Off-campus housing website launches for GV students

GVL/Nickolas Peters

GVL/Nickolas Peters

Alex Sinn

Housing is a well-known battle that most Grand Valley State University students have to face at some point in their college career. To help with this process, a website that helps college students find and connect with off-campus housing is now available for GVSU students.

Cribspot has added Allendale to a recent swath of new colleges it now serves, jumping in the past year from less than 10 to more than 100 schools.

It operates similarly to house-hunting sites such as Trulia and HotPads, but it’s tiered specifically to college students looking for housing in off-campus locations.

“Our product is mostly focused on the needs of students,” said Tim Jones, Cribspot founder.

Allendale is the type of place where other housing sites are not particularly helpful, Jones said, because it is a small town with high student populations. This presents a challenge for listings and other processes.

Cribspot takes into account the uniqueness of the student market, he said.

“The college market is so much different from the ‘regular people,’” he said. “Everybody moves in at the same time.”

The springtime flux of lease signing creates unique conditions that are the specialty of Cribspot, which allows students to find housing, compare rates and contact housing offices.

The site was started by a group of University of Michigan students who found the process of locating off-campus housing to be a challenge in Ann Arbor.

“We had to look for off-campus housing ourselves,” Jones said. “We just ended up walking around campus looking for signs.”

As the site expanded, they discovered the problem was not exclusive to their university.

“We’d seen the same kinds of problems around the country,” he said.

But, as of 2015, GVSU students can simply search for “Grand Valley State University” on the Cribspot homepage and find immediate results specific to them.

Jones said the site will continue to evolve over time by improving its data, adding more listings and pursuing a mobile app for the site.

He also said he’d like to scrap some of the paperwork process involved in signing a lease and implement it as part of Cribspot.

“Even if we’re not making money, we focus on getting (the site) 100 percent useful for students,” he said.

GVSU students can click find housing options at