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Charlottesville, VA

74 posts in this topic

What's it like? Specifically, what's it like for non-white, queer students?

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Hi, I am an undergrad at UVA. There is a lot of commotion right now about a few racist incidents at UVA (derogatory statements thrown at students, put on their doors, etc.), and as I understand it, the queer population is not completely comfortable here. However, speaking as a non-white, straight student (FYI), I don't think there is too much of a problem. The administration bends over backwards to accommodate diversity issues (we recently got a diversity officer...). There are like 8 jillion cultural student groups here, all very active, and there is a very good Queer Student Union. So basically, you will easily be able to find a niche, if so you choose, and you should not have to consider race/orientation conditions as the deciding factor.

That being said, if it is *very* important to you to be on a very liberal campus, you can probably do better than UVA.

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Does anybody live here? How is the life in Charlottesville? How expensive is it to live in an one bedroom apt? I am considering to go there for grad school.

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i live in charlottesville right now. the living expense here is ok, not very expensive. the rent is about $500-$300. personally, i don't really like this place because the public transportation is so bad here. if you don't have a car (which is my case), you basically get stuck on campus. kind of boring. two hours and a half to D.C., and one hour to richmond. hope this is useful.

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so, i can't really think of any specific thing to ask, just what other information can any of you give on the town? what kind of people live there, what's the weather like, is it easy to find a place to live, etc etc

i haven't been to charlottesville ever, and it looks like i might live there for 5 or 6 (or more) years, so someone gimme the lowdown

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okay so not that anyone necessarily will respond to this, but i might as well ask....i see that there are few different areas that students tend to live in in charlottesville, jefferson park avenue, downtown area, etc- i can't remember them all right now. does anyone have any suggestions about what of these areas is a good place to live? i've never lived close enough to school to walk, and i am interested in living within reasonable walking distance of the central grounds....what would anyone recommend? i am looking for a place for just myself, although the places there aren't cheap so i haven't ruled out living with a roommate just yet...

also can anyone recommend any good complexes/condos/lofts? i have lived in houses and wouldn't mind that, but with a city i'm unfamiliar with it seems easiest to find a place like an apartment/condo for the first year. i really would appreciate any info offered, cos i'm starting to get worried about finding a decent place where i can hopefully live by myself peacefully, and the 100 year old log cabin i saw on the uva off-campus website is not exactly what i was thinking of.

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yeah that is a pretty good site actually, thanks. i've looked at tons of other sites, but my main problem is not knowing which neighborhoods are worth looking into just yet. and even when i learn the names of these areas, i have no way of recognizing where they are on a map, or which streets fall into them.

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I live in Charlottesville now, on Jefferson Park Avenue. It's a decent place to live. The bus is convenient and you can walk to class from there. It's not the safest neighbourhood. There was a rape nearby not too long ago and there have been some armed robberies lately. Downtown is probably too far away to walk from and I've heard it's expensive. Near 14th Street is also supposed to be good. http://www.brac.com is definitely the best place to look. That's how I found my current apartment.

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okay so not that anyone necessarily will respond to this, but i might as well ask....i see that there are few different areas that students tend to live in in charlottesville, jefferson park avenue, downtown area, etc- i can't remember them all right now. does anyone have any suggestions about what of these areas is a good place to live? i've never lived close enough to school to walk, and i am interested in living within reasonable walking distance of the central grounds....what would anyone recommend? i am looking for a place for just myself, although the places there aren't cheap so i haven't ruled out living with a roommate just yet...

also can anyone recommend any good complexes/condos/lofts? i have lived in houses and wouldn't mind that, but with a city i'm unfamiliar with it seems easiest to find a place like an apartment/condo for the first year. i really would appreciate any info offered, cos i'm starting to get worried about finding a decent place where i can hopefully live by myself peacefully, and the 100 year old log cabin i saw on the uva off-campus website is not exactly what i was thinking of.

