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Far West is the way to go. Alternatively, look further up Speedway around 38th 1/2 or 45th. There's a bus that goes up there too, and some less pricy apartments.

Any suggestions as to which apartment complexes? Craigslist is a mess with all the apartment hunters :D

Thanks!!

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Any suggestions as to which apartment complexes? Craigslist is a mess with all the apartment hunters :D

Thanks!!

Hi Spade20k,

I know you were asking someone else, but I'm currently an undergrad at UT (and waiting for a decision here as well) living in Far West and I thought I'd chime in. I think just about any place in Far West is good (though I've heard both very good and very bad about Acacia Cliffs), but I do have two places I'd like to highlight. First: absolutely do not live in Oak Hollow. The space is tempting for the price, but my girlfriend lived there last year and we can let you know firsthand this is a terrible choice; as I write this she chimes in: "it's dirty, has bad management, is falling apart...[expletive deleted], [expletive deleted]". The second, Westdale Pointe, is where I live now, where I plan to continue living if I get into UT, and where I tell everyone to live when they are looking for apartments. The rent is cheap (though going up a bit next semester); the apartments are nice with good layouts, the management is friendly and responsive; girlfriend: "it's safe, quiet..."; the bus stop for the bus to campus is right across the street from the apartment entrance (and during the day the bus runs about every 15 minutes, and is a 10-20 minute ride to campus depending on traffic; i've never been late due to the bus system); there is a major grocery store down the street, possibly visible from your apartment depending on which you get; and, if it matters to you, it's very dog friendly. All in all, it's fantastic.

Good luck apartment hunting!

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Any suggestions as to which apartment complexes? Craigslist is a mess with all the apartment hunters :D

Thanks!!

I haven't lived in Austin for a couple of years, so I'm a little out of date. Someone else will have to address this. :)

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I recently got back from apartment hunting in Austin. I met with a few different realtors to make sure that I could see a lot of options and compare prices, location, etc. I also did a lot of reading online to hear what other folks were saying about the places I had seen. (People post good reviews online about different apartment complexes. But you have to read all of these with a grain of salt because if you took 'em all seriously, you'd never find a place to live!) But I did see some nice places.

Someone above mentioned Acacia Cliffs. It's a nice place, it's definitely on the older side, though they are offering apartments with upgraded kitchens. But when I toured the apartments, it was clear that some things were falling into disrepair (the tub, the windows, the patios). That said, their amenities are nice (basketball court, pool, club house) so it depends on what your necessities are. But after seeing all the different areas of Austin, my opinion is that the Far West area is really the best for most graduate students.

I personally don't like to be around a ton of undergrads, mainly those that are into having big ragers, so I opted for a more family-oriented apartment complex about 5 minutes walking distance from a UT Shuttle stop. If you're interested, you can check it out: Terracina Apartments. It was built in 2008 and the management is really great, customer service is solid, and the amenities and location are really terrific. If you want to take a shuttle, it's really nearby. But if you want to drive, you can hop on Mo-Pac and get to campus in about 10 minutes (considering there's not heavy traffic). And it's also close to grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. Also the rent is relatively cheap for a really nice, newly built place.

But there were some other places in Far West that I'd recommend looking into. The Ridge & Northwest Hills (if you end up here, try to score a 1st floor apartment near the pool, you can use their wifi for free in your apartment so no internet bill to pay!). A buddy of mine was also telling me that some apartments in North Austin are really nice and affordable but only lease from August to August. And beware of some of the complexes on Red River near campus, from what folks were telling me, some of them have rodent problems and poor management. But that could be anywhere.

But one main thing I realized when I was there: rent is going up & apartments get snatched off the market really quickly. So once you find a place that fits all your needs, don't take too long to mull it over. Also, if you need help, e-mail a few different apartment locators. I HIGHLY recommend Grant Richardson and Urban Squared Realty. He does a great job and is not fixated on getting you to rent at places where he makes a high commission. Best of luck!

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I am moving to Austin for June and July before classes start. I want to get to know Austin, maybe meet some people ahead of time. Is it pretty hard to get a job down there? I'm thinking of just doing the food and bev thing. I don't know a soul, so I will just be walking up to restaurants and applying.

