Law School Discussion

Law Students => Incoming 1Ls => Topic started by: erdosaen on February 16, 2005, 10:30:10 PM

Title: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: erdosaen on February 16, 2005, 10:30:10 PM

Does anybody have any insight into the housing situation in and around Berkeley?  Is the waitlist interminably long for university-owned housing?  If I go off-campus, do I have to resign myself to a dank, small and overpriced place?  Is any search best done through the campus-sponsored, pay search engine?

Just a little about me: my move is complicated because I'm married.  I'm not really willing to leave my wife and my cat behind.  If there's anyone else that's been through the search for housing for two (and a half), I'd be happy to hear from you.  (Although, I would love to hear from singles too) 
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: bobo21 on February 16, 2005, 11:28:15 PM
Craigslist is a great place to find and apartment.  Finding a place is no prob if you look at the right time, I think the most vacancies happen in june, and in august things tighten up.

I would also suggest looking at South Berkeley near the Ashby Bart station and the Berkeley bowl, it is cheaper and you are still about a 10 minute bike ride from campus.

There are two of us and a cat so our situation is similar.
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: maricutie on February 17, 2005, 10:25:09 AM
I lived at Berkeley as an undergrad, so my advice might or might not be helpful in the grad student search. Generally, the on-campus dorms would be cramped and waaaay overpriced; the Clark Kerr dorms, which I lived in during freshman year, were the nicest on campus but were also the priciest. Berkeley went through a really bad housing crisis a couple of years back, so you still have some of the new converted-doubles-into-triples arrangmements. Also because of this housing crunch you'll see landlords being really picky about pets, and not really doing all that they can to upkeep the properties. Apartments near the campus are at a premium, with one bedrooms across the campus on telegraph ave (on top of the stores) going for around $1000 a month.

The further away from campus, however, the nicer, more modern and more affordable the apartments. I would suggest living near a BART station, either the ashby station or the Del Monte one, or even in Oakland. The difference in price and quality of living would probably make the commute worthwhile.
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: erdosaen on February 17, 2005, 10:58:11 PM

First thanks have to go to Bobo.  Nice to know that a man, a woman, and a cat can make it in the big city. 

Maricutie, I've followed your prolific postings on the various boards.  So, belated congratulations on getting into Stanford.  And, of course, thanks for the advice.

Any suggestions on looking in Oakland?  A rundown of areas near BART?  It's been a while since I've been to San Francisco (and that as a visitor/sojourner of, at most, a few weeks) and, though I will be getting a map from the transit authority, it is nice to hear a rundown from those with firsthand experience. 

Again, thanks all. 
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: maricutie on February 18, 2005, 08:43:29 AM
thanks! :)

Unfortunately, though, I'm not too familiar with the areas in Oakland ... even if I were, though, the "nicer" areas tend to be in pockets throughout the city, so I don't know if would be of any help, anyhow. I suggest either living near the BART or near an AC Transit line (which will be free as a student). The 51 line runs all throughout oakland, if I remember correctly, and very frequently throughout the day. There are some apartments and houses along College Ave (also where the 51 runs) that are nice, too ... and also near many shops and restaurants. Don't get anything on MLK, though; generally not a good area.

Also, I suggest an area near the best buy and home depot, on san pablo and slightly south of the university. It's probably a good 30 min commute, but the area is nicer, and you have alot of things nearby for convenience. And parking is actually possible.

However, I suggest this website for more info: http://parents.berkeley.edu/. It's a collection of parents living in berkeley giving good, solid reviews and advice. Craigslist could be helpful as well, as it gives a good idea of the prices in the area and frequently has pics displayed.

Hope this helps!!! :)
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: erdosaen on February 22, 2005, 03:20:14 PM

Maricutie, you were more than helpful.  Craigslist has given me a first look at what's available and the site for parents will help me parent myself. 

Anyone have any other thoughts?  Has everything already been said?

Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: YellowSpringer on February 22, 2005, 05:54:01 PM
My dad was a registrar at UCB in the 1960's and was in the building when the students occupied it. We moved to Oakland when I was little. Granted that I haven't lived in the area for 20 yrs, I think that some things haven't changed.

I agree with the statements about College Ave and MLK (Grove St in my day). The 51 bus is a great way to get up College Ave to campus. It also serves the Rockridge district, which I recommend.

