Jump to content
enoksrd

Madison, WI

Recommended Posts

Avoid Madison Property Management. They are the singularly worst slum lords in the Madison area. Madison has a really great place called the Tenant Resource Center

http://www.tenantresourcecenter.org/

There is information on landlords to avoid and practices to avoid. They also have a housing listing that is very good.

Also, avoid CMT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Avoid Madison Property Management. They are the singularly worst slum lords in the Madison area. Madison has a really great place called the Tenant Resource Center

http://www.tenantresourcecenter.org/

There is information on landlords to avoid and practices to avoid. They also have a housing listing that is very good.

Also, avoid CMT.

I was advised to avoid Mullins too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you haven't secured housing by January, February at the latest, you are going to have issues with your ideal rental unit in Madison. Finding a place at this point and beyond that has nice amenities, good campus proximity, and economical rent will take a little luck. Anything under $650/mo without a roommate will be tough. Even places on the west and east sides really aren't saving you that much money, plus the commute to campus isn't fun. Word of mouth is always the best route for Madison rentals. When I was there, I was lucky enough to know people a few years older who got us the inside edge on their apartments. Some of the best/cheapest apartments are barely advertised (specifically, apartements on/near state street). Of course, I'm sure there are available units at the new luxury high rise on University Ave across from Brother's. Enjoy the $900/mo rent share though.

How on earth are you supposed to have secured housing by February if enrollment decisions aren't technically made until April 15th?

Is Willy St. the coffee shop/music area?

Edited by sykora25

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How on earth are you supposed to have secured housing by February if enrollment decisions aren't technically made until April 15th?

Is Willy St. the coffee shop/music area?

I have to agree with SconnieNation - most people sign leases in January/February for the following academic year. Being a college town most leases in Madison run Aug 15-Aug 14 and most people renew in January/Feb. You might be able to find something later (in April or May) if you look around the Near East Side/Willy St. area (yes, lots of coffee shops, bars, etc. - and not many undergrads :)). You will also likely be able to find an apartment farther out (on the West Side/East Side) or Near West Side (near the Hilldale area) later in the spring. I would argue that the amenities at those places are nicer because they're often newer construction, come with free parking, more space, etc. The commute to campus will suck but it will be 30 minutes tops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to Craigslist, the Isthmus (a local weekly newspaper) has a good classifieds section full of apartments. When I was looking for an apartment in October one year, I found a bunch of nice options here. It shouldn't be impossible to find an apartment outside the student lease dates, but it might take a bit more effort. Still, somewhere that isn't full of undergrads might be a better choice for a grad student anyway.

The Isthmus's website:

http://www.thedailypage.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooo...I'm going to Wisc this fall and looking to move in over the summer. I'm wondering if I should check out apartments when I visit campus in 1.5 weeks. Apparently most leases end in August, so IDK if moving in in summer puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage. Does anyone have thoughts on when/how to find apts in my case? Much appreciated :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooo...I'm going to Wisc this fall and looking to move in over the summer. I'm wondering if I should check out apartments when I visit campus in 1.5 weeks. Apparently most leases end in August, so IDK if moving in in summer puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage. Does anyone have thoughts on when/how to find apts in my case? Much appreciated smile.gif

First, welcome! Second, when are you planning to actually "move in"? Are we talking May, June, July? If that's the case, maybe you can find a subletter. The Badger Herald will be issuing their Subletter Guide soon, so keep an eye out for that. If you're moving in August, take a look around town and ask some of the faculty and current grads; they should be able to give you some good advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm considering UW-Madison for my PhD starting this Fall. (I'm really torn between Madison and U of Michigan)

I was in Madison for an interview weekend in Feb. but I'm not convinced I really got to see what the city was like.

I know about State st. and walked down it a couple of times, but is that it? Is State st the main/only place for a cluster of restaurants, coffee shops, stores and so on? Or is there more spread out throughout the city that I just didn't get a chance to see?

I'm coming from NYC and was born and raised here and I am a bit worried about going stir crazy... Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm considering UW-Madison for my PhD starting this Fall. (I'm really torn between Madison and U of Michigan)

I was in Madison for an interview weekend in Feb. but I'm not convinced I really got to see what the city was like.

