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Hi, if anyone needs a place to live, my friend is looking for a renter for his 1 bedroom apt on Commons-- it's very nice and centrally located! message me!

Also, question: can i get by without a car? it seems like the bus system is really nice there and I am living close to downtown (just two blocks away from Just a Taste, etc). My roommates have cars... but i'm thinking it would be nice to have my own. Not sure, though-- with gas prices and insurance, etc. Can anyone give their opinion on this?

jennie

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Can anyone give their opinion on this?

jennie

Two years without a car here. No problems at all. Although a friendly neighbour does take me to Wegmans in the winter. Being downtown you're close to Greenstar - Oasis, and there's a bus to Wegmans too. AND ... there's a new carshare scheme so you should be good.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm going into the world on my own for the first time (straight from undergrad applicant) so really have very little idea what one needs to live on and all those sorts of details so the thoughts above were very helpful.

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No problem! My own adjustment to independence has taken place almost entirely in Ithaca - it's a great place for the transition since it's small, fairly easy to get around, and VERY student-oriented. (I know the constant flow of students in and out of the town drives the locals crazy, but it may be mostly thanks to the two colleges that the town still exists.) Let me know if you have any other questions!

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I'm going to Cornell in the fall to start a Romance studies PhD... I'm looking for housing, which I will have to do remotely :( Can anyone give any advice about where to live/not live as a grad student? I'd like to live in an area with other grad students but not on-campus. Thanks!

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I'm looking for housing, which I will have to do remotely :( Can anyone give any advice about where to live/not live as a grad student? I'd like to live in an area with other grad students but not on-campus. Thanks!

I"m in the same boat... there's been some helpful posts over the last few weeks in the "Cornell 09" thread in the Meet and Greet section.

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Seems like this topic went completely unnoticed last year... I wonder if there's another.

Anyway, I was accepted to Cornell and while it seems like one of my best choices academically (out of the schools I applied to that I actually have more than a snowball's chance in hell of getting into -- at this point I've only heard from one other PhD program and haven't had other PhD acceptances), I am a little bit worried about the size of the city like others have said. I'm actually from a very small town (around 3,000 people) in the South, and grew tired of that pretty quickly during my teenage years. Luckily, Ithaca is of course still much bigger than my hometown and it's a college town (so I assume there is more to do than your average 30,000 person town), but I'm still worried. The only places I've lived since age 18 are Atlanta and Munich (I'm 22 now), and I have been very, very happy living in big cities.

One of the things that seems like an upshot to life in Ithaca is the difference between the stipend and the cost of living. I still haven't gotten my official letter in the mail, but www.gradschool.cornell.edu seems to imply that I would get at least $2400 a month (before taxes, after health insurance) for a stipend without a fellowship. At the same time, it seems like I could live in Ithaca, even on campus, for $400 a month or less. I wouldn't have too many other expenses, so it seems like I would be able to live pretty comfortably there...

Anyway, I'm mostly just ranting and I don't think I have any real questions at this point. I guess the best thing I have to ask is what the stipend generally is for an RA or TA in an engineering/technical field after taxes are withheld.

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I didn't live in Ithaca, but I lived about an hour and a half away from it for awhile. The town is a nice, funky college town, but definitely not a big city. Ask yourself this... do you LOVE snow.. because if you hate snow, it's probably not the place for you. If you're indifferent to snow, than I think it's a great place to be.

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Ha, I like snow, but being from Georgia, most of the time that I've seen it it's gone away in a few days tops. I think there have been only two separate occasions in my life when I was around snow that was on the ground for even as long as two weeks -- one was when I was a kid in 1994 or so when there was actually a snowstorm/blizzard (supposedly; I'm not sure of it's magnitude and how much hype went into the word "blizzard" being thrown around :) ) of sorts here, and the other was while I was in Munich.

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You can expect 70-90% snow coverage from anytime between Late October to early April depending on the year... at my undergrad school we hadn't had a snow day in 40 years and the day that we did it snowed 4 feet in a day and half... so just know you'll be expected to be in class and teaching unless you see those levels of accumulation ;)

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Yay! I'm glad I found this topic, it is very helpful.

I am visiting Cornell the weekend of March 5-7, but have pretty much already made up my mind to go there! I am very excited as already trying to plan housing and such.

