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Milwaukee, WI

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Just got accepted to UW-Milwaukee and planning on going this fall.

Any tips for good apartments? And what's a typical range for apartments near UWM? I'm looking at Craigslist and I'm hoping to stay between $300-500, but maybe that's a little too hopeful.

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I was accepted to the MALLT program at UWM! I'm not sure if I will relocate this Spring or wait until Fall (I can take many of the classes online), but I'm trying to look at costs. Can anyone estimate approximately what I'd expect to pay for a studio or one bedroom within walking distance or a very short bus trip to campus, plus utilities? It doesn't have to be luxury, but preferably not in the sort of puke going rancid in the halls on Sunday, have to call the cops to quiet the neighbors down every time you want to sleep sort of student building I have lived in before. I don't know how to drive in the snow, so I'd rather not have to use a car to get to campus. I also don't know how to estimate utilities with AC/heating factored in, because I don't have AC and the pilot light in my heater isn't even lit. (Needless to say I'm a little freaked about the weather.)

Edited by kateausten

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Bringing back this topic since I'm seriously considering UWM.

I know NOTHING about the city.

Anyone have anything they can share for 2013?

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I am originally from Milwaukee. UWM is in a great location and you can definitely find apartments near campus for cheap. Otherwise, I know a few people who lived near Marquette (because rent is very cheap, but it is a less desirable area) and then took the bus to campus. Bay View is the up-and-coming neighborhood with restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and shops. I would say you should have no trouble finding rent between $400-600 if you are looking the right places. 

 

Milwaukee sucks in the winter...it is miserably cold and there is always wind off the lake. I know they were still getting snow up until this week. 

 

Overall, the nightlife is great--relaxed scene with plenty of bars. Hopefully, you love beer. In my opinion, they also have one of the best local coffee chains, Alterra. I now live in Austin TX and have not found anything I love as much as Alterra. There are many green spaces in the city for hiking, relaxing, and exercising as well.

 

I attended Marquette, so I know less about UWM in terms of school information. 

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I'm also seriously considering UWM but I don't really have much info to offer.

I was told to avoid anywhere west of the river because there's more crime but I'm from NYC so I'm not sure that would bother me all that much.

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Care to elaborate on some of the hot spots, RunMilW? 

I've looked at apartments on padmapper... seems like the cheapest near the school that I'm finding is around the 500 mark, but only if you have 2 other people living with you. 

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<p>In terms of public transit, outside of the downtown/UWM/Eastside/Marquette area, it is pretty dismal. I guess from Bay View the 15 is fairly reliable as buses go. Also, living anywhere near a 30 route line will get you to UWM. I think UWM also has a shuttle system, so if you do not live within walking distance of UWM, you could shuttle it to campus. Many students live in Riverwest (fairly cheap, good restaurants and some good bars, with a thriving artistic/intellectual community), but there is higher crime. In terms of near UWM, I would look for apartments/housing on the Lower Eastside, south of Brady Street. Bay View also has some great duplexes/houses for rent too. You could look into Shorewood (just north of campus), but apartments there will probably be more expensive. For instance, I paid $275 a month to live in a duplex with 3 other guys but that was near MU. I never had issues with crime or felt unsafe.&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>As for nightlife, North Ave. near UWM has many bars, restaurants, and the Oriental movie theater. Brady Street is not too far from campus and has plenty of bars and restaurants as well as does Bay View. Water St. is more frat bro/slutty people/crazy if that is your scene.</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>Living on the lower eastside or Bay View will keep you in close proximity to the lake and many of the green spaces that make Milwaukee a great place to live.&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>I would also suggest looking on Craigslist for apartments/roommates. I have had success doing this in Austin, but UT is massive, so it is fairly easy to find fellow grad students.&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>A local filmmaker made this awesome video about Milwaukee that gives you an idea about how great the city is and many of the scenes in the film are near/close to UWM or areas that I stated you should live above</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>

Edited by RunMilw

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I've lived in MKE for about 10 years (many of those as a student at Marquette and UWM). Here is what I can say about it:

 

1. I LOVE Milwaukee. There are amazing people here, activities, festivals, and nightlife spots if you avoid the big trendy stuff.

