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Guest vtqanh

Boulder, CO

99 posts in this topic

To echo inej, Lousville is solid. I personally thing Longmont sucks the big one. I would urge you to look into Superior, too. It's just across HWY 36 from Louisville, and I know lots of young professionals (alumni) and grad students who choose to live there due to cost and farther from undergrads ;) You're probably not going to be able to afford a house in Boulder proper on a grad school stipend; however, I don't know your exact situation so maybe you can. Ultimately you can get a lot more bang for your buck and not sacrifice the cool mountain town feel by going just outside.

Source: 15 year Colorado resident, sister goes to CU

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Boulder doesn't really have cheap housing, and depending on where you are coming from, prepare to be shocked at what you pay for what you get. We used to live in a shoebox with a front door :-) There are very strict growth restrictions in the city itself, so demand will always be higher than the supply. The vacancy rate used to be like 1%, but that has improved. It used to be that when you went to look at a rental, you had to see it with several others and whoever bribed the property manager won the space. That has settled back a bit now, but the prices went up. If you want to rent and want the best selection, get there in June and sublet the tail end of someone else's lease, then renew. 'Boulder prop. management' are slumlords, so stay away from their listings. Students are everywhere since the university is like 20% of the residents. The highest student concentration is 'on the hill' especially east of 9th. As you get into the single digit street's, it gets more $ but nicer because you are close to open space and the foothills. East Boulder (east of Foothills pkwy) is cheap, but not so great. North of downtown is nicer and a bit more grown up than the hill, but similar in price. Martin Acres is just to the south of campus, mostly 60's ranches, and is an area where you will find an in town house that you could maybe call affordable. Longmont is about 15 min northeast and is getting better due to Boulder's overflow, but not my fav., but not so bad either. Lafayette and Louisville are more family oriented and in between Boulder and Broomfield, also about a 10-15 minute commute. If you want a shiny new suburban house, head up 36 to Broomfield, or east to Erie. Nederland is in the mountains to the west, and cute if you want to live up in the hills and you are a stout lover of snow type. Public transportation into Boulder is pretty good from all of the outlying cities, including Denver. The advantage to living in Boulder proper is that you don't need a car, and you can walk or bike to a hiking trail and lose humanity within an hour. It is very beautiful there and has low crime overall. Hope that helps. Enjoy 303.

Thank you so much! This is exactly what I was hoping for. You have given me a lot to go on. I really appreciate your time! I am coming from Los Angeles, Ca, so the rent isn't too bad in Boulder. I am used to paying $1500 for a tiny studio in a bad part of town.

Edited by microbiogirlem

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To echo inej, Lousville is solid. I personally thing Longmont sucks the big one. I would urge you to look into Superior, too. It's just across HWY 36 from Louisville, and I know lots of young professionals (alumni) and grad students who choose to live there due to cost and farther from undergrads ;) You're probably not going to be able to afford a house in Boulder proper on a grad school stipend; however, I don't know your exact situation so maybe you can. Ultimately you can get a lot more bang for your buck and not sacrifice the cool mountain town feel by going just outside.

Source: 15 year Colorado resident, sister goes to CU

Thank you so much! I appreciate your time! I am excited to begin looking around. I like the sound of Louisville! I don't need to be in Boulder, just near enough that getting to school isn't a hassle.

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I'm a current grad student in Boulder. My opinions are not as positive as most of the other posters but I don't want to be totally negative on here. If you are interested in another opinion, please PM me.

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I grew up in Boulder and still love visiting. The town is super liberal and you can find every type of alternative "medicine" you could imagine for both you and your dog! Boulder is EXPENSIVE to live in. I would think the best areas to find a starter home would be in the North Boulder area that is more recently being developed (not sure if there putting in pricey homes though), or east Boulder. South Boulder is a great area if you can find something and anything near the foot hills too (probably out of the price range I'd guess your looking for). Some options that are just out of Boulder are Gunbarrel (very suburban), Netherland (kinda hippie town in the mountains, you may get snowed in a few times but it's near the closest ski area), or Eldorado Springs (in a beautiful canyon south of Boulder). Louisville and Lafayette are also good options, the whole area is growing so there's a great chance no matter where you buy it would be a great investment. Boulder is very low crime (except things like bike thefts), the only area I think you want to avoid is the area directly west of the campus, "The Hill", this is where the frats and the majority of the college hang-outs are. You may want to also keep a distance form any of the dorms and campus housing near the campus.

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Hi stell4. What is your main reason for avoiding dorms and campus housing? Is it because they are expensive? Or is staying there less conducive to studying than staying elsewhere?

Edited by avicus

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I assume many of those giving advice have attended CU Boulder, and I'm wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom about graduate housing through the university. I've glanced at the website and it certainly seems that it might potentially be cheaper than living off campus, but I'm a little suspicious of what the quality of graduate housing might be like. Any thoughts/warnings/experiences to share?