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Hey all! I'm a recent UT MA grad, and my landlords are looking for someone or someones to rent our TOTALLY FURNISHED 2br/2ba condo. The landlords have a UT grad daughter and are excellent people, I will really miss them. The apartment is perfect for roommates, and has lots of really great features. Like a washer/dryer in the apartment. Seriously. It's exciting.

Here's our craigslist ad, check it out!

http://austin.craigslist.org/apa/2347815835.html

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Has anyone heard anything about co-op housing options (like ICC or College Houses)? yes? no? maybe?

I spent the last few days, getting more information about ICC and Collage Houses. It is a bigs issue not only because it has its advantages and disadvantages but also because being accepted into these houses is a bit hard due to availability, votes etc... I can share more of my perspective if you want so. but hey, check each house on facebook. nearly every house has a group and ı have already contacted some of the guys from both ICC and Collage Houses. It may help for decision and pre-application.

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hi guys!

I have a question, not even mentioned in the forum before :(

What about the second hand furniture trade in Austin? In case ended up with an unfurnished house, what is the average cost of second hand goods for a bacis home layout, I mean a bed, couch, a desk, chairs etc.

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hi guys!

I have a question, not even mentioned in the forum before :(

What about the second hand furniture trade in Austin? In case ended up with an unfurnished house, what is the average cost of second hand goods for a bacis home layout, I mean a bed, couch, a desk, chairs etc.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/austin/1265406-recommendation-good-used-furnitrure-stores.html

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Hi guys! I am coming to Austin from 10000 miles away for Phd. I am pretty excited about both the city and the school. However, I would be much pleased if the whole housing problem was solved.

Here's my situation: I will be a TA until June 2012 thus I dont wanna exceed 600-650$ per month for rent. I had the impression that Hyde Park is a lovely area but as far as craiglist posts show, it is not cheap(at least for now).

Since I dont know if my budget will be tight or not, I would like to live in a furnished place in which rent includes electric/gas etc.

Unfortunately, I can not arrive earlier than august 10. Would you suggest that I find a temporary place to stay and search for apartments Or find a place before arriving to Austin? Is it still soon to find a place for August?

Another issue, I may share an apartment with roommates. So if any of you guys search for a roommate, maybe we can team up and find better places?

Thank you very much for suggestions

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Hi guys! I am coming to Austin from 10000 miles away for Phd. I am pretty excited about both the city and the school. However, I would be much pleased if the whole housing problem was solved.

Here's my situation: I will be a TA until June 2012 thus I dont wanna exceed 600-650$ per month for rent. I had the impression that Hyde Park is a lovely area but as far as craiglist posts show, it is not cheap(at least for now).

Since I dont know if my budget will be tight or not, I would like to live in a furnished place in which rent includes electric/gas etc.

Unfortunately, I can not arrive earlier than august 10. Would you suggest that I find a temporary place to stay and search for apartments Or find a place before arriving to Austin? Is it still soon to find a place for August?

Another issue, I may share an apartment with roommates. So if any of you guys search for a roommate, maybe we can team up and find better places?

Thank you very much for suggestions

You might try one of the apartment search services in Austin. I used one to help me find a place and they were helpful.

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For anyone living in Austin or for those who are knowledgable -

What is the cost of living? I enjoyed my time there and was surprised by how many businesses seemed to be thriving (in the central downtown area, at least). Specifically, what is the cost of living in the central area (residential, but close to downtown). I understand that the condos in the downtown area are quite pricey.

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Janusnor, I spent two years on Riverside (east Austin) and that was extremely dangerous. I would never ever recommend an out-of-town person to live there, especially if you are international. My french friend got assaulted in his own apartment on Riverside!!!He was so freaked out!As an international student, I would strongly recommend to stay away from Riverside and get an apartment somewhere around West Campus. Plus, you can always live in the Co-ops, there are plenty of them and they are a lot of fun!!And there is one for international students too!