 

2. Housing. I've lived in many neighborhoods here. West of the river (Riverwest) is my favorite. It is true that it can be spotty with crime, but if you have some common sense it's no big deal. Like, don't walk alone at night with your headphones on...you'll get mugged. I live in a quiet little pocket of Riverwest that is mostly homeowners. However, the house next to me is 4 units and owned by a slumlord. A couple weeks after I moved in, one of their tenants died there of heroin overdose and the house got shut down and boarded up for 2 years. Now it's back open and the neighbors are once again trashy and obnoxious. This is the kind of thing that happens in Riverwest, but it is a very involved and supportive community, and the good people here really work hard to improve the neighborhood and keep crime down.

 

   If you choose to live closer to campus, there are problems to be had there as well...personally, I think there is more risk of vandalism by the campus. Way more car break-ins over there than in Riverwest. And a lot more noise from the undergrads. BUT, parking at UWM is a bitch, so it's nice to be walking distance. Riverwest is cheaper though.

 

   I did undergrad at Marquette, but I would never choose to live around there. The surrounding neighborhood gets real hood and the crimes more serious. Also ain't shit to do there.

 

   Bayview is lovely, hipster, slightly pretentious. It is affordable, but kind of a hike to UWM. Also, your friends on the east side will never want to come out to Bayview because it's "soooo far" (actually less than 10 min car ride).

 

3. Bottom line: my vote goes to Riverwest. It's safe if you're not a drunk idiot. If anyone is considering a specific spot in Milwaukee, feel free to message me and I can offer my input on that area.

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Anyone know how the housing cycle is? I tried contacting a few apartments today, and got answering machines. The one place I talked to mentioned they only rent 2 months out in advance, so for an Aug 1 lease I should call back June 1.

 

Is this generally true? Is it worth it for me to try looking for an apartment now? I'm worried about waiting to June 1 and finding out there are no openings there or elsewhere.

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What about the neighborhood surrounding Marquette? Is it a good/bad neighborhood? What is there to do, eat, etc around there? Where are good neighborhoods to live in that are close? Thanks!

Also, my frame of references for cities are within the Midwest. I grew up in Indianapolis and I live in Columbus right now. Honestly I don't like either city that much, Columbus I like a bit more, but I don't like how suburban and spread out it is. I'm hoping that Milwaukee, since it is a bit smaller, might be better as far as walking/biking and laid backness. How does Milwaukee compare to a place like Columbus Ohio?

 

Marquette is good if you keep your head around you, just like any other city.  I know they've really been working on revamping the neighborhoods around it recently.

And for the record, Wisconsin winters are VERY doable, if you go into it with the attitude that snow is more manageable than rain.  I grew up south of Milwaukee and lived their my whole life, before moving to Delaware.  Delaware winters are miserable.  Warmer, but it just rains constantly.  If you do spend a winter in Wisconsin, be ready to have a good time.  People don't let the snow barricade them in their houses like they do in other parts of the country.  There are festivals and skating and skiing and tubing and snow mobiling.  It's absolutely magical at night.  It's very much a cultural thing.  Don't let reservations about the snow and cold hold you back!

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Re: Housing Cycle - Places for rent start popping up a lot more in May. People in Wi don't tend to move until the weather is more consistent (Spring here can be really unpredictable!). Also, it does seem like 2 months in advance is when you have the most options, I dunno why that is. But I doubt you'll have trouble finding a place.

 

Re: Marquette area - I did my undergrad there. Personally I would not want to live there. It's pretty much downtown, which is kind of dead zone. I would check out the east side or Bay View neighborhoods, much more activity and pedestrian friendly.

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Bumping this thread.  I was accepted to UWM today for MLIS and I'm definitely considering the school.  I really don't know much about Milwaukee, I haven't even been to Wisconsin before.  What's the housing situation like?  What's the city like for someone in their mid-20s?  Is a car a good idea?  I currently live in NYC and don't have one.

