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yin-bodhi

Columbus, OH

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Hi Liszt85,

Congrats on your decision! I don't know about the tax question or the car question, but I can tell you a bit about the others. There are tons of interesting things to do within driving distance of Columbus. Some of the things my husband and I have seen are the Hocking Hills (which you really have to visit a few times so you can see all the different stages throughout the seasons), the Serpent Mound, Newport Aquarium just across the state line in Kentucky (about a 2 hour drive), and visit some of the many parks in Columbus. Even the lesser traveled areas have some interesting stuff. We visited a place in Mansfield (about an hour northeast of Columbus) called Kingwood Gardens - they have beautiful gardens and an old home to tour, and there are peacocks that wander the grounds. Cleveland is also only a bit over an hour away, and there's lots to see on Lake Erie, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Other than Clintonville, Grandview is a nice, affordable place for graduate students that's decently easily accessible by bus if you don't find a car right away (you get free unlimited bus rides with your student ID). Other areas grad students tend to live in are Victorian Village and sometimes Worthington, but they tend to be a bit pricier. I'd definitely check out Grandview, though - I was looking at apartments there on Craigslist recently and it seemed like you could get a better deal there for your money than in Clintonville.

It sounds like you have most of the expenses pretty well covered - the only other thing I can think of is a parking pass, since you mention getting a car. I don't know if you plan on driving to campus, but the parking there is insanely expensive if you want a spot near central campus. The cheaper parking will put you in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere where you'll have to catch a campus bus to get to the central area. Having a car is a good thing in Columbus because none of the suburbs are easily accessible by bus, but for everyday commuting to campus, I definitely recommend using the bus system.

As far as the insurance, yes, this is the only insurance you'll need, and it's amazing coverage. I never had to pay for doctor's visits unless they referred me somewhere off campus, and I even had some minor medical equipment completely covered with no co-pay. It's the best health coverage I've ever had. The only thing is that you have to watch out with prescriptions - you can sometimes get them cheaper at local places like Giant Eagle or Walmart that have special pricing for generic medications.

As far as that apartment complex, it's in a good area of Clintonville. It's right on High St, which is convenient if you want to take the bus to campus (High St has the most frequent and consistent bus route in Columbus, the #2, and it will take you straight to campus), and not too bad if you want to drive. It's also far enough North to be solidly in Clintonville - sometimes apartments advertise themselves as being in Clintonville when they're really south of it (in between campus and Clintonville, also known as north campus), and that area can be shady. Clintonville Commons is right near the Whetstone Park of Roses, which is beautiful when all the roses are in bloom, and it's also near the public library's Whetstone branch. Since it's a complex, you might want to do a search for apartment rating sites to see if past tenants have good or bad things to say about the management. I don't know anything about the management there, although I do have friends who live in Olentangy Village, another complex along High St, and love it. OV is a bit more expensive, but they do offer discounts for employees of OSU, which you technically are if you have a teaching assistantship.

I hope all that helps, and feel free to ask me any more questions you might have here or via PM. I'm still waiting on a waitlist, but I will most likely be returning to OSU for my Ph.D. this fall, so I'm also in the apartment hunting stage.

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Hey all..

How's the beer in Columbus? :P I mean, I've been to Vienna and some other parts of Europe and the beer there was just awesome, so many to choose from. What brands do you get in the US and more specifically in Columbus, OH? I only drink a bottle occasionally but when I do, I like quality. I've not been drinking for a few months now because we don't get good beer here :| Recently though, Carlsberg set up a division here in India and so that is good.

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So I'm heading to OSU for this fall. Can anyone tell me:

(1) When should I start looking for an apartment for a September lease? June? July? August?

(2) Any management companies you recommend I avoid?

(3) Any management companies you recommend?

(4) Any realtors that may exist that help people find apartments to rent? (This is common where I'm from, although I've heard it's not common there.)

(5) What's reasonable rent to expect for a 1 bedroom grad student apartment, hopefully with wood floors, a parking spot, some outdoor space, a gas stove, and ac, and what's reasonable to expect to pay monthly for utilities?