I'm kind of thinking that the easiest way for me to do housing is to live in University Housing the first year, since I don't see me having the opportunity to get up there to look at housing in person, and I don't feel comfortable signing and lease on a place that I have never seen. So I'm leaning towards just living in Hasbrouck my first year, then moving off campus after that.

Is there anyone around who actually has lived in the grad student housing? The one question I have is about the furniture provided. They say that the single student housing has twin XL beds... Personally, I haven't had a twin XL bed since freshmen year and don't really want to have a twin bed in grad school. Will they store furniture you don't want? I'm thinking it's a know from the vague statements on the web site. Are the bed frames easy to take apart? I would like to get a queen bed, then stuff the mattress and frame they provide underneath it. I would prefer an unfurnished apt, but they only have them available in studios and 1 bedrooms which are like $900 bucks a month...

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As a Cornell alum, current Ithaca resident and very likely future Cornell grad student, I just wanted to chime in on this thread.

I really, really love Ithaca. However, housing can be kind of a pain. It's WAY overpriced for the size of the town, and a lot of the apartments are really shabby and depressing. However, you can find nice places if you are persistent and know where to look. I'm starting this process right now, reluctantly. I am hoping to share a two bedroom with another incoming grad if I stay, because I need to be shaken out of my habits and get to know some new people if I'm signing on for another 5 years here.

Fall Creek is the best area to live as a grad/young professional, IMHO. It's near a campus shuttle that runs once every ten minutes during the week, the apartments tend to be nicer and cheaper, it's closer to the few good bars, the houses are charming, and there are nice antique stores and coffee shops in the area. Downtown has a little pedestrian mall, with restaurants and several festivals throughout the year.

AVOID Collegetown (undergrad ghetto south of campus), with the possible exception of State Street or below Stewart Ave. North is ok, but the bus service isn't really as helpful as landlords would have you think, although it's improved quite a bit since I've been here. Cayuga Heights would be a nightmare for getting to/from campus in the snow - mostly downhill from campus, no real bus service. East Hill has lots of new-ish, carpeted apartment complexes, but again, bus service may not be as good as it sounds, depending on your schedule. If you want to have a social life at all, it might be very difficult to do living in East Hill, North and Cayuga Heights.

There's not really parking on campus, and it's super expensive. You may be able to drive to campus late at night or on the weekends, but you will not be able to just drive to your lab on a Monday morning. Buses and hills really start to matter!

I don't know much about Hasbrouck. There seem to be a lot of grad families with babies. Also, they occasionally thrown undergrads in there when they admit too many; it's caused friction recently. I remember dismantling the XL bed frame in my dorm back in the day with little trouble. Bus service directly from Hasbrouck to campus runs from 7ish am to 6ish pm. Otherwise, it's more efficient to walk than to try catching the bus. Bus service to Collegetown and Downtown is improving - every 15 minutes on weekends, every 30-15 minutes during the week, depending on the time of day.

I'm trying to keep my post short - feel free to send me a message if you want more details about places to live.

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As a Cornell alum, current Ithaca resident and very likely future Cornell grad student, I just wanted to chime in on this thread.

Thank you so much! You gave a bunch of really helpful information! I will def keep all this in mind when I look into housing later.

It's so odd to me, it seems like people sign leases really late there! I go to undergrad to a school in very urban Philadelphia, and if you don't have your housing set up by around this time for next year, you are screwed if you want to live anywhere close to campus/not in the ghetto.

But at Cornell my program offers a TA training program in July, and it seems like a lot of people don't set up housing until then! That just seems so foreign to me! So I really shouldn't be worrying about it yet I guess, I am just thinking ahead since I don't graduate until mid June and need to be there July 6th for TA training...stupid trimester schools.

Again, thanks for the help and I will be sure to contact you with more questions :)

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Thank you so much! You gave a bunch of really helpful information! I will def keep all this in mind when I look into housing later.

It's so odd to me, it seems like people sign leases really late there! I go to undergrad to a school in very urban Philadelphia, and if you don't have your housing set up by around this time for next year, you are screwed if you want to live anywhere close to campus/not in the ghetto.

