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yin-bodhi

Columbus, OH

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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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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.

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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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Hi, I got into the Chemistry graduate program at OSU. Now I am looking for a place to live. Can someone inform me on a safe quiet part of campus? I am looking for a peaceful neighborhood.

Thanks!

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Hi, I got into the Chemistry graduate program at OSU. Now I am looking for a place to live. Can someone inform me on a safe quiet part of campus? I am looking for a peaceful neighborhood.

Thanks!

I'm not quite sure where exactly the chemistry department is. Anyway, you should look to live on the west side of high street. The east side is considered not so safe. I find the south campus area better in terms of safety (or the perceptions of it). I live near King Ave. Its quiet here too. So Neil Ave takes you from south campus to the perpendicular King. So any place around that area (Neil and King) should be good. If you arrive a little early (or if you visit to arrange housing), you should be able to find plenty of options around here in the summer.

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Could somebody tell me if this place: http://www.metro-ren....com/Clintonvil ... hotographs is convenient to OSU? How is the neighborhood? (safe?)

Hey, I know someone who lives there. That is a very safe neighborhood; it is near where a lot of families live, bordering on the way to the suburbs. Those apts are kind of depressing and small and far from campus, however. I live in Clintonville and while it would be nice if I had a family, I don't and I live on a busy street that is very noisy and is hard to sleep (those apts that you are looking at are also on a noisy busy street, my friend has troule sleeping too.) Since I don't know how much longer I'll be living in Cbus, we aren't moving, but if I were to do it over again, i would NOT live in Cville, I would choose Vic Village or the Short North because you can walk everywhere including to campus (a bit far for a walk though). It's more expensive in those areas though.

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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!!!

Hi, I know people that live in all those places. Upper Arlington is too far IMO (and also very rich and yuppieish). German Village is too far and too expensive but yeah, awesome otherwise. Grandview is nice, a little too far, but if you go towards Vic Village that might be closer. Vic Village is nice, you can walk places the house are nice and old and have character, if you live south of King Ave you can avoid the undergrads. It can be expensive, but its doable, most everyone I know lives in VV or the Short North. I live in Clintonville and its a little too far and too 'suburby' even though its not the suburbs. It's mostly families. It's the most affordable place to live I think. Don't live in Indianola or High Street or Weber though if you want to sleep at night. It's really loud on those streets. From my experience, I've known three people who moved here to Clintonville and all ended up moving to VV and if I could do it over again, I would have lived in VV near Goodale park or near 1st street, east of high. Those are places that have nice apts, not bad neighborhoods, and are walking distance to lots of stuff. Rent's a little bit higher though than Cville. Hope that helped!

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I've lived in Columbus my whole life and also attended OSU for my undergrad and I'm about to ship out elsewhere, so here's the skinny on a few major points.

Car or No Car: Unless you never want to leave the campus area, you are going to want a car. We have a city bus system that is free for students, but it is far from awesome. It can get you to and from the Short North (which is an artsy/hipstery affluent urban type area with some solid dining and libations as well as some galleries) and downtown and then up into Clintonville which is where a lot of grad students live. The bus routes offer very limited hours and if you like to get a little sauced on the weekends, don't count on any buses after the bars close. Also there aren't very many grocery stores that it would be at all convenient to use without a car near campus. The city is large, but it isn't a true 'urban' city. Everything is spread out and very suburban. To sum it up, you can live and stay pretty much in the campus area and you'll be fine without a car, but it will really cut into your flexibility.

Where to live: There are three areas where most grad students live: 4th/Summit East Residential, Clintonville & Grandview. 4th/Summit area is just east of campus and is easily accessible on foot, via bike or the Campus bus system, which runs a route through the area and drops you off all over campus, it runs fairly late and is actually super convenient. This area though is a little sketchier than the other two. It's bordered to the south and the east by two pretty crime-laden areas and is generally where people have issues with break-ins and mugging. It's not rampant, but it exists. There are a lot of undergrads here and if you're looking for peace and quiet, probably not the best bet.

Clintonville is just north of campus and is a nice area that has a decent grad population as well as an older crowd. It has its own pretty decent bar/dining area on High St. and is pretty convenient to campus. This area is my recommendation. Housing is affordable on most grad stipends, there are a lot of dog-friendly parks and extremely liberal and tolerant people. It's where grown-ups live to go to school.

I can't comment that much on Grandview, it's a little pricier and a little less convenient to access campus without a car, but otherwise it's a lot like Clintonville, if not a bit more affluent. Everyone I know who has lived there has liked it, just make sure you can budget it.

Cost-of-Living: Columbus is a relatively cheap city. If you're going to live by yourself you can find a studio for as low as $350 in a not-to-ghetto area but for a decent one bedroom expect to spend between $500-600/mo. Lots of cheap eats. Columbus is also the home of every chain restaurant/store/bar ever it seems. We have some nice local establishments around the campus area, but we are dominated by the chains, so there are places to buy anything relatively cheaply from the man who is undercutting our local businesses. I survived living on campus making less than a $1000/mo for a long time.