Neighborhood wise, I'm planning on looking in Clintonville, Grandview, Short North, Victorian Village, and maybe Upper Arlington, although I have to say I fell in love with the German Village when I visited. Anyone know any OSU grad students who live there? I'll have a car, so I suppose distance isn't as important as nice apartment, nice area.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone cares to give, as I'll be doing my search from the East Coast and hope to fly out for no more than a weekend to actually look at places (when I don't work, I don't get paid :( ) Thanks!!!

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I am looking at a place ($330 studio in a apartment community) that is 15 miles from campus, google says a 20 minute drive. I don't like the idea of renting a room in a cut up Victorian house (cooking is important to me and the kitchens look horrifying, if they are there at all), and all the "grad student" areas are beyond my price range. All I have is my stipend and I don't want to take out loans. Is the commute worth it? Does the traffic (I70 and 315) double the commute?

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I am looking at a place ($330 studio in a apartment community) that is 15 miles from campus, google says a 20 minute drive. I don't like the idea of renting a room in a cut up Victorian house (cooking is important to me and the kitchens look horrifying, if they are there at all), and all the "grad student" areas are beyond my price range. All I have is my stipend and I don't want to take out loans. Is the commute worth it? Does the traffic (I70 and 315) double the commute?

I'm assuming you'd have a car then. I'm an international student, so can't tell you about the traffic. However, you can get studios nearby for a little more than what you'd be paying for yours. I'm getting one for myself for about $450 (all utilities included!). Its a 10 minute walk to the building that houses my lab. As a a grad student, its always a good idea to remain close to the campus. So if you're willing to shell out $450-500, you can get a studio with all utilities included somewhere nearby. A 9month OSU grad stipend should be able to afford this but you may have other expenses, so I cannot comment.

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hello

I will be attending OSU coming academic year and my monthly stipend will be $1100 per motnh (i dont know whether tax will be levied or not). I have to manage residence, utilities, food and clothing in it. No insurance premium or books etc. So, if I spend $600 on utilities and rent, would I be able to live within this stipend in Columbus?

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i have been reading this a lot on this forum, but dont know what it is.

So, can anyone please tell me what is "craiglist"?

http://columbus.craigslist.org/

You'll find such listings for almost all major cities in the world. You can see the list of countries on the right side of that page. Then select apartment/housing, sublets, etc depending on what you want to find listings.

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hello

I will be attending OSU coming academic year and my monthly stipend will be $1100 per motnh (i dont know whether tax will be levied or not). I have to manage residence, utilities, food and clothing in it. No insurance premium or books etc. So, if I spend $600 on utilities and rent, would I be able to live within this stipend in Columbus?

Kindly comment on this as well...

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Kindly comment on this as well...

I am paid $14000 for 9 months (summer separate $1400-1500 per month after taxes). I have to pay $280 per quarter for health insurance and possibly $1500 during the summer for the health insurance. I am bringing along my wife too. We are moving into a studio ($450 utilities included). Since you are alone, you don't have to spend $600 on rent and utilities. There are cheaper options. Studios are cheap, or you can even think of renting a room in a house shared by grad students. That will cost you ~$300-350. You can live like that for the duration of your first lease until you figure out your finances.

Even if you spend $600 on rent and utilities, you should do fine on $500 per month for food and other expenses. Depending on which country you are from, there may or may not be a tax treaty with the US. So your taxes will be figured out only after you get there, somebody will help you with that.

Which dept are you in and are you in for a PhD?

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I have been looking online for any efficiency style apartments, and those that I earlir found were around $600 per month for rent and utilities. But I dont want to spend such large portion of my stipend on residence alone.

Hence, I would really appreciate if you could tell me of a place/area where I can find an efficiency style apartment for around $350 for rent and utilities.

I hail from Pakistan and will be attending AED Econ dept. at OSU for my PhD studies.

P.S: On a more personal note, may I ask which program you will be attending at OSU and where have you arranged residence for youself?