I know about State st. and walked down it a couple of times, but is that it? Is State st the main/only place for a cluster of restaurants, coffee shops, stores and so on? Or is there more spread out throughout the city that I just didn't get a chance to see?

I'm coming from NYC and was born and raised here and I am a bit worried about going stir crazy... Any info would be greatly appreciated.

I started a thread comparing Madison and Ann Arbor few weeks back. It's couple of pages back. Might be useful resource for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm considering UW-Madison for my PhD starting this Fall. (I'm really torn between Madison and U of Michigan)

I was in Madison for an interview weekend in Feb. but I'm not convinced I really got to see what the city was like.

I know about State st. and walked down it a couple of times, but is that it? Is State st the main/only place for a cluster of restaurants, coffee shops, stores and so on? Or is there more spread out throughout the city that I just didn't get a chance to see?

I'm coming from NYC and was born and raised here and I am a bit worried about going stir crazy... Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Well, there are some more places in a few side streets of Capitol, the big building at the end of state street.

Apart from that there aren't really any clusters I would say, though individual places definitely.

I don't want to be negative but if you are from NYC and you are already afraid now of going stir crazy then I wouldn't be surprised if you actually do.

I went to Madison only one semester as a foreign exchange student and I had that experience a little.

You will have a hard time finding trendy bars or places to get things like good sandwiches a la Carnegie Deli, John's Pizzeria, etc.

You can get quite a lot of ethnic food but I can prepare a better pasta than the Italian restaurants there. The positive side about bars is that you can get very cheap booze, expect zip in terms of style though.

And yeah, most people in Madison are really full of State Street and think it's truly amazing, so that might give you some perspective.

I hope I don't sound too negative, it's not that bad of a place either, but the threat has been a little too positive imo so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are more places than just State Street and the Capitol. I live in the Willy St neighborhood on the isthmus (east of the Capitol) where there are lots of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. It's definitely more of a hippie neighborhood, with a big co-op grocery store, festivals in the spring and summer at the lakeside parks, lots of gardens. It's also home to a large number of grad students and young families. As you travel north up Williamson, you'll enter the Atwood neighborhood, which is another smaller cluster of bars and restaurants. It's about 4 miles from my house to my lab on the far west side of campus, takes about 15-20 minutes to get there by bike 20-30 by the bus. I moved here from Boston and I miss the huge variety a larger city offered, the subway, and a few other things, but I really like my new home in Madison and don't regret the move at all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to second willemvanoranje here. If you're already worried about going stir-crazy in Madison, it's not a good sign. I grew up in Madison, but went to Los Angeles for undergrad, and now I'm back in Madison while I wait to move on to a PhD. It's really hard to find good restaurants and things to do in Madison. If you put in the effort, there are places to go, but everything seems toned down for midwestern tastes, and if a restaurant closes (as happens often) it can have a pretty big effect on your options -- for example, we just recently lost the city's only decent Korean restaurant.

State Street isn't the only place in town for restaurants and shops. The Willy (Williamson) Street/Atwood Avenue area has the highest concentration of good restaurants, and there are a couple more on Monroe Street and the near west side. There are a few nice Mexican restaurants on Park Street and a handful of other good options, but you have to know where you're going and have a car, generally. You can't just stroll around and expect to find something interesting to eat here.

Entertainment options are somewhat limited as well. The local music scene is pretty good, as I understand it (though I have no direct experience or interest myself). There's a decently active theater community here, between the university, the APT in the summer, traveling shows, and various smaller groups that perform downtown. It's certainly not anywhere near as exciting as a bigger city, and here too, I think it's toned down for midwestern tastes. There are only two art museums and two history museums in town, all of which are smallish.

I can think of a number of ways to survive Madison:

-Have friends in Chicago you can stay with over the weekend. Getting out, even just to Milwaukee, helps, but being able to go to Chicago without paying for a hotel room would probably help satisfy a need for good restaurants and things to do. (It's about an hour and a half to drive to Milwaukee, and two and a half hours to Chicago.)

-Make a big effort to find new places to go in Madison. Weekly newspapers publish everything that's going on in the weekend. Plan to try one new restaurant or activity a week at least, instead of just going to the same places all the time. If you make a game of finding new places to try, it might stave off the boredom.

-Change your habits. Madison is a good city for quiet people. If you like reading in coffee shops, or might like to join a knitting group or something, Madison has tons of small groups of people who share an interest. Take up gardening or something instead of going out. Except for drinking, I don't think Madison has a huge 'going out' culture, but a lot of people seem to have hobbies they work on.