Just a few things answering a couple of questions I've seen

Gay & Lesbian community: Columbus has a pretty large and active community in this regard. The Short North in particular caters to this crowd and you'll see a lot of business owners flying the rainbow flag, the same is true to a slightly lesser extent in Clintonville. Columbus is a Mecca in the Midwest for the Gay community and only rarely shows the lack of tolerance typical to the rural midwest.

Beer: Columbus sports a couple of Ohio-based brews, the best of which I would say is Great Lakes and they make some pretty solid beers, their IPA, Burning River is one of my favorites and it's not at all rare to find this on tap in the area. There's also Columbus Brewing Co. which makes some decent brews, but nothing to write home about. We've also got Gordon Biersch, which is decent but more prevalent in the downtown area than anywhere else. But don't worry a lot of bars carry microbrews from elsewhere, Bell's abounds.

Hope it helps, I'll check this every so often if anyone wants a local's spin. I know the place, so if you have questions that venture more than 5 miles outside of campus, I'm your guy.

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I'm going to bump this one with a quick question.

I see there are a ton of places to rent, but what about buying a condo? If I go to OSU, my bf's dad wants to buy a place for us for the long haul. I would pay rent as if it were an apartment. What are some good areas to look for, or are they similar to the areas previously mentioned? I would prefer to be able to walk/bus to campus, though I will be buying a car (field-work intensive program plus I will be commuting to the Wooster campus occasionally).

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If you want to reasonably walk/bus/bike to campus, there are only three options that I would consider: 1) Short North/Victorian Village (southwest of campus), 2) South Clintonville (sorth of campus), 3) Northeast campus (south of Clintonville, but north and a bit east of the most concentrated undergrad areas).

As someone who likes living in neighborhoods with a degree of economic diversity, I am very fond of the Northeast campus area. Many, though, especially ultra-suburban types, tend to think of it as a little rougher around the edges than they would prefer. That said, I know at least two graduate students who have recently purchased very nice houses in the area for far less than they would have paid in most parts of Victorian Village and Clintonville. There is also a campus-operated bus that runs through this part of town, which tends to be a little more convenient than the city's main COTA system, since it goes directly to and from the central OSU campus.

That said, most graduate students live either in Victorian Village or Clintonville. The former (VV) is closer to most of the nightlife in Columbus, so if that is important to you, you might want to avoid going as far north as Clintonville. I don't really have too much to say about these areas, as some others have covered the major points pretty well.

I'm going to say this, and some others may disagree, but simply don't move to Grandview, which is significantly southwest of campus. It's a nice area -- like Clintonville in many ways -- but the buses that run from there to campus are far less frequent, and walking/cycling are pretty much out unless you are quite dedicated. From Northeast campus or most (northern) parts of Victorian Village, you can be on campus in fewer than 20 minutes if you walk. On bicycle, you're looking at between 5 and 10 minutes.

There are those who opt to live in German Village, but I would definitely avoid it, as it's simply too far. The main bus option is the #2, which runs very often, but most stop very frequently, making the trek through downtown, the Short North, and campus quite long. I should note, however, that as an OSU student with an ID, COTA rides are free.

If you're looking to purchase housing, you're not likely to find a great many condos that aren't absurdly expensive, since the vast majority are quite new. Of course, houses aren't dreadfully cheap either, but you'll pay less than you would for the hyper urban bourgeois condos that are going up in the Short North right now. Just to give you an idea of the price of these newer developments: http://www.jacksononhigh.com/price7.html. If you have any specific questions, you can message me privately.

I'm going to bump this one with a quick question.

I see there are a ton of places to rent, but what about buying a condo? If I go to OSU, my bf's dad wants to buy a place for us for the long haul. I would pay rent as if it were an apartment. What are some good areas to look for, or are they similar to the areas previously mentioned? I would prefer to be able to walk/bus to campus, though I will be buying a car (field-work intensive program plus I will be commuting to the Wooster campus occasionally).

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Hi all,

I will be attending OSU's political science PhD program in upcoming fall. Related to this, I have started apartment hunting in Columbus area and found University Gardens as an affordable place to live in. Does anyone of you have a knowledge about the property? Any kind of feedback will be appreciated :)!

All the best...

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Thanks to all of the posters; there is a lot of great information on where to live. It seems like VV, Grandview, and Clintonville are the names I see mentioned the most.

What I didn't see any information about was parking. I looked through the OSU transportation and parking website and there are a lot of different levels of passes. It seems as if funded grad. students can buy an orange faculty pass. From what I can ascertain, these passes range from pretty cheap (~$80/yr.) to really expensive (~$600/yr.). I think that the cheapest gives you access to the lot on Western whereas the most expensive allows parking on campus and in the garages on campus. Is it worth it spend a ton of money to get a surface lot and/or garage pass? That is, can you find a spot in either case or are you just wasting money? Any advice on the parking/transportation front is welcomed and appreciated.

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