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Hi avicus,

I only suggested staying away from the dorms and uni housing after reading someones response who sounded like they were looking for areas to buy with less of an undergrad/party feel. I probably should have referenced the post I was responding to. I would say that some areas around CU, the Hill, would be less conducive to studying. Other than that area I am pretty sure the uni housing/dorms are pretty typical of any other college. I would also guess, since Boulder is so expensive, that uni housing would be a great/cheep alternative for grad students. They recently built a HUGE uni-apartment complex a little ways from the campus, it's not the prettiest thing, IMO, but there's a lot of nice new apartments.

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Hi avicus,

I only suggested staying away from the dorms and uni housing after reading someones response who sounded like they were looking for areas to buy with less of an undergrad/party feel. I probably should have referenced the post I was responding to. I would say that some areas around CU, the Hill, would be less conducive to studying. Other than that area I am pretty sure the uni housing/dorms are pretty typical of any other college. I would also guess, since Boulder is so expensive, that uni housing would be a great/cheep alternative for grad students. They recently built a HUGE uni-apartment complex a little ways from the campus, it's not the prettiest thing, IMO, but there's a lot of nice new apartments.

OK, I know which post you are replying to, thanks for the providing the context. :)

Thanks a lot for your helpful reply! I'm from Southeast Asia, and this will be my first time in the US, so am both stoked and pretty nervous at the same time.

I don't mind ugly industrial-looking buildings, as I used to live in a city with drab government flats everywhere.. as long as it's safe and cheap.

Speaking of safety, is the easy availability of marijuana a problem? Because I remember one of the earlier posters mentioning that Boulder was relatively crime-free, and where I come from, drug use is viewed very seriously (mandatory death penalty for possession). So I have always associated drug use with serious crime, and am wondering how safe Boulder actually is. Forgive me if this sounds stupid, but I really don't know that much about the US besides what I've seen from television and the Internet, haha. (Feel free to PM me)

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OK, I know which post you are replying to, thanks for the providing the context. :) Thanks a lot for your helpful reply! I'm from Southeast Asia, and this will be my first time in the US, so am both stoked and pretty nervous at the same time. I don't mind ugly industrial-looking buildings, as I used to live in a city with drab government flats everywhere.. as long as it's safe and cheap. Speaking of safety, is the easy availability of marijuana a problem? Because I remember one of the earlier posters mentioning that Boulder was relatively crime-free, and where I come from, drug use is viewed very seriously (mandatory death penalty for possession). So I have always associated drug use with serious crime, and am wondering how safe Boulder actually is. Forgive me if this sounds stupid, but I really don't know that much about the US besides what I've seen from television and the Internet, haha. (Feel free to PM me)

Within the state of Colorado it is legal to be in possession of a certain amount of marijuana (last time I heard it was an ounce or less), though federally it is still a crime. When I lived in Boulder, many of the undergraduates had medical licenses which gave them even more privileges and gave them access to the many medical grow stores in Boulder, legally. It doesn't seem to have any effect on the "safety" of the area, from what I've seen.

As far as college towns go, I never felt unsafe in Boulder, though I did avoid walking through campus and on the Hill alone at night because those areas are the most dangerous as a young female student. Generally, the further away from the Hill you get, the less drunk, obnoxious undergrads you'll find.

I lived all over Boulder as an undergrad and loved South Boulder (near Table Mesa and Broadway) but it's typically a bit more expensive. I lived in Gunbarrel for a year and it was much more affordable and quiet but I didn't like being so far removed from campus and the public transit out that way is lacking. I lived at 30th and Colorado my last year and enjoyed the of lower cost, walkability, and access to transit, though I had to compromise on a slightly lower quality apartment and louder neighbors (though they weren't terrible by any means). There was grad student housing across the street that looked nice from the outside, though I don't know what the interiors were like.

I had a dog in Boulder, so if anyone is looking to bring one with them, feel free to message me and I can let you know of the pet-friendly complexes I found (not many, as a warning).

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OK, I know which post you are replying to, thanks for the providing the context. :)

Thanks a lot for your helpful reply! I'm from Southeast Asia, and this will be my first time in the US, so am both stoked and pretty nervous at the same time.

I don't mind ugly industrial-looking buildings, as I used to live in a city with drab government flats everywhere.. as long as it's safe and cheap.

Speaking of safety, is the easy availability of marijuana a problem? Because I remember one of the earlier posters mentioning that Boulder was relatively crime-free, and where I come from, drug use is viewed very seriously (mandatory death penalty for possession). So I have always associated drug use with serious crime, and am wondering how safe Boulder actually is. Forgive me if this sounds stupid, but I really don't know that much about the US besides what I've seen from television and the Internet, haha. (Feel free to PM me)

I agree with SLP-Allie about always feeling safe in Boulder and also just avoiding being alone at night on the hill. It sounds like the uni-housing will probably be a great option for you too. Look into the housing that is around Baseline and 28th-ish, those are the new ones and they're away from the hill. The hill is Brodway/College Ave area, that's where I'd say most of the Boulder crime would be, mostly just drunken undergrads/parties.