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Hey Afeef,

I'll be attending the PhD program in Psychology. I'm from India. I'll be accompanied by my wife. Since my stipend is low too, we'll be staying in a studio at least for the first 9 months to see how we learn to manage our budget. We will most probably move in to a studio that is currently occupied by a friend of a friend who has agreed to assist us in getting that lease. The leasing company does not have a website and I really do not have their contact details. However, he tells me that studios for $350-400 should be available. Have you checked on craigslist http://columbus.craigslist.org/apa/? However, if you do find something, you should ask somebody there to check it out for you before you rent it. Do you have any contacts at OSU who might be willing to do that for you? We are moving only 2 weeks prior to commencement of classes, or else I could have looked around for you.

Another option is to rent a room in a house shared by grad students. You can try to email your dept and ask if you can get in touch with the incoming students to see if you can rent a house together. There is an Indian Student Association website http://isa.org.ohio-state.edu/. I don't know if there is one for Pakistan but even if there isn't, you can advertise on the indian forums for roommates (food, culture, etc being same, being roommates shouldn't be a problem).That will work out very cheap too. If you pm me your email id, I can also send you a few docs that the Indian Student Association sent me, some tips about shopping, vaccinations, life in America, etc.

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I'm getting a studio for $350 at Cornerstone Crossing 15miles outside campus. However, I have a car. It's an hour to campus on the busline.

It seems like unless you're living in the undergrad area, things are expensive around campus (at least for the midwest). The impression I get from research is that the place I'm looking at is in a "bad" part of town, but I've lived in two of what are considered the most dangerous parts of my current town and have gotten along fine. In fact, you get more luxuries for your money if you live in a bad part of town I find. Just...don't leave you apt at night...or linger going from apt to car after dark :-P

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Columbus is all over the place as far as rents go. Since I don't come from money and had to pay my own rent as an undergrad, I lived in some cheap-ass places, but neither was bad by student standards. The first house I lived in was at 2067 N 4th Street, just on the fringe of what's still considered the campus district. I paid $190/month for rent. The second place I lived as at 1835 N 4th Street, and I paid $235/month. I thought the houses were about equal. My landlord was very fair, and I thought it was a good deal for what I paid. People who lived in the campus district (east of campus, from High to 4th) paid at least $350/month for similar spaces. The only difference was that I had about 5 more minutes to my walk every day. I thought it was worthwhile. The houses have typical banged up woodwork, squeaky stairs and older bathrooms, but everything functions, and it's no more than a phone call to get it fixed. My landlord was My First Place, at

http://my1stplace.com/

and I honestly don't work for them. I never had problems; I've heard other people complain about them, but my landlord, Bryan Dulles, was always good to me. He rented me both properties I lived in. Stay away from Buckeye Real Estate. They gouge people, IMO.

To give an example of costs, I had a close friend living on Chittenden, part of the Gateway area that's been revamped in the last 5 years. Chittenden was really ghetto my first year (there were execution-style murders there in 2003) but has since been spruced up with new condos, apts, restaurants, and shopping. Gentrification in the maximum way possible. You'd never know it was so ghetto there before. That said, my friend paid $550/month for his rent. I didn't think it was worth it. Sure, the house was nice, and he had a 10 min walk to class...but I had a 15 min walk to class for $300 less per month.

Additionally, people talk smack about 4th being ghetto. If you live on the west side of the street, between 15 and Oakland, you shouldn't have any problems. North Fourth is a 4 lane street, and the eastern side has a set of railroad tracks about 200-300 yards behind the houses. I'd stay away from that side of the street; somehow, the tracks bring in more riff-raff. In 3 years of living on North Fourth, I had only one incident--and it was a drunk guy stumbling home at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday. He fell off my porch after trying to get in and I called a cab--aka the Columbus Police, who gave him a place to sleep for the night.

Honestly, there are more break-ins closer to campus and further South. Not to be racist, but the housing projects are on Summit and 4th Street from 5th Avenue to 10th Avenue. You don't want to be close to those areas, and don't think about walking around there at night. I know people who got jumped down there walking to the liquor store. If you're looking for cheaper rents, I suggest looking on 4th, in the middle-to-north section, like where I lived. Very cheap, and while they're not top-notch places, they're a lot better than some of the scum places undergrads live. There's far more townies on 4th where I lived. Not to mention, if you have a bike, it's all downhill to class--I could get to class through the Iuka Ravine in 5-10 mins. If not, the Campus Bus system goes all the way up North Fourth and you should be able to catch a bus to campus without much problem. Mine came at 11, 26, 41, and 56 on the hour. It ain't great living, by any means, but you could do a lot worse.