I, too, would like some good information concerning Charlottesville's neighborhoods and their comparative suitability for graduate student living.

Anyone?

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Hi,

To find good housing in Charlottesville, look at http://www.brac.com. It'll show you most of the best rental options. If you want to stay away from drunken undergrads, DO NOT live near "the Corner" (aka. Rugby Road, Grady, etc). Also, don't live too close to the stadium, since traffic is impossible on game days and there will be plenty of noise. Lots of people live in U Heights (but they're getting rid of the shuttle, so it may not be a good idea) and U Gardens. Downtown is nice if you don't mind being further away and can afford it. Another option is living near JPA (Jefferson Park Ave). I also know people who are happy in College Park, Eagles Landing, and Lakeside. In general, I've also heard good things about msc rentals. I hope this helps!

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I live here now, but I'm not a student. Personally I like living downtown a lot :) I'm not really in walking distance from campus (25-30 minutes), but biking would be pretty easy. Rents downtown are the most expensive however, so for a grad student it might not be the best option. A lot of grad students live in the JPA area (but a lot of undergrads do as well) because it's the only area within walking distance that isn't in frat central/bar central. There are a lot of houses in that area.

There is one leasing company in particular I would avoid: Godfrey Properties. They are terrible from what I hear.

As for finding a place, start looking NOW. The market here sucks - a lot of undergrads sign a new lease in October, and then there's slim pickings after that. There's another surge in March/April for grad students, but it really seems like properties are limited in this town, so I advise finding a place now!

As for the really far out places like Sterling University Place (is it still called that?), Eagles' Landing, etc. they're fine but you will be far from the university and everything else. Personally I think they're overpriced for being so far away. Parking around the university is near impossible unless you buy a parking pass.

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I live in Cville currently. As for where to live, I would stay away from Wertland Avenue - unless you like drunk parties and getting mugged at night. JPA is a pretty good place to live [where most students do]. There are also quite a few apartment complexes. Some are older [but cheaper] such as University Heights and some like Eagles Landing [which is on the other side of town but has a shuttle].

Also, as to the OP who asked about queer issues. I am pretty active in the GLBT community here at UVA. There is a niche for people - a supportive, caring community that actually does a lot of cool activities and such. However, not everyone you meet is going to be happy about open sexuality. I have a lovely out friend who is in a fraternity and he gets quite a bit of ribbing. So...while UVA is okay for LGBT people, it isn't as free or open as say...many West Coast colleges.

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Does anyone know how the on-campus housing for grad students at UVa is? Any recommendations for off-campus housing/areas?

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I don't go to UVA, but my friend is the first openly transgendered person there. He's had a good college experience, but from what I've heard the community still has a long way to go. I still remember when we were freshmen, another friend of mine at UVA told me that some authority figure had commented that he was surprised that nothing happened to our trans friend. But things have changed a lot; my trans friend has spoken at at least one orientation, so it seems like they're really pushing diversity. Overall, I think you'll be alright.

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For people who are going to be renting in Cville, AVOID GODFREY PROPERTIES. They don't care at all about keeping up their properties and are generally a royal pain.

I currently live on JPA, which is pretty convenient for getting to central grounds on the bus or by walking. I'm hoping to live somewhere between campus and downtown along the Main Street axis, though, because it's a bit boring down here on JPA and I'd like to be closer to the downtown- what action there is in Charlottesville seems to take place down there. If you're looking for a place and don't want to be too bored, try to get closer to downtown. Do avoid the Corner area/Wertland, though- lots of drunken noisy undergrads.

I don't have a car and I've gotten along alright. The public transportation is alright, and I'm signed up for Zipcar as well.

On the LGBT issue: I'm straight myself, but my roomie is gay and we actually host gay frat club parties here at our house :-) UVa isn't the most open-minded or liberal place in that regard, but it seems to be at least livable.

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Could someone give me a general idea of what's considered reasonable rent? I'm looking at studios, one-bedrooms, and shared housing situations.