But if those options seem unpleasant, Ann Arbor might be the better choice (though I've never been there and can't say anything about it).

Edited by pangor-ban

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, all--

I just visited Madison for the second time. My mission: to secure an apartment. Mission successful!

If anyone is wondering about housing, I might be able to help. I went to a number of showings on Friday and was able to find a place I loved.

Somewhere else on this thread (I think), it was advised that Madison Property Management should be avoided at all costs. I wish I had listened to the giver of this advice, for it is SO TRUE. I have come away with the impression that MPM rents primarily to undergraduates that have never lived on their own. Their properties are in *horrible* condition and often do not include any utilities or parking. Laundry on site is also very unusual. Their rent prices are *extremely* high. If you take a drive around Madison, you will see MPM's signs EVERYWHERE. It seems that they own half the city and don't have the time to provide even the most basic maintenance.

Example: I booked a showing for 2149 E. Washington (do not live here). The outside of the house was actually well maintained but the interior was downright scary. The carpet was the cheapest one could find, it was peeled back from the floor in many spots, and their were burn marks and holes all over the place. When I asked if the carpet would be replaced, I was told that this was still being decided. The paint was peeling throughout and I was told there were no plans to repaint. The kitchen was a mess and the linoleum floor was also raised/coming off. The rent on this place was insane and included no utilities. The other two properties I visited were in relatively the same condition and it was made clear that there were no immediate plans to fix anything.

Basically...stay away from Madison Property Management.

I did find a great apartment which I will be renting in the fall through Palisade Properties. From what I could see, their staff is very friendly and their properties are all very well maintained. The rent was extremely fair. Additionally, they allow their tenants to paint (personally, I hate white walls) and are *very* pet friendly. I have two small dogs and housing has proven a challenge--they had no problem with my puppies!

Another reliable landlord I found was Dobson Property Management. It seems that they list their apartments on craigslist, rather than online (they don't even have a website, as far as I know). I would highly recommend checking them out. Their apartments were *very* nice and fair in price.

Housing has been a major concern for me, especially since I have dogs, and I am so relieved to have it taken care of. If you can't visit and have to rent sight unseen, I would highly recommend having someone attend a showing and take pictures of the apartment for you. In Madison, it isn't safe to judge a property solely by how it looks from outside and in what neighborhood it is in. I hope this helps someone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have input on the university apartments: eagle heights, harvey street, university houses. The pricing seems pretty reasonable for 2 bedroom places. Are the worth looking into and applying for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In which neighborhoods do most grad students live? What areas should be avoided (either because they are sketchy, overrun with drunk undergrads, or some other reason I haven't thought of).

In theory I'd like to live in walking-distance to campus (specifically the physics department), but I know a lot of the areas very close to campus are really really overrun with loud undergrads and probably not the kind of environment I'm looking for. Of course I don't mind having some undergrads around, but I don't want to be in party-central, as it were. Any thoughts on where I should look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump

(come on, someone in forum-land must know stuff about Madison)

In which neighborhoods do most grad students live? What areas should be avoided (either because they are sketchy, overrun with drunk undergrads, or some other reason I haven't thought of).

In theory I'd like to live in walking-distance to campus (specifically the physics department), but I know a lot of the areas very close to campus are really really overrun with loud undergrads and probably not the kind of environment I'm looking for. Of course I don't mind having some undergrads around, but I don't want to be in party-central, as it were. Any thoughts on where I should look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey quark,

If you're looking for short walk then the Vilas neighborhood would probably be a great place to start for you. There are some undergrads but much of Vilas has a more grad student/young family feel. A little further away would be the willie/jennifer street area. It's a real quick bike ride and it's close some really great restaurants/bars/coffee shops. I also have several friends who have been happy living on East Johnson- though the closer you get to the capital on the near east side, the more undergrads you'll find.

If you want to avoid the undergrads stay away from Langdon/west gorham area as well as west Mifflin/west washington/parts of the basset neighborhood.

In which neighborhoods do most grad students live? What areas should be avoided (either because they are sketchy, overrun with drunk undergrads, or some other reason I haven't thought of).