Otherwise, look into other areas of Columbus for better housing. I highly suggest getting roommates to save costs. Utilities in Ohio are cheap--I paid about $100 every month, with digital cable, internet, gas, electric, and water, split 4 ways. Places like German Village and Victorian Village have beautiful homes with reasonable rents; they also boast great corner bars and restaurants. People often graduate from OSU and move on to these places; they are the 23-40 crowd, closer to the Short North arts district and the Arena District.

The Clintonville area is also fantastic for students, especially grad students--my friend lived in a beautiful house on Clinton St, and paid $225/month...remodeled kitchen, fenced in yard, washer and dryer...the works. These three areas are the best balance of housing, affordability, social life, and safety. For a student, I'd rank them 1) Clintonville 2) Victorian Village and 3) German Village. German Village is further south off of High Street, so that's the knock I'd have on that area. You can take the #2 Bus either north or south to get to campus. For a student, though, I'd say Clintonville is where you should look.

Any questions at all, and I'd be happy to answer questions. Columbus is a great city to live in...it's cheap, and there's plenty of stuff to do.

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Oh, and in my haste, I also forgot Grandview area for grad students. It's pretty close to campus as well.

Also, I'll just weigh in with a few restaurants you have to go to at some point in your first year in Columbus:

1) The Blue Danube (my favorite restaurant, based on variety and uniqueness)

2) Hound Dog's Pizza/Ravari Room (great bar and better pizza)

3) Thurman Cafe (home of the Thurman Burger, best burger I've had)

4) Adriatico's Pizza (some say the best pizza in Columbus, I like Hound Dog's)

5) Schmidt's (German food)

6) Flying Pizza (2 slices and a drink for lunch for $4.50)

7) North Market (ethnic foods and great prices)

I'm sure there are more, but seriously, these are fantastic restaurants.

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How convenient is Reynoldsburg to campus (w/ a car)? It's 15 miles away and google says 20minute drive, but I was wondering if traffic made it more like an hour or something.

Also, anyone heard of Northland Arms Apartments? It looks to be northeast of Clintonville.

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How convenient is Reynoldsburg to campus (w/ a car)? It's 15 miles away and google says 20minute drive, but I was wondering if traffic made it more like an hour or something.

Also, anyone heard of Northland Arms Apartments? It looks to be northeast of Clintonville.

With traffic it'd definitely take longer, especially dependent on time of day. You'd have to take 270 to 670, then most likely get off at either Fourth or take 315 to the campus exit if you're in a campus parking lot. That mean's there's a good chance you'll have to take 3 freeways to get to campus. Any reason you're looking in Reynoldsburg? I mean, would the rent be that much cheaper, given how much more you might have to drive? OSU students get to ride the COTA buses as part of their fees.

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Hey out there! I'm coming to OSU this fall, and think I've found a place on W. 6th ave., west of Neil, at about the intersection of 6th and Pennsylvania, described as being in Victorian Village. Does anyone know the area? Basically, is it safe and quiet enough for a single grad student (no kids)???

Thanks!

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Hey out there! I'm coming to OSU this fall, and think I've found a place on W. 6th ave., west of Neil, at about the intersection of 6th and Pennsylvania, described as being in Victorian Village. Does anyone know the area? Basically, is it safe and quiet enough for a single grad student (no kids)???

Thanks!

That's a good area to live in for a grad student. If I were doing grad work at OSU, it's where I'd want to live. Victorian Village is a safe neighborhood. It's definitely nicer, cleaner, and safer than the off-campus area. You're dealing with more recent grads, professionals, and grad students in the area. Little caf

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Hey guys, How about this place: 1472 Neil Avenue ? Do tell me all you can about the neighborhood.

Hi liszt85,

Neil Avenue is in a great neighborhood known as Victorian Village: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_Village

It's a wonderful community. I lived in Victorian Village for 2 years. Fairly quiet, beautiful houses. Lots of cool shops and restaurants, especially for the vegetarian crowd. Also close to the Short North District and campus.

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