De-stressed housing search

A company is aiming to make the collegiate housing search easier and more fair.

Splitwise, created in 2011, is a tool developed by a team of college graduates to help students find affordable living situations.

The company makes it easy to split bills by organizing all expenses and IOUs in one place allowing everyone to see what they owe, according to their website.

ÒIÕm almost positive we got ripped off on the price of our apartment,Ó senior Sam Bennett said.

One of the websiteÕs features is a Òfairness calculatorÓ which uses crowdsourced data to provide advice for fairness issues such as bedroom size disputes.

This aims to create a neutral opinion that allows a way for people to honor their debts, according to the website.

Since Splitwise was developed, the company expanded its goals, and now incorporates rent prices to help people find the best price while still dividing the cost of rent fairly amongst roommates.

ÒWe just wanted to do something cool with the data that would help people,Ó Zoe Chaves, a business representative of Splitwise, said.

ÒWe decided to build this tool that helps people find affordable neighborhoods and figure out how many roommates to get to live cheaply,Ó she said.

SplitwiseÕs data is based off RentMetrics, a company that provides accurate and detailed data about the residential market in certain locations.

The data from RentMetrics is often used by real estate professionals, according to their website.

Splitwise takes the same information used by professionals and presents it to audiences that they believed would benefit from the information.

College and university students are prime examples of the cliental that benefit from the SplitwiseÕs features because many students searching for housing do not know what qualifies as a good price, Chaves said.

ÒWe were super desperate and there wasnÕt really anybody telling us which prices were too high or a good deal,Ó Bennett said.

Splitwise helps students view off-campus housing options by comparing prices in the desired zip-code, as well as comparing prices listed on other websites.

ÒIt was pretty hectic finding a place to live off-campus,Ó junior Jason Paul said. ÒIt also felt very pricey because my friends that go to other schools pay around 400 a person while we are paying 725 per person.Ó

Splitwise can help students make informed decisions regarding housing options, according to Chaves.