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Housing choices for sophomores

LMK5LMK5 117 replies11 threads Junior Member
My soon-to-be freshman hasn't checked into the dorms yet, but I am thinking ahead to understand what the choices are for her second year. Are there UCB choices for sophomores and if so, are they difficult to get? Is finding your own off campus housing a better way to go? What about coop housing? I believe my student may have priority for that option.
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Replies to: Housing choices for sophomores

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80202 replies720 threads Senior Member
    For second year housing in the BSC co-ops, he may want to put in an application now, since the wait list is processed in application order.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    With Blackwell opening up last year, Housing more-or-less was able to offer any sophomore who applied for housing this year. I would say though that the vast majority of sophomores still look for off-campus since they often make friends who are in the same situation. FWIW my kid was lucky enough to remain at Blackwell, the home of the bourgeoisie lol, for his second year. (I copied that from someone on Reddit).
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  • LMK5LMK5 117 replies11 threads Junior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 , is the attraction of off campus housing the lower cost? When do students need to start looking for off campus housing and what is the usual leasing period?
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    @LMK5 in most cases, cost is the driving factor for off-campus Housing. In some cases, lack of continuing student availability is the driver, and in some cases the need for more room is a driving factor.

    Leases in the immediate area almost always goes from June-May. I think people start looking around Feb-March but it depends how picky one is. Often I see last minute offers on Craigslist or Facebook or Reddit even as late as Aug 1 (though I definitely wouldn’t wait that long).

    Applications for on-campus housing start on Feb 1 and offers go out in mid-March.
    edited August 2019
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  • LMK5LMK5 117 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Thanks @ProfessorPlum168 . My student will be moving into Unit 1 on 8/20 but I'll start to learn about off campus options for next year.
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  • Walter924Walter924 198 replies4 threads Junior Member
    It takes about a year to 1.5 to get off the coop waitlist unless you're EOP.
    You look for housing in April. If it's 900$ or more for a double, you messed up and looked too soon. You look on Facebook for housing. Find out the total cost of the apartment so it's easier to compare prices and know what you're stuck with if everyone else in the apartment moves out and you have to figure out how hard it'll be to find new people. Also, figure out maximum people supposed to be living there. But if they don't have the answers, get the apartment anyways because someone else will swoop it if you take too long contemplating.
    On campus housing: the real issue with sophomore on campus housing or above is that they start only giving them options of, say a 16,000$ apartment with food not included, several blocks from campus, which is on balance, more expensive than you were paying for a dorm room with food. That's why we move off campus. Other places they stick sophomores include 17,000$ in Blackwell or the Units (if you're lucky). The real lack of upper class housing is reasonably priced on-campus apartments, of which there aren't many options. If you want to stay in a triple, it's pretty doable though they might put you in a double, which is more expensive.
    I was in a triple in Clark Kerr, then a double apartment in Clark Kerr (reasonable), and then they offered me the annoying 16000$ apartment, so I moved off campus, and I'm paying a bit under 800$ a month including utilities for a double half a block from campus (looked in May actually). The total cost is 2895$ for a two bedroom, and the maximum official capacity is 3 people. That third person for a single was very hard to find.
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  • NhatrangNhatrang 554 replies1 threads Member
    @Walter924 @ucbalumnus @ProfessorPlum168

    Do you know a great website that lists all apartments around campus with street view map? My kiddo, her roommate and 2 dorm-mates are planning to live in apartment next year. Just so happen, all of them want the nicest apartment out there with 4 bedrooms, shortest distance to the campus and they don't mind paying high prices. Any suggestion is appreciated. TIA
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  • LMK5LMK5 117 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Nhatrang wrote: »
    @Walter924 @ucbalumnus @ProfessorPlum168

    Do you know a great website that lists all apartments around campus with street view map? My kiddo, her roommate and 2 dorm-mates are planning to live in apartment next year. Just so happen, all of them want the nicest apartment out there with 4 bedrooms, shortest distance to the campus and they don't mind paying high prices. Any suggestion is appreciated. TIA

    This company is very active in the campus area and allows you to filter for results: https://www.premiumpd.com/listings.php?type=rent&cityname=Berkeley&minrent=&maxrent=&bedroom=2&sort=PriceHigh&map999=
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  • Walter924Walter924 198 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Nhatrang
    At that rate, applying for on campus Panoramic apartments would be a good idea. It's all singles, academic year, 4 singles per apartment.
    If you're specifically looking for a 4 bedroom, looking at listings for Premium properties, North Berkeley Apartments, Everest/Raj/other companies owned by evil dude, or whatever other realtors, would be most effective.
    Note 1: The evil dude named Raj owns like 1/3 of Berkeley, and although it is well agreed that he is evil and we probably shouldn't support his properties, the customer service is efficient and my building manager is cool and responds to issues within a few hours. They repainted my windows, the bathtub, got us new curtains, etc.
    Note 2: I recommend having a meeting with everyone involved in future housing in February. Decide how much everyone is willing to pay, how long everyone is willing to wait it out, and what is needed to approve of housing. Basically, come up with a sort of contract that says, if someone finds a place with these qualities, we approve in advance, because finding housing with a lot of people is a prisoner's dilemma thing, first because only one person ever actually looks for housing, and two, people drop out of the group if they have other friends who find a place, or get on campus housing. So, you find a place, but can't commit until everyone approves, and by then, maybe someone else already took the place.
    Note 3: Nicest apartment out there: there are really nice apartments, but there's no way to have it be singles, and have a living room without costing close to 2,000$ per person (ie. Californian, the nice places in downtown, the Dwight). Most apartments are 2 bedrooms. 4 bedrooms are a bit rare, and are generally houses, which are generally farther from campus. Singles in 2 bedroom apartments are generally $1,2000-$1,800.
    If you want to stay dorm style off campus, these places are pretty
    https://www.g-house.com/fall_index.html
    https://hillsideresidencehall.com/price/
    https://tbgpm.com/communities/2434-piedmont/

    If you're not worrying about money, there's really quite a lot of places and options, but less if you're looking for a 4 bedroom apartment..

    Now I'm supposed to be learning about the pancreas and microfilaments.
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  • NhatrangNhatrang 554 replies1 threads Member
    edited November 2019
    @Walter924 Extremely helpful and great advice! The girls asked me to look around first and they'll make the decision, but i am worried they are going to let my kiddo holding the bag, if you know what i mean. So level set expectation up front is the key. Thanks for the reminder. They are willing to pay around 1500-1800/month each person. They don't care about having a living room. They just want each to have their own room in good condition and close to campus (less than 0.5 mile would be ideal). Compared to what they are paying now (16K/8 months) for a crappy triple in unit 3, it's not too bad. My kiddo swipes about 6 times per week with the blue plan meal, lots of waste. Told her to friend a homeless person to give away her unused swipes but i guess it's too much work so she just let it go.

    She is on a bunk bed and bummed her head a few