possible.

Try a Co-Living Space

One of the best ways to save money and have a built-in community of friends is through Tripalink co-living. With their co-living spaces, you get the benefit of amazing amenities, like cleaning services, laundry, a high-end kitchen and utilities -- with no added cost. You’ll get your own room, but share large co-living communal spaces to foster a community. They would love to show you around our incredible properties in West LA -- get in touch and prepared to be wowed by your new home!