Is there a resource other than Clist for finding housing?

Also, how's the fresh produce?

Thanks!

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I live a few miles outside of Charlottesville and actually rent from a private landlord (who coincidentally is a researcher at UVa), so I can't really comment on any of the property management companies. The best online resources for apartment hunting are craigslist, c-ville.com, and readthehook.com. I actually found my current house, which is a 2-br cottage on 25+ acres, on c-ville.com and pay $700/month (no utilities). In Charlottesville the rent for a decent 1-br apartment will run about $650-900, depending on the location. I highly recommend checking out apartments/houses in the Belmont area and immediately surrounding the downtown mall, because you will be able to avoid the undergrads that plague all of the housing immediately surrounding UVa gounds. If you find a roommate, you can grab a nice 2-br house for $800-1100 pretty easily.

Charlottesville is definitely a hot spot for fresh, local, organic produce and meats. The city farmer's market has a huge variety of vendors and products from the central Virginia area, and I really only have one criticism: price. You will pay 2-3x the normal price for local veggies and meat than you would most farmer's markets in the area. But Cvillians will pay that price happily, so that's just how it goes.

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Could someone give me a general idea of what's considered reasonable rent? I'm looking at studios, one-bedrooms, and shared housing situations.

Is there a resource other than Clist for finding housing?

Also, how's the fresh produce?

Thanks!

I am a current poli sci grad student at UVA, glad that new admits are on this board.

I pay $560 + fixed $100 for all utilities (inc. internet) at a place called Grad Court - walkability was important to me, and this place is 2 blocks from a lot of restaurants/bars on the "corner" and 10 minutes away from the PoliSci dept. I have my own lofted bedroom, main room, and bathroom, but I share a kitchen and living room with a history PhD and 2 other dudes.

I know people who pay more in the range of $300-400 off Brandon Ave and in JPA (2 or 3 bedroom places), which is actually closer to the PoliSci dept. (located at the southernmost part of main grounds), but if you go with a standalone house you might have to pay more for utilities. At the same time, most people I know with one bedrooms pay upwards of $600-800. My view is that as long as I have my own bathroom, there's no need to pay that much.

Look at the Woodard properties page, and maybe the Wade properties page. C-list is how I found my apt, though.

And the produce varies - there's a Farmer's market half the year that has excellent produce, and Harris Teeter usually is pretty good the rest of the year. They are also opening a new whole foods closer to grounds that should have decent fruit/veg.

edit: also, what the poster above me said is true, the undergrads can be a little annoying. however, living downtown is often more expensive (except some places in Belmont) and getting to the politics dept. is a much bigger hassle. Parking is rough, and taking the bus would be a little annoying, at least IMO. My apt.'s location within the complex is far enough away from 14th street that I never get bothered by noise, but I bet people who live right on the street have a different opinion.

Edited by weaknull

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Glad to see this thread moving as of recent, both current and incoming students alike. So, I've been looking at properties from a number of different websites (BRAC, Craigslist, RPI, Wade Properties, etc.), and I've been able to compile a list of places that seem to fit my preferences. The problem is that they tend to be on or a block away from 14th, Wertland, or Grady. I guess my question is, just how bad are those areas? I like the convenience that they seem to represent, but if they're really as troublesome as some posters have made them sound, I have some other rentals I've been considering more in the JPA or downtown areas that I can focus on. I'd like to keep my options as open as possible, but I'd really appreciate some input from people who are familiar with what it's like.

That said, I should also mention that I've previously lived directly on frat row of a large public university for a two year span, and really wasn't all that troubled by it. So, unless the Corner/Rugby area is somehow especially bad, I can probably handle it, but I'd like to hear what makes that area so undesirable. Thanks much, and looking forward to visiting for the admit weekend!

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Just want to say that this is really helpful, and thanks for the insight. I'll certainly have additional questions after recruitment weekend.

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