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I've lived in Milwaukee for the past 6 years, and additionally, I grew up in a suburb about 20 minutes away from the city. Housing is difficult in my opinion, but if you're coming from NYC you might be pleasantly surprised with prices. I would say average is ~$500 for a decent place with roommates, but some searching can land you a good place with roommates for $300. Remember that you will be paying heating bills in winter. In my apartment, which is an older house ( as most of them are around here), we pay about $200 for heat and electric combined in dec-march. The city is great for someone in their 20's. It is a pretty young crowd, especially around uwm. The downtown, 3rd ward, and 5th ward is also a mix of students and young working professionals. Brady st is a great area to live in my opinion. You have a variety if bars to choose some that will suit a variety of styles, trivia, restaurants, coffee shops, and is on major bus lines. Riverwest is awesome as well. A mix of students, families, and welcoming community members. They have fun bars, a farmers market, and both a book and food co op. A car is not necessary since we have buses, but it does come in handy once in a while. In winter it can be more of n inconvenience to have a car since winter street parking regulations go into effect. You also have to put up with cleaning snow off your car which is a pain. You can try to find a parking space to rent indoors, but that costs about $80-100 a month and be difficult to find. We have a ton of festivals in summer, plenty if breweries, and some great museums. If you have ny specific questions, PM me!

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I've just committed to UWM and I am daunted by the prospect of finding someplace to live! When I visited I noticed that parking on the street is really just a huge nightmare between the giant banks of snow and the complicated day/night parking permits. So I think getting a place that has off-street parking might be my #1 priority (behind safety, of course)! I'd also love to live on a bus line to UWM so I wouldn't have to drive every day and, if I could get it, somewhere where heat is included. Is this like asking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Where do I even start looking for such a place? I assume I'll have to make a special trip to MKE just to find an apartment sometime in June? My ideal move-in date would be August 15.

 

Any suggestions for me? Any fellow grads headed to UWM or MU who want to be roommates? :)

Edited by iphi

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Hi iphi, I'm heading to UWM this fall too! Have you tried padmapper? That's what I've been using to gauge prices in different locations. I've seen a few places on there that offer parking, but not many. I'm thinking of going in mid May to look at places, which I hope isn't too early to start looking for an August move in. I'll probably have to live alone, because my cats are little demons, sigh. 

Edited by astralweeks

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Hello, I thought I would re open the discussion since 2014. I will be attending UWM in Fall 2016 for my Ph.D., and I'm pumped for the move! I'm coming from Mid West Michigan where I did my undergrad and masters so I'm not worried about the weather seems to be similar if not better than MI. My major concern now is housing and where to/not to live. I'm a pretty big guy so I'm not worried about living West of the river, however I do worry for my car/apartment while I'm gone during the day and often gone at least a week each semester for work. Can anyone give advice on actually how bad the crime is in the area or what crime occurs? Also, what other areas to look at? I have looked on the south side of UWM and north of downtown and it looks like a few places are there. I haven't found anything North of UWM that is at a decent price. 

if anyone has had good experience in certain neighborhoods or with certain landlords please let me know! I also might be interested in getting roommates if anyone is there currently or is moving there in Sep. Thank you in advance! 

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Hey @Hugs4Hugs I went to Marquette, did classes at UWM, and currently live in Milwaukee. 

I personally am not a fan of river west (great for drinks but don't be an idiot. There are good shows/social things to do but I'm not a river west type and I know too many people who have been jumped or had their cars broken into. But yanno, they were doing dumb stuff like walking alone with headphones in or leaving bags/valuables in their car. Plus, it's easy to drift from hipsterville/gentrifying to pretty poor and somewhat dangerous.)

Crime depends on the neighborhood. My friends who went to grad school at UWM lived off of Prospect. East Side is easy to get to/from campus. Areas near the following streets - prospect, Brady, farwell, Ogden - might have good options. I don't know your budget but my friends have good apartments in these areas. Shorewood is also a popular area for UWM students. All of these areas will be a mix of students, young professionals, and older folks.  Most busses run to campus and is fairly reliable. If you need to drive there is a satellite parking lot with a school bus like system between UWM and that lot. 