Also, the Lake Temescal area and Hiller Highlands. Some parts of Oakland are bad, bad, bad, but some parts are quite nice. I grew up in the Montclair district, which is about 15-20 mins away and has bus service to campus. Many people in the hills have "in-law" apartments (zoning doesn't allow multi-family housing). My mom's in-law is 1 bedroom with a 50 ft redwood deck overlooking a canyon, and rents for about $800/mo.

The Berkeley Bowl is a great produce store that you should know about even if you don't live right there. I think that the area around Cedar and Solano are nice, too.

In general, the closer to the hills, the nicer and more expensive. You'll see lots of newer houses in the hills due to the fire-storm a few years back.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: erdosaen on February 23, 2005, 08:41:35 PM

Yellow,

Thanks for the advice and the good wishes.  I'm old enough to know that knowledge from twenty years ago is sometimes the best.

Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: Trinitygunner on February 24, 2005, 05:55:26 PM
Hey, i just moved from Berkeley a couple of years ago (2002), and here are my insights. Berkeley just recently finished a set of campus apartments on Channing/College or Durant/College. Also, the Manville Apartments are also really nice (reserved for law and grad students). Living in those places would allow you to not have a car (parking is a pain). Oakland is OK--cheaper, but honestly, your gas bill may make up for that, or you can always take the bus. When i graduated Berkeley, students had a bus pass each semester they were registered. Check out the berkeley housing website. Also, if you've got a family, domestic partner, married, etc. U-Village is REALLY nice. It's out in Albany, but there's a bus that takes you straight from U-Village to campus. Good luck!
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: erdosaen on February 25, 2005, 12:52:42 PM

I applied for family housing at Berkeley.  The apartment in both sections (A & B) seem to be rather small and the new development seems spacious but pricey (above some of what can be found on market).  Anybody have any experience will family housing at the school? 

Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: lil_token on February 25, 2005, 09:21:41 PM
http://home.comcast.net/~telos1/info.html
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: JS on March 04, 2005, 04:59:34 AM
Follow up question... about how long does it take to find an apt. in Berkeley? Do most places have 1st of the month start?  Will I be SOL if I just come a couple weeks before classes start?!

Any advice is appreciated - I'm trying to make summer travel plans! Many thanks
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: lil_token on March 04, 2005, 03:46:19 PM
Follow up question... about how long does it take to find an apt. in Berkeley? Do most places have 1st of the month start?  Will I be SOL if I just come a couple weeks before classes start?!

Any advice is appreciated - I'm trying to make summer travel plans! Many thanks

Most housing options in Berkeley can be described as a combination of any or all of the follwing:

dirty
tiny
expensive
inconvenient
expensive
slum
expensive.

See a general trend here?  The apartment on the link above IS NOT indicative of a general trend in size, accomodation, price, cleanliness.  If you want a good deal, come early.

Typical 400 square foot studios in Berkeley run about 1000+.  I have a friend who lives in Berkeley and she pays 875 a month to live in the dining room of a three bedroom apartment.
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: maricutie on March 04, 2005, 03:53:13 PM
Sadly, this is true. I remember way back soph year my roomates and I got a place over summer because we wanted to get a good deal. Paying a month more in rent just to "secure" a good place is not uncommon. My third and fourth years I lived in a dorm-like setting, with my own private room (no kitchen) and a bathroom that I shared with two other girls, for about $670 a month, incl. utilities ... this was a ridiculously good deal, and probably still is. If you're interested, the place is called "Evans Manor," on Haste Street, and they typically have an viewing day for Cal Day (April 1st, I think). Come early ... I think they opened the doors at 11 am, and most leases were signed away by 1130 am. 
Title: Re: Housing in Berkeley
Post by: bobo21 on March 04, 2005, 04:44:43 PM
I have a really nice 2 BR in a converted old victorian mansion and pay $1315/month.  16 foot ceilings, lits of storage, two parking spots.  We are two blocks from the Ashby BART station (I work in SF and my SO is a grad student at Berkeley) and maybe a 25 min walk from the school.  We are really close to the Berkeley Bowl (the only real supermarket in South Berkeley).  If you have a family I would really consider it.

Also, rents have gone down a lot.  Out neighbors who have the same apartment as us moved in 4 years ago, they used to pay $1800 and now they only pay $1300.  It really isn't that bad if you look at the right times.