But at Cornell my program offers a TA training program in July, and it seems like a lot of people don't set up housing until then! That just seems so foreign to me! So I really shouldn't be worrying about it yet I guess, I am just thinking ahead since I don't graduate until mid June and need to be there July 6th for TA training...stupid trimester schools.

Again, thanks for the help and I will be sure to contact you with more questions :)

True story about Philadelphia - my sister, a freshman, had her lease nailed down in December!

People DO actually sign leases now, although for grads it's a little on the early side. The apartments available now are mostly geared toward undergraduate students. There are some really nice but overpriced places, lots of apartment complexes, and lots of close to campus apartments available now. July is WAY LATE to be just starting to search for housing, though, unless you're thinking about moving in with someone who has a lease already.

April-May is when nice but relatively cheap stuff opens up in the grad/young professional areas of town (Downtown, Fall Creek), which still have good bus service and easy access to less-collegey (but still fun) parts of town.

My street is a current grad hot spot, although it wasn't when I first moved there. Historically, a lot of the apartments there open up late March through May. My friends looking for studios/1-bedrooms are starting to look now, since there aren't many and they are very expensive, but since I'm going to look for 2-bedrooms I don't plan to make a decision for another couple months.

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This is some very helpful information! I am going up to Ithaca for a departmental "open house" in a few weeks, but I have already decided to attend Cornell in the fall...so I'm hoping to start scoping out apartments/houses then. I've been to Ithaca before and like the Fall Creek area a lot. My biggest consideration is that I have a large dog, and would love to find somewhere with at least a small fenced in yard which will be very helpful on those cold snowy mornings when a walk is not very appealing. Ithaca strikes me as a dog friendly town, but how difficult is it to find pet friendly housing?

I will have a car, but don't plan to drive it to campus (apparently not a good idea and very expensive: as several people have pointed out in this thread). Other than the Fall Creek area, where is laid back, grad/community oriented (i.e. not many undergrads), and accessible to campus by bus?

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This is some very helpful information! I am going up to Ithaca for a departmental "open house" in a few weeks, but I have already decided to attend Cornell in the fall...so I'm hoping to start scoping out apartments/houses then. I've been to Ithaca before and like the Fall Creek area a lot. My biggest consideration is that I have a large dog, and would love to find somewhere with at least a small fenced in yard which will be very helpful on those cold snowy mornings when a walk is not very appealing. Ithaca strikes me as a dog friendly town, but how difficult is it to find pet friendly housing?

I will have a car, but don't plan to drive it to campus (apparently not a good idea and very expensive: as several people have pointed out in this thread). Other than the Fall Creek area, where is laid back, grad/community oriented (i.e. not many undergrads), and accessible to campus by bus?

Ithaca residents are dog friendly. Ithaca city regulations are not so dog friendly, but steadily improving. There's now an official dog park, and people will turn a blind eye if you bring your dogs to somewhere labeled "no dogs allowed".

If you're persistent, and don't mind walking a little farther to catch the bus, Fall Creek has pet-friendly housing a little further out from the commons.

I know people with big dogs often find housing in the "Northeast" area - by the airport, Warren and Hanshaw roads, or near Sapsucker Woods. Bus service isn't great - once or twice an hour during weekdays - but it's doable. It'll be harder to go out to bars living up there, but if you're not a big drinker and don't mind driving to all your social events, then it's fine.

I'm facing the opposite problem. My allergies have gotten so severe that (if I stay) I need to find a building that has NEVER had a pet live in it EVER, and a roommate who is willing to put up that kind of pickiness!

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True story about Philadelphia - my sister, a freshman, had her lease nailed down in December!

People DO actually sign leases now, although for grads it's a little on the early side. The apartments available now are mostly geared toward undergraduate students. There are some really nice but overpriced places, lots of apartment complexes, and lots of close to campus apartments available now. July is WAY LATE to be just starting to search for housing, though, unless you're thinking about moving in with someone who has a lease already.

April-May is when nice but relatively cheap stuff opens up in the grad/young professional areas of town (Downtown, Fall Creek), which still have good bus service and easy access to less-collegey (but still fun) parts of town.

My street is a current grad hot spot, although it wasn't when I first moved there. Historically, a lot of the apartments there open up late March through May. My friends looking for studios/1-bedrooms are starting to look now, since there aren't many and they are very expensive, but since I'm going to look for 2-bedrooms I don't plan to make a decision for another couple months.