I lived in an apartment ran by Ogden when I was at MU and they were useless. 

 

Lmk how how else I can help! 

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Hey @Barista1234 thanks for the info! 

Know it makes sense why the cost of living is $100-200 less per month west of the river. :) 

Sorry, I'm still trying to understand the terminology of the area, when you say "east side" do you mean East of campus?  I will check out places on those streets! After looking at the map attached, I finally looked at the contract for teaching assistants and i have never heard of an employer charging its employees for parking passes. I will definitely be looking for places on the bus line to save $120/mo! So now I'm looking for bus line access or in walking distance, safe, and at a good price (hopefully under $600/mo).

Thanks again! 

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Hey folks, we're moving to Milwaukee sometime late spring or summer. Not sure where we're looking yet - but I've got two little daughters and want to make sure we get a yard and a safe enough neighborhood for them to ride their bikes in.  But since I've already been in graduate school for four years, we need inexpensive. 

Any chances of getting a single-family home with 3 bedrooms in a decent neighborhood & a fenced yard for under $1000? Maybe I'm just too used to Michigan prices (where we're coming from).

I've had a couple students at the school (Marquette) tell me that Bayview is nice, but it seems a bit spendy up there.

I found the Milwaukee reddit useful, but if there is anything else you know of, I'd love to hear it. 

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I was offered a stipend of $4,000 a semester (and $5,000 a semester for tuition) from Marquette.  Is $4,000 a semester substantial in Milwaukee?  Can I live comfortably?

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@eggfish I'm not sure what your living situation will be, but for us, a family of 4, that is not a substantial amount; I think, however, it would be totally doable if you are single, don't have kids, and/or don't mind an efficiency-style apartment. We haven't settled on a neighborhood yet, but it looks like most 3-bedrooms around between $1,000 and $1,800 /mo which would eat through your stipend real quick. Most of the 1 bedrooms that I've seen come in at under $800, some as low as $350s (depending what neighborhood you're looking at) - so on that budget, $4000 a semester could totally swing it if you live frugally. 

That's just my two-cents, and coming from someone not yet living in MKE, take it with a grain of salt. In general, Milwaukee's cost of living seems fairly low compared with some other options.

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2 hours ago, drivingthoughts said:

@eggfish I'm not sure what your living situation will be, but for us, a family of 4, that is not a substantial amount; I think, however, it would be totally doable if you are single, don't have kids, and/or don't mind an efficiency-style apartment. We haven't settled on a neighborhood yet, but it looks like most 3-bedrooms around between $1,000 and $1,800 /mo which would eat through your stipend real quick. Most of the 1 bedrooms that I've seen come in at under $800, some as low as $350s (depending what neighborhood you're looking at) - so on that budget, $4000 a semester could totally swing it if you live frugally. 

That's just my two-cents, and coming from someone not yet living in MKE, take it with a grain of salt. In general, Milwaukee's cost of living seems fairly low compared with some other options.

Yeah, I just want an efficiency apartment for just myself, and I'm pretty frugal.  Thanks for the reply!

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@Hugs4Hugs east side is the Brady/prospect streets area of Milwaukee

 

@eggfish $4000 a semester will be tight (especially taxed). my studio ran by Ogden (15th and wells so right across from the AMU) was $400/mo but that was 2 years ago - rent may be higher. You can certainly find studios around campus for $4-600. For sure finding apartments with heat included is key. There are boundaries around campus I wouldn't live past even if they may look like a good idea rent wise- 20th to the west, state to the north (I wouldn't prefer to live on north), and clybourn to the south. But everyone I knew lived between wells and state. East of Straz Hall, or 10th street, gets more expensive then you hit downtown which is meh. The freeways are basically your boundaries. You can save on your budget by not having a car since campus parking is expensive. I did get away with parking at the lot on 15th and wells illegally for a year but then they laid down the hammer and I got 5 tickets in a day. Whoops. The campus LIMO service is amazing and take advantage of it in bad weather! 

Groceries downtown are marked up but if you do have a car or use a zipcar, you can get out to cheaper grocery store.

sorry for the novel. Just loved it there! 

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