Page 14-E-Thursday, September 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily
Housing in a twilight zone
Alternatives vary, but share one feature: High prices
The Michigany oily-Thursday, Sepi
Money is important;
banks handle. mone
bank*'s are impo-
By PAMELA KRAMER
Ann Arbor is certainly not the Fan-
tasy Island of students' housing
dreams, but the variety of lifestyles
available here keeps the local housing
market from being a full-fledged
There's something for (almost)
everyone: Dormitories offer a life of
convenience and social activity, while
students will find a more private at-
'mosphere with "real world" respon-
sibilities in apartments and houses.
MEMBERS OF the Greek system say
fraternities and sororities offer a cross
between a dorm and an apartment. Or,
students may choose to experience the
more unconventional life of shared
rights and responsibilities in the area
The following analysis may help
students find their niche in the cramped
but varied Ann Arbor market.
"The main drawbacks to living in a
dorm are probably the institutionalized
lifestyle-the routine from which there
is no extrication, and the noise," said
LSA sophomore Dave Paton, a second
year resident of East Quad.
But dormitories, where about one-
third of the University's students live,
offer definite advantagtes, as well, he
FOR PEOPLE who want that recep-
tive social atmosphere when they get
here, dorms are great. And the con-
venience is also a big attraction,"
Students living in dorms pay a high
price for the convenience. Residence
Hall room and board rates per student
per month are: 'Single, $338; double,
$285; triple, $251; economy double,
$241; and economy triple, $225.
"It's important to consider
everything that's included in those
rates," said Ed Salowitz, director of
research and development for the
fice estimates of average rent per mon-
th per unit are: Efficiency, $265; one-
bedroom, $300; two-bedroom, $450; and
Those estimates are for furnished
apartments within walking distance of
central campus that have 12-month
leases, and don't include utilities. The
estimates are very rough, and students
may end up paying more, according to
Jo Williams, director of Off-Campus
A SAMPLE of houses available shows
average rents of: three-bedroom, $675;
four-bedroom, $775; and five-bedroom,
Other expenses involved in living in
an apartment or house add up. Accor-
ding to Off-Campus Housing estimates,
average monthly electric bills range
from $20 to $25 per month for a three or
four person apartment. Heating bills
can run from $50 to $100 per month
during winter months (oil and electric
heat are much more expensive than
gas). Telephone installment rates
range from $20 to $41.
Some roommates buy all of their food
together, labelling favorite items that
are off-limits to others. But most
students say it's easier either to buy
everything separately, or somehow
combine the two methods.
"WE FEND FOR ourselves for
breakfast and lunch, but we're like the
Waltons for dinner," Davey said.
The Office of Off-Campus Housing
estimates that students should expect
to spend about $100 per month for food.
"We based this on fairly careful
shopping," Williams said. "It's easy to
just stop at one of the convenient cam-
pus area stores for food, but it's really
worth it to go out to Kroger's once a
week, even after you figure time and
"THERE'S MORE responsibility, but
as long as you know a lot of people, an
apartment is definitely worth the
hassle," said Robbie Stahler, a transfer
junior in Business who lives in an apar-
tment near campus. "And it didn't take
me long to get used to cooking."
Bill Richardson, an Inteflex III
student who lives alone in an apartment
close to campus, said he thinks the
trade-off of higher rent for the privacy
of living alone is worth it.
"You have to be more self-contained,
but I really enjoy my own company ...
very rarely I can't entertain myself
anymore. It's really bad if you don't
have any money," he said. "But there's
always the telephone."
STUDENTS LIVING in houses and
apartments also say they enjoy the
close-knit atmosphere that isn't present
in a dorm.
"I appreciate the opportunity to get
up in the middle of the night to urinate
without having to worry that
everything- in my room will be gone
By JENNY MILLER
As soon as students go off to school,
they face all of the little responsibilities
that accompany flight from home. Like
the art of balancing a checkbook.
Paying bills. Even choosing a bank.
And to anyone new to Ann Arbor, the
city's array of banks and their varying
services can be bewildering.
The best thing to do when choosing a
bank, according to local banking of-
ficials, is to first assess your banking
needs. Will you need a checking ac-
count? How about loans? What's best: a
commercial bank or a savings and
loan? Decide what is most important to
you-how close the bank is to campus,
highest interest rates, banking hours,
and so on.
BECAUSE MOST STUDENTS don't
have a car, proximity to campus is an
important consideration. But the bank
that is closest may not be the best deal.
Comparison shopping is important.
There are three banks with branches on
campus: Ann Arbor Bank & Trust,
Huron Valley National, and National
Bank & Trust. Many others are within
walking distance. Several banks also
have 24-hour automatic tellers on cam-
A few savings & loans are also close
to campus. Although these offer higher
interest rates for savings accounts,
commercial banks provide more ser-
vices, such as automated banking and
regular checking accounts.
