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Any advice on where to live, or how to live in the UCSB area without going broke? :roll:

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The university's student housing is often pretty cheap really. I lived in university apartments as an undergrad and only paid $336/month in 2002. I believe it has gone up since, but not significantly so. Having a car is definitely a plus though if you need to get groceries, etc. However, the areas close to UCSB are pretty bike friendly. If you don't live in university housing I would live in Goleta, which is close to UCSB, but further away from the undergrad scene (Isla Vista). Santa Barbara is by no means cheap, but you can survive okay. I suppose it depends on where you are coming from when it comes to the expense of an area. It's pretty relative. I'm a California native so the prices for food, housing, etc. didn't seem that bad to me. Now, if you want to buy a house in or near Santa Barbara, you'll pay over a million easily.

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Oh, and cheer up - it's an absolutely beautiful place to live, especially if you are into hiking, swimming, and running. Mountains and beach are extremely close to each other.

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Guest Marisol

I went to UCSB for my undergrad, and I agree, it is paradise squared. Beautiful campus, weather, people, and a fun atmosphere. I lived in IV, so I paid through the nose, but it was worth every penny to wake up to the sound of the ocean every day. Enjoy your time there!

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Guest loco

Does anyone know how much should I expect to pay for rent for a studio or a one bedroom apartment. I know that is not very specific but a price range would be cool, preferably in Isla Vista. Also, is it practical to live in Carpinteria? is it cheaper? I will have a car, so some distance is ok if it is worth the savings. How is parking usually in UCSB? One more thing, is it realistic to try to find a place so I can start paying rent on September or do I need to find it (and pay) early in summer? if you coul add anymore information would be great. Thank you

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Can anyone tell me what the other towns around Santa Barbara are like? I might be going to UCSB but my partner got a job closer to the LA area and we were hoping to live somewhere in between. Is the Carpinteria nice? How about the Ventura/Oxnard area? Are these places any cheaper than Santa Barbara or is the whole area insanely high priced? thanks!

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Moneke:

Where is your partner working exactly? The 'LA area' is very big so it makes a difference - downtown LA is 100 miles from SB but Ventura, which could be considered the furthest edge of the 'LA area' is only 30 miles from SB. Places like the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley etc are in between.

Carpinteria is a very nice, small beach town. The problem is, it is only 10 miles closer to LA and it is not any cheaper than SB. One advantage is that you will be able to ride SB public transportation (if you are into that) all the way from Carp to UCSB on a single bus, for free with no parking charges.

Ventura/Oxnard is another story. The area is much more suburban and anonymous. You definitely start to feel like you're in LA down there. Ventura itself still has some semblance of being a nice coastal community, but go a few miles east and you're in sprawlville. However, as a corollary, the cost of living definitely goes down.

The downside would be the commute (for you). Due to the high cost of living in SB there has been a mass exodus of SB employees to the Oxnard area. Combined with this, between Carpinteria and SB the freeway goes down to two lanes. As a result, the freeway is now backed up for most daylight hours on weekdays and the drive takes over an hour. You will put a lot of wear and tear on your car and have to pay exorbitant parking charges at UCSB. There isn't really a viable mass transit alternative as of yet.

Hope that helps.

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Hey all! It seems like I am also heading for UCSB in Mech. Eng. for Fall 2008! any recommendation ? where to live at the dorms or ...? I have heard that they are just making a totally Graduate dorm for 2008 entrance named San Clemente. How how does it fell to live on or off campus ?

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I just found out I'm in at UCSB for Math! So, I must echo the post above, any recommendations for where to live? I like to be within walking distance of as much stuff as I can... Coffee shops, bars, groceries, campus, etc. I have a car, but try to use it as little as possible.

Thanks!

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Could anyone offer advice specifically about the cost of renting a house in Santa Barbara? I'm married, and wondering if this is something that is even feasible for the area.

Additionally, is there a significant amount of housing near the UCSB campus, or do students live off campus and then commute?

Just trying to get an idea of the area.

Thanks for your help!

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Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful places in the world to live, and I don't think you will suffer from small town syndrome living there. You are 90 miles from LA, along a famously gorgeous drive at least part of the way into the big city. It's a spectacular place to live, scenic beauty and weather-wise. In terms of University housing, search their database: http://www.housing.ucsb.edu/hchoices/ch ... l-home.htm

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I went there for undergraduate school. Santa Barabara is so beautiful, it took me 6 years to graduate :)

If I could do it all over again, I'd graduate in 7!

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Is there a lot of high-tech/IT industry activity around Santa Barbara? My boyfriend is an electrical engineer/programmer...we're currently in Silicon Valley and a little scared of leaving, heh. Would there be a lot for him to do down there if he ends up deciding to change jobs after we're there for a year, or whatever?

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Is anyone here living in the new University apartments specifically for graduate school?

No... I'm looking at the family housing, but I know that it'll be at least a year before we can get into it [!!!] so I was thinking, if I go to UCSB [which I probably will - it's my first choice and all], that we could try to find somewhere in Goleta to begin with because it's supposed to be a bit cheaper than Santa Barbara.

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A friend of mine just finished her master's at UCSB and she lived in Goleta, in a pretty nice 3-bedroom townhouse with 2 other grad students. I don't know how much she paid in rent, but she was able to survive on her grad stiped. I also had two friends who did their UG there, and I wouldn't recommend living in Isla Vista (IV), as it's the UG hangout. It's fun to walk around during the day and go to Sam's To Go (good sandwiches and beer), but as far as nightlife, downtown SB is much better for grad students. Goleta is maybe a 10-15 minute drive from campus. I know when my friend started there in 2006, they hadn't finished the new grad housing yet, though, so that might be a better (or as good) option, at least if you're single.