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West Campus is the area where the majority of undergrads live. It's quite safe and very close to campus, but it won't be too peaceful. The most popular area among graduate students is north of campus in Hyde Park and the North Loop area. UT shuttles abound through there if you don't ride a bike in to campus.

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I've just been admitted to UT Austin for grad school. I've never been there, and I've been reading this thread to try to get a sense for the neighborhoods. I've lived in very pedestrian friendly parts of NYC for the past seven years, and I haven't had a car in that time. I'm wondering if there's anywhere in Austin where I might find a place to live that's pedestrian-friendly (five minute walk to grocery store, drug store, and public transportation, for example). I wouldn't want to live with a ton of undergrads in a loud party area, but I'm open to options. Any thoughts?

Edited by EB456

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The neighborhoods surrounding campus are all fairly pedestrian friendly. It's easy to find a coffee place, a restaurant or two, and a mini-mart close to almost any apartment. It's certainly not as pedestrian friendly as New York, and you should consider a car or at minimum a bike. I use my car on weekends only, but grocery shopping and some social activities would be a challenge without it.

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I'm about 90% sure I'm going to UT for my PhD next fall and am looking for roommates to share an apartment with. I'd rather not drive so I'm trying to live reasonably close to campus - if anyone else is in the same situation and want to do an apartment search together hit me up! I feel like a 2/3 bedroom apartment is likely to have a better per person cost than getting a one bedroom

Also any more info on the co-ops would be appreciated

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The apartments downtown look pricey, but I think I'd rather live there than in a student apartment (with undergrads) Anyone have info on the grad student co-op housing? Thanks!

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Has anyone heard anything about co-op housing options (like ICC or College Houses)? yes? no? maybe?

I presently live in Halstead (one of the College Houses co-ops) and love it. Austin is already a very diverse city (Texas is not. Austin is merely an oasis of culture, environmentalism, & decent human behavior.) and the co-ops here represent the most diverse sampling of the student population. You will, of course, occasionally have to deal with party people being pathetic people & not cleaning up their messes, but you can also write them up & then later evict them for not doing so after they've done it several times.

The ICC houses are smaller & more house-like. The College Houses co-ops are in larger buildings with bigger populations (ranging from ~70 to ~130). As College Houses co-ops go, Halstead is easily the cleanest, 21st Street easily the filthiest, each of us with the health inspection histories to show for it. (To be fair, 21st is one of the coolest residences in the world otherwise.) Taos is farther north, nearer to the engineering & math/physics buildings, and it has larger rooms but is a bit rundown [as of early 2012].

The best part of co-op living, of course, is the built-in community. I can easily say that my quality of life is much better for it, and my experience over the past couple years has been such that if Berkeley ends up accepting me, I plan to live in one of the co-ops there. The friendships developed in these environments are many & varied.

Hope that helps someone down the road. In the meanwhile, a few other words of introduction to Austin...

Did you know...

Our natural water pool, Barton Springs, is nearly a quarter mile long & is ~68F all year long.

It is part of Zilker Park, our largest city park, host to the annual 3-day music festival ACL, & this weekend the Zilker Kite Festival.

We have a symphony orchestra with regular concerts, and next door is an event center with bi-weekly roller derby matches---a sport revived right here in Austin!

The Paramount Theatre just a few blocks south of the Capitol (taller than the national Capitol building) runs a classic film series every summer, some in 70mm prints!

We have many other theaters playing foreign, indie, & arthouse flicks, including many limited releases, the Arbor, Violet Crown, & Alamo Drafthouse to name several.

Every Spring Break the city is host to SXSW, which includes a film fest & a whole week of more live music than you can shake a stick at, including more free shows than anyone can possibly attend.

We have a pinball arcade with over 120 pinball tables & many arcade games.

We also have two 24-hour coffeeshops (Epoch on North Loop & Bennu on MLK) & more hipster coffeeshops than I could hope to count. Most of them make very good coffee, and all of them have many bike racks.

Along those lines, the 24-hour eating is good too, with Kerbey Lane a particular local favorite. And you'll never find a more vegetarian friendly city in all the south.