As for marijuana... Boulder is a really liberal town and most there don't think of marijuana any differently than they do cigarettes, well actually, I think there is more hatred of cigarette smoker in Boulder than the pot heads (no smoking cigarettes anywhere near business entrances and a lot of dirty looks from the typical health conscious Boulderite). Since marijuana has been decriminalized there's not really any crime surrounding it.

Edited by stell4

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Also, if anyone is on the hunt for a possible roommate, shoot me a message. As I research apartments I become more and more horrified by the prices!

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aelizabeth, which apartments did you look at? The ones given on the uni housing website (Bear Creek Apartments etc)?

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Also, thanks stell4 and SLP-Allie for your replies!

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I'm also looking at Boulder and investigating housing options. Is the Mapleton area nice? I'm just trying to figure out the boundaries of the "the Hill." Thanks!

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aelizabeth, which apartments did you look at? The ones given on the uni housing website (Bear Creek Apartments etc)?

I did look at the ones through the University and those prices seemed fairly reasonable (though still high) to me. However I was scanning some apartment listing sites for off campus complexes and I saw studios going for as high as $1400 a month. Yikes!

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I did look at the ones through the University and those prices seemed fairly reasonable (though still high) to me. However I was scanning some apartment listing sites for off campus complexes and I saw studios going for as high as $1400 a month. Yikes!

Yup, I saw those too. I will most probably be sharing a 2/3 bedroom townhouse, it's only $700-800 per room, (and that's on the easy-to-find websites)

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Yup, I saw those too. I will most probably be sharing a 2/3 bedroom townhouse, it's only $700-800 per room, (and that's on the easy-to-find websites)

Not bad by Boulder standards! How did you go about finding roommates? I'll be conducting the entire housing/roommate search from another state so I'm still trying to figure out how exactly to go about all this!

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I'm also looking at Boulder and investigating housing options. Is the Mapleton area nice? I'm just trying to figure out the boundaries of the "the Hill." Thanks!

Mapleton ave is a good area. The shops and restaurants part of the Hill is Brodway, Collage and 13th, and then a bit down Broadway till about University Ave.

If you're trying to avoid living in that area I would stay at least two or three blocks away in any direction. I would also look up where the frat houses are around that area and keep a distance from them if you're looking for a quieter and safer area.

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Mapleton ave is a good area. The shops and restaurants part of the Hill is Brodway, Collage and 13th, and then a bit down Broadway till about University Ave.

If you're trying to avoid living in that area I would stay at least two or three blocks away in any direction. I would also look up where the frat houses are around that area and keep a distance from them if you're looking for a quieter and safer area.

Thanks, stell4. That was very helpful!

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I'll likely be moving to Boulder for Fall as well. (I still have to decide if an unfunded MA is worth it, but that's a discussion for another thread...) What's parking like on campus? Here in Gainesville it's pretty awful, even if you have a permit. I have a car and would be fine bringing it if it's more affordable to live outside Boulder, but if the drive/parking is bad, it might be worth some money to avoid the hassle.

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I'll likely be moving to Boulder for Fall as well. (I still have to decide if an unfunded MA is worth it, but that's a discussion for another thread...) What's parking like on campus? Here in Gainesville it's pretty awful, even if you have a permit. I have a car and would be fine bringing it if it's more affordable to live outside Boulder, but if the drive/parking is bad, it might be worth some money to avoid the hassle.

If you want to pay for a permit, parking isn't bad, though it would really depend if there's a good lot centrally located by your classes. The large lots tend to be on the edges of campus, with less parking in the central areas.

There are LOTS of park-and-rides in and around Boulder though so I would really recommend using those and taking the bus into campus so that you wouldn't have to worry about parking at all. The public transportation in Boulder is pretty decent and your tuition pays for a bus pass. I even commuted via bus between Boulder and Denver (living and going to school in Boulder, working in Denver) for 6 months and it wasn't bad at all.

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I am most likely going to be attending CU-Boulder this fall and I recently went on a visit and got terrible reception on my phone! I use AT&T and I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience/if anyone knows who has good coverage in Boulder? Thanks in advance!!

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I am most likely going to be attending CU-Boulder this fall and I recently went on a visit and got terrible reception on my phone! I use AT&T and I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience/if anyone knows who has good coverage in Boulder? Thanks in advance!!

I'm on Sprint and had no trouble with service while I was there a few weeks ago :)

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I am most likely going to be attending CU-Boulder this fall and I recently went on a visit and got terrible reception on my phone! I use AT&T and I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience/if anyone knows who has good coverage in Boulder? Thanks in advance!!

AT&T is kind of spotty in parts of CO. Verizon seems to have the best coverage state-wide. I had it in Boulder and never had any trouble, but my friends with AT&T and especially T-Mobile tended to have more issues.

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