We shall see...I was planning on just going with the University Housing to make it easier, but it might be worth a trip to check...My spring break is the last week of March and I'll be up at my parents near Albany. If I am feeling ambitious I'll set up some appointments and make a day trip out of it, looking for apartments. Maybe I'll get lucky and find someone at my Department's accepted student weekend who is also looking for housing...We'll see. I'm not TOO concerned yet...it's just lurking in the back of my mind. I'm mostly just so excited about starting there (MOST likely lol-still resisting sending in my acceptance paperwork until after I visit the Dept, though it would take A LOT for me to change my mind lol)

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Can anybody comment on the housing market in Ithaca? I'm fairly certain I'll be attending Cornell in the fall, and I'd really like to consider buying property instead of renting. Are there neighborhoods that are more desirable or up-and-coming for buyers? One of my main concerns is that, since I'm going to Ithaca to attend a graduate program, I may have to sell my house in about 4-6 years with little option to stay.

Also, I've been scouring the usual places for listings: Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia. But are their any local resources I should know about? Like popular realtors? Can anyone recommend a specific realtor in Ithaca with whom I might want to get in touch?

I'm really excited by the prospect of owning my own home, and I think, in my case, it might be a better option financially--as long as I can sell when I want to leave! But I am pretty much a total newbie at this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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As a Cornell alum, current Ithaca resident and very likely future Cornell grad student, I just wanted to chime in on this thread.

I really, really love Ithaca. However, housing can be kind of a pain. It's WAY overpriced for the size of the town, and a lot of the apartments are really shabby and depressing. However, you can find nice places if you are persistent and know where to look. I'm starting this process right now, reluctantly. I am hoping to share a two bedroom with another incoming grad if I stay, because I need to be shaken out of my habits and get to know some new people if I'm signing on for another 5 years here.

Fall Creek is the best area to live as a grad/young professional, IMHO. It's near a campus shuttle that runs once every ten minutes during the week, the apartments tend to be nicer and cheaper, it's closer to the few good bars, the houses are charming, and there are nice antique stores and coffee shops in the area. Downtown has a little pedestrian mall, with restaurants and several festivals throughout the year.

AVOID Collegetown (undergrad ghetto south of campus), with the possible exception of State Street or below Stewart Ave. North is ok, but the bus service isn't really as helpful as landlords would have you think, although it's improved quite a bit since I've been here. Cayuga Heights would be a nightmare for getting to/from campus in the snow - mostly downhill from campus, no real bus service. East Hill has lots of new-ish, carpeted apartment complexes, but again, bus service may not be as good as it sounds, depending on your schedule. If you want to have a social life at all, it might be very difficult to do living in East Hill, North and Cayuga Heights.

There's not really parking on campus, and it's super expensive. You may be able to drive to campus late at night or on the weekends, but you will not be able to just drive to your lab on a Monday morning. Buses and hills really start to matter!

I don't know much about Hasbrouck. There seem to be a lot of grad families with babies. Also, they occasionally thrown undergrads in there when they admit too many; it's caused friction recently. I remember dismantling the XL bed frame in my dorm back in the day with little trouble. Bus service directly from Hasbrouck to campus runs from 7ish am to 6ish pm. Otherwise, it's more efficient to walk than to try catching the bus. Bus service to Collegetown and Downtown is improving - every 15 minutes on weekends, every 30-15 minutes during the week, depending on the time of day.

I'm trying to keep my post short - feel free to send me a message if you want more details about places to live.

Thanks. That was very helpful.

Do you happen to know anything about the Maple Park Apartments???? Just wondering because its the only student graduate housing on south campus. The north seems like a place of social life suicide.

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"Fall Creek is the best area to live as a grad/young professional, IMHO. It's near a campus shuttle that runs once every ten minutes during the week, the apartments tend to be nicer and cheaper, it's closer to the few good bars, the houses are charming, and there are nice antique stores and coffee shops in the area. Downtown has a little pedestrian mall, with restaurants and several festivals throughout the year.