If the thought of a checking account
breeds fear and loathing in you, under-
stand that you are not alone. Most
students have never had a checking ac-
count before arriving in Ann Arbor.
Many end up learning how to handle a
checking account the hard way:
through a flurry of bounced checks and
a growing mountain of bounce charges.
Don't despair. Keep a few rules of the
checking account game in mind, and
you'll end up with a fatter wallet and a
full bottle of aspirin.
First, remember: That stack of
checks does not represent a bottomless
pit of money. This may sound simple,
but writing a check is somehow easier
than parting with cold cash.
Bounced checks can cost a lot of
money-not a pleasant experience. The
bank charges a fee for every returned
check, and stores or other businesses
also charge a fee, usually $5 or more.
The store might not accept a check
from you again. In addition, you must
cover the amount of the check itself.
Head for that bottle of aspirin.
If you find it difficult to keep your ac-
count balanced, or if you just don't want
to bother with it, here's a simple way to
always know how much money you
have to cover checks: Remember to
write down the amount of every check
and deposit. When you want to write a
check, but have no idea of the exact
balance, round off to the highest dollar
the amount of checks already written,
and compare this figure to the deposits.
Keep a small amount of money in the
account as "mistake insurance," and
forget that it exists-(that is, don't
spend it). Also, don't write a check
thinking you'll deposit the money to
cover it later. Even if you don't forget
to make the deposit, sometimes the
check may get to the bank before you
The bank will also charge an initial
fee for the checks, and a service charge
every month. All commercial banks of-
fer free checking if a minimum or
average balance is maintained.
Generally, if you write only a few
checks each month, paying the charge
and keeping the extra, money for the
minimum balance in a savings account
is best. Many students find it easier to
pay a monthly charge than keep track
of the balance; there is a charge if you
go below the minimum.
If you write a lot of checks, however,
you might try the free checking route.
The best deal (based on a study by
PIRGIM made in late May) appears to
be at Michigan National. It offers free
CHECKING WITH INTEREST
a bank i.
is no sm
House repairs aren't common enougn. Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
TELEPHONE service charges, elec-
tricity, and heating are all covered by
dorm room and board bills. Students
living in dorms also have access to a
library and inexpensive laundry
facilities inside the building.
Dorm residents don't have to worry
about finding someone to sublet their
rooms during the summer, slowitz ad-
ded. And, often most important, they
don't have to do their own grocery
shopping or cooking, he said.
Students must decide whether these
conveniences, especially their time-
saving value, are worth the cost,
A ents and houses
ter living in a dorm for a year,
most students choose to enter the
Twilight Zone existence of finding an
apartment or house off campus. There
is a certain black humor- present when
thousands of people compete to pay
exhorbitant rents for considerably less-
than-utopic living conditions.
But off-campus life has positive poin-
ts, as well.
"I APPRECIATE the ability to
decide my own menu," said
Engineering sophomore Darrell Davey,
who lives in a six-bedroom house. "I
can look forward to meals instead of
having to fear for my life (at dorm
dining halls), and shopping is a real joy.
I'm a coupon shopper;" he confided.
"That helps. You know, we get the big
bucket of Shedd's (peanut butter)."
University Off-Campus Housing Of-
Ann Arbor Bank & Trust $200 $1.50 plus none $8 $1000 $3 plus 5.25 5.47 5.25
Ann Arbor Trust Co. $500 avg $5/mo. $2 if pd. $6 $1,200 or $7/mo. 5.25 5.467 5.25
$300 min $7 if returned $2,000 avg.
Huron Valley National Bank $199 or $2/mo. plus $5 if pd. $7 $299 $4/mo. plus 5.25 5.47 5.25
$1,000 in 10t/check $7 if returned 25t/check
Michigan National Bank $199 or $1.50/mo. plus $10 $10 $1,000 in $4/statement 5.25 5.47 5.25
$500 in 18t/check savings or plus 25t check
National Bank & Trust $199 or $4/mo. $9 $7.50 $1,000 $6/mo 5.25 5.47 5.25
Ann Arbor Co-op Credit Union $1 if savings $5 no min. 5.5 pd. on 6.0 on d
covers lowest 10 days
UM Employees Credit Union ....- - .. none $5 no min. 2% avg. daily 5.5 m
Great Lakes Federal - - $8 none $1,000 $5/mo. 5.25 5.47 5.5
Savings and Loan-
M-F 10-4 PM
I Thrift Sh p Across from
e sell slightly used clothes for all sizes
ny and all donations accepted
COME IN AND FIND A BARGAIN!
Many Household items - Sot T0-1 PM.
Michigan Savings and Loan Assoc.
V - -1 w
, . 7 1 1 1. v
.4_ _ _ _ _.-0_-I_ _ _ _ *.....-4.. I_ _