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A friend of mine just finished her master's at UCSB and she lived in Goleta, in a pretty nice 3-bedroom townhouse with 2 other grad students. I don't know how much she paid in rent, but she was able to survive on her grad stiped. I also had two friends who did their UG there, and I wouldn't recommend living in Isla Vista (IV), as it's the UG hangout. It's fun to walk around during the day and go to Sam's To Go (good sandwiches and beer), but as far as nightlife, downtown SB is much better for grad students. Goleta is maybe a 10-15 minute drive from campus. I know when my friend started there in 2006, they hadn't finished the new grad housing yet, though, so that might be a better (or as good) option, at least if you're single.

Thanks for the info! I'm actually trying to get into family housing with my wife, but since there is a year-long waiting list [!!], I'll probably have to find temporary housing somewhere else for a few months. Although another element of it is that the family housing is located in IV. I wonder if it would be less obnoxious because I'd be surrounded by couples and probably some kids instead of kegger-obsessed frat guys and cheerleader sorority women with burning couches ;)

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If you have kids, I would definitely recommend NOT living in Isla Vista, or at least not on the main street that leads from campus through the heart of IV. There may be some quiet side streets far enough away from the action with families (and I don't know about the family housing), but there's a lot of bars, fast food open all night, noise, and drunk college UGs stumbling about, at least on the main thoroughfare. So, I would ask about that aspect of it. Goleta seemed to have a lot more families--condos/townhouses and streets with houses, parks, etc.

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Is there a lot of high-tech/IT industry activity around Santa Barbara? My boyfriend is an electrical engineer/programmer...we're currently in Silicon Valley and a little scared of leaving, heh. Would there be a lot for him to do down there if he ends up deciding to change jobs after we're there for a year, or whatever?

Raytheon used to be a big employer there say, 10 years ago. UCSB itself is also a pretty big employer. Otherwise, the job market in SB is pretty tight for everything except waiting tables. The town is a bit like mayberry, and many people "consult" in IT, in otherwords, go around to small local offices(small law firms, small acounting firms, restaurants, hotels and country clubs) and pick up piecemeal work.

Since SB is pretty close to Venture and even 1/2 away (on a good day) from LA, your BF might consider looking there if he is used to the corporate IT lifestyle and perhaps you could living somewhere in between.

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If you have kids, I would definitely recommend NOT living in Isla Vista, or at least not on the main street that leads from campus through the heart of IV. There may be some quiet side streets far enough away from the action with families (and I don't know about the family housing), but there's a lot of bars, fast food open all night, noise, and drunk college UGs stumbling about, at least on the main thoroughfare. So, I would ask about that aspect of it. Goleta seemed to have a lot more families--condos/townhouses and streets with houses, parks, etc.

We personally don't have any kids, but thanks for the info - definitely good to hear for those who have kids!

I just visited the campus this past weekend and was so overwhelmed - I come from a small liberal arts college, and UCSB is so sprawling! I'm sure that somewhere like UCLA is even more overwhelming, but it was definitely an intense experience.

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HelloFem,

The campus is big but the offerings are immense. I was a German/Econ major and every department has its superstars and most are accessible if you put in a little work. It's like disneyland for book dorks. I loved undergrad at UCSB.

The downtown is very compact, and you will know everyone up and down State Street in about 3 weeks if you live downtown. After a year or so, you might think SB is too small :)

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HelloFem,

The campus is big but the offerings are immense. I was a German/Econ major and every department has its superstars and most are accessible if you put in a little work. It's like disneyland for book dorks. I loved undergrad at UCSB.

The downtown is very compact, and you will know everyone up and down State Street in about 3 weeks if you live downtown. After a year or so, you might think SB is too small :)

Thanks for the input :) Your "Disneyland for book dorks" comment made me smile!

Do you [or does anyone else] have any info for where is the best place to get the cheapest possible groceries? Preferably near family housing and accessible without a car? I'm hoping every grocery store isn't ridiculously expensive... so far I'm guessing that I should avoid Gelson's and the all-organic place ;)

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The people here are very helpful :) I received a lovely message in response to my last question about grocery stores. I have another question. My wife is really concerned that the 60s-70s weather year-round won't be warm enough to go to the beach during the summer. I told her that people from all over the world come to SB's beaches and I showed her many pictures of people on the beach in bathing suits, but she gets cold really easily and had thought that the temperature in SB would be a bit warmer than 70s in the summer. Does anyone have any experience with this? Does it get into the 80s and higher very often? Is it warm enough to be on the beach and even get into the ocean during the summer months? She wanted me to ask to put her mind at ease. Thanks :)

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The people here are very helpful :) I received a lovely message in response to my last question about grocery stores. I have another question. My wife is really concerned that the 60s-70s weather year-round won't be warm enough to go to the beach during the summer. I told her that people from all over the world come to SB's beaches and I showed her many pictures of people on the beach in bathing suits, but she gets cold really easily and had thought that the temperature in SB would be a bit warmer than 70s in the summer. Does anyone have any experience with this? Does it get into the 80s and higher very often? Is it warm enough to be on the beach and even get into the ocean during the summer months? She wanted me to ask to put her mind at ease. Thanks :)

I live in the area (slightly south of SB) and go to the beach every weekend in the summer. My partner surfs, I stay on the beach and read, we both put our feet in the ocean, etc. In the not-summer, we usually go to the pool, not the beach, and yeah, you probably have to throw a t-shirt over your bathing suit in the not-summer, but even then, it's beautiful. It definitely gets in the 80s and higher mid-day, and regardless of the temperature, it's often perfect beach weather. Worse comes to worse, drive an hour or so south to Santa Monica, where it gets 100+ sometimes in the summer.

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