AVOID Collegetown (undergrad ghetto south of campus), with the possible exception of State Street or below Stewart Ave. North is ok, but the bus service isn't really as helpful as landlords would have you think, although it's improved quite a bit since I've been here. Cayuga Heights would be a nightmare for getting to/from campus in the snow - mostly downhill from campus, no real bus service."

^^

Greetings

Just left Ithaca last May after the better part of 8 happy years there. While Fall Creek is definitely populated by a lot of graduate students, I would give lower and upper Collegetown a fair shot, too. Not saying it's better, just saying you should check it out. It really depends on what stage you're at in your life, and what sort of atmosphere you want to be in. The Commmons, the pedestrian mall the poster above referred to, is a nice place to walk around in theory -- and, often enough, in practice -- but there is a large vagrant contingent that you're likely to see dominating the place a lot of the time. Downtown Ithaca generally is nice enough, but be aware that a sort of seedy, hippies-gone-bad contingent definitely DOES exist and you may feel safer in or right around Collegetown than downtown, if you wind up living in Fall Creek and walking to the Commons a great deal. I don't say this to unfairly represent Ithaca or scare you -- it's definitely a safe place overall, but, like anywhere else, it does have its rough spots. Just be aware of this and scope out not just the block you're looking to live on but also the area around it, especially if you don't have a car or just like to walk a lot. When I say upper collegetown, I'm talking up Dryden Ave., "above" College Ave. and Linden Ave. There are some nice, quiet places up there and you can make an argument, depending on where you're going on campus, that this is actually the most convenient place to live around, because there's an entrance to campus near the baseball field (also up in that direction) that many people seem to forget about.

You're right to presume that north campus could be a very bad move. It's very isolated, and depending on where you live, you might be looking at a 45 minute walk if you want to head to Collegetown for a cup of coffee or to meet friends. I would definitely avoid this (I agree with red_crayons re: Cayuga Heights; don't even think about it unless you have children and want a solidly home-based lifestyle). Red_crayons is also spot-on in saying that housing is a bit pricey, but I would say that decent housing is there for the taking as long as you do your homework. Yes, there are shabby places, and yes, most of the houses and apartments are going to have a bit of the look of a place that's been rented out to college students for years and years, but most places aren't too shocking and, well, you get what you pay for, ultimately. During the 2008-2009 school year, I lived in a spacious two-bedroom apartment, about a fifteen-minute walk from campus (lower Collegetown, below Stewart Ave.; Sage Place, to be exact) for about $625/month ($1250/month between the two of us), all things considered. For a decent two-bedroom place, this is on the cheaper end of things, unless you get a place outside of town or something like that.

Anyway, I could go on and on; I started at Cornell at age 17, took a few years off, some of which I spent in Ithaca, and graduated last May at age 24. I was around the town for a long time and was living a sort of borderline-grad student lifestyle by the time I left. By this I mean that I lived with a Ph.D. student and had tons of grad student friends -- not to mention friends who were native Ithacans -- but, obviously, also had a lot of connections with undergrads. This may seem hokey, but in my opinion, the best thing one can do to make living in Ithaca enjoyable is to, well, meet people. You'll want friends to go to the gorges with, friends to go out with, friends to watch a movie with when there's a blizzard outside.

I could go on and on. Ithaca is a beautiful town, and Cornell is an amazing school. I will always miss it, and I will never lose touch with the faculty and friends I met there. There are plenty of places to eat, plenty of nice bars, plenty of nice coffee shops...it really is a high-functioning college town. If anyone has any questions, please contact me!

All the best

Edited by SordidPuppy

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Does anyone know if there is any resource showing a geographic breakdown of the neighborhoods? There is a lot of good advice on this forum, but when I search for housing it's a bit difficult since I have no frame of reference for what addresses are actually in which neighborhood. A lot of the the realty sites and craigslist seem to add the terms like "Fall Creek" and "Downtown" in so they come up in searches, but aren't actually that close.

I tried doing a Google search and this is the best I found so far: http://wikimapia.org/7140880/Ithaca-NY, but I still feel like I have no idea where some of these neighborhoods are and which streets they include (like Downtown for example).

I'm sure these terms just become more familiar when you live there, but it's a bit confusing from the outside! I go to undergrad in Philadelphia, and I am used to being able to guesstimate locations by the numbered streets in the address lol.

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