In theory I'd like to live in walking-distance to campus (specifically the physics department), but I know a lot of the areas very close to campus are really really overrun with loud undergrads and probably not the kind of environment I'm looking for. Of course I don't mind having some undergrads around, but I don't want to be in party-central, as it were. Any thoughts on where I should look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump for 2011.

So im planning on going to UW-Madison for grad school, as long as everything goes well. So any ins and outs anyone want to share. Apartment hunting tips, ect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump for 2011.

So im planning on going to UW-Madison for grad school, as long as everything goes well. So any ins and outs anyone want to share. Apartment hunting tips, ect.

Yes, me too. I have only ever visited Madison once and I would like to know more about what it is like to live there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too! I'm waiting on two other schools but am convinced I will not hear good news from them. And even if I do, I doubt they will offer me enough $ to sway me from Madison. I am going to visit on the last weekend of March, but a weekend is definitely not enough time to get an impression of the town! I am especially curious to know how and when to search for an apartment there. Judging from last year's comments, the Williamson/Jenifer Street area seems to be popular among graduate students. I also want to know what's a fair rent - I studied in NorCal for undergraduate, so anything in the triple digits for an apartment seems amazing to me, but I know that's not right...

Also, could anyone offer some tips to find an apartment in Madison while in California? I don't think I can take the time off work to go over, look around, and sign a lease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently live in Madison, WI as a non-student and LOVE IT HERE! It is a great town. There is a lot to do, but it is not too crowded. Everyone here is super nice and there are lots of great neighborhoods and restaurants.

The Willy St/Jenifer St neighborhood is great to live in, although anywhere on the isthmus is nice. I lived on Brearly St last year and loved it. Lots of restaurants to walk to, downtown, and the willy st coop. This year I live on E Dayton St. (still on the isthmus). I am far enough away from the capitol that this is a quiet neighborhood- mostly families and grads. The Atwood neighborhood is really nice too. I love Madison and would be willing to answer any questions. I know it can be kinda overwhelming moving somewhere you've never been. As for reasonable price...I think you can pretty easily find a nice one bedroom for 700-800. My apt last year was 690 which included heat. Anything below 600 is probably a grungier apartment, particularly if you're looking at apts on the isthmus where prices are higher.

Me too! I'm waiting on two other schools but am convinced I will not hear good news from them. And even if I do, I doubt they will offer me enough $ to sway me from Madison. I am going to visit on the last weekend of March, but a weekend is definitely not enough time to get an impression of the town! I am especially curious to know how and when to search for an apartment there. Judging from last year's comments, the Williamson/Jenifer Street area seems to be popular among graduate students. I also want to know what's a fair rent - I studied in NorCal for undergraduate, so anything in the triple digits for an apartment seems amazing to me, but I know that's not right...

Also, could anyone offer some tips to find an apartment in Madison while in California? I don't think I can take the time off work to go over, look around, and sign a lease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently live in Madison, WI as a non-student and LOVE IT HERE! It is a great town. There is a lot to do, but it is not too crowded. Everyone here is super nice and there are lots of great neighborhoods and restaurants.

The Willy St/Jenifer St neighborhood is great to live in, although anywhere on the isthmus is nice. I lived on Brearly St last year and loved it. Lots of restaurants to walk to, downtown, and the willy st coop. This year I live on E Dayton St. (still on the isthmus). I am far enough away from the capitol that this is a quiet neighborhood- mostly families and grads. The Atwood neighborhood is really nice too. I love Madison and would be willing to answer any questions. I know it can be kinda overwhelming moving somewhere you've never been. As for reasonable price...I think you can pretty easily find a nice one bedroom for 700-800. My apt last year was 690 which included heat. Anything below 600 is probably a grungier apartment, particularly if you're looking at apts on the isthmus where prices are higher.

Thanks! When do you think I should start looking for an apartment? And what is the best method? I'm living on the west coast so it would be most convenient if I could somehow search here through online sources...but I know that Craigslist is not necessarily the most complete listing.

Also, as you are a non-student, would you happen to have any insight on the current job market there? My boyfriend wants to move there with me but I'm hesitant about this because I'm not sure what kind of job he could find there and how soon.

And one last question - it seems that the bus system within Madison is good enough to get around on for most occasions. Do you know if there are trains or buses that will take you to/from Milwaukee? Or Chicago?

Thanks very much :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.