This past summer, with the exception of a couple rural locations between here & Oklahoma, we were literally the hottest swath of the ENTIRE HEMISPHERE. And it was humid. And miserable. But it's only for a few months. If you can survive the heat, which is easy enough if you mostly stay indoors, the rest of the year is great.

That's about all that's coming to mind right now. For people not interested in co-op living, the best places for grad students to live are just north of campus (between 30th St & 53 St near Speedway or Duval St, say) if you want apartment style living, or just east of I-35 (near Manor Rd or MLK) if you want house style living. The crime is no longer in East Austin so much as Southeast Austin (ie south of the river, east of I-35), so it isn't a legitimate worry in the areas near campus any more than it is in west campus.

Edited by GyRo567

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I wouldn't put much stock in anything Gyro says. Though the gushing about Austin is partially deserved (I did my undergrad there and lived there for about four years after I'd finished; I loved it the whole time), the suggestion that Austin is an "oasis...of decent human behavior" is probably the silliest thing anyone's ever written on this forum. How exactly is Austin more "diverse" than, say, Houston or Dallas? And in what way does Austin exhibit more "decent human behavior" than San Antonio or Lubbock? I've spent a considerable amount of time in many of the major cities in Texas and don't find Austin to be that different from any of the others apart from its cultivation of really nice outdoor recreation spaces and its ridiculously INaccurate reputation for being "weird." There are definitely cool things about Austin, but it isn't an "oasis" of anything except perhaps self-righteous know-nothings like Gyro who establish pride of place by denigrating other cities they've likely never even visited. Texas is a nice place through and through and is actually well known for its hospitality and good nature, both qualities I would consider quite "decent." The only thing people moving from other parts of the country should be prepared for is brutally hot summers, loud, flashy thunderstorms, and the absolute necessity of owning a car with a working air conditioner.

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Okay, that part might have been the product of being tipsy at 4am & being nostalgic about having to leave, but my point had less to do with the other major cities and more to do with the fact that in over 20 years, I've never witnessed any kind of public racism or bigotry within the city. I'm sure it's there, but it must be minimal if I've never run across it.

As soon as you step outside the city, you enter a region of the country where racism is sometimes still alive, and anti-gay bigotry is more the norm than tolerance. I may have been exaggerating about the oasis part, but I wasn't exaggerating about the decent human behavior.

The rest of what I said being indisputably factual or obviously opinion, there's no reason to discount the rest of what I say even if you happen to think Texans are more tolerant than in fact they have been in my experience.

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hey future austinites!

i currently live in austin, ((graduated from UT and worked at the university for 4 years after that)) i love austin!

if you live central it is totally possible to get by without a car here, and even easier if you bike.

it gets HOT. INSANELY HOT in the summer, and summer is march through october. wear sunscreen, carry a water bottle and a sweat-mopping rag

it's possible to find some really affordable places to live- i live solo in a little duplex for $550, on the east side (french place/cherrywood- its nice! about a mile away from UT). of course, things can be even cheaper if you have roommates. i have some friends that rent a nice 3/2 house off of 51st + berkman (central-north-east) for 800 total (<$300 each).

things like sxsw + acl are kind of cool, i guess, but really it means that normal life is shut down while they are going on, driving is impossible, restaurants/bars are packed beyond belief.

neighborhood-wise my tips are: stay central. just say no to riverside and west campus. the area north of 29th/west of guad is totally fine though. hyde park has cute homes but is pretty pricey. north of hyde park is cheaper and pretty ok. the east side is definitely not scary or threatening, except the one intersection of 12th+chicon which is a little sketch.

austin is definitely going through some rapid growth phase- condos and gentrification everywhere. barton springs is a magical oasis but on weekends will be comically overcrowded. traffic is awful. but there are some really amazing and creative people that live here! also: tacos, chips + salsa, margaritas. :)

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It's so great to have found this thread. I am going to Austin this fall and would like to have a room that is within walking distance from campus as I would usually be in the lab until very late and would like to walk home after work. I also hope to save more money by walking. Would it be realistic to look for a room for $300-350 in a safe neighborhood if I am going to share it with 1 or 2 roomates? Your advice will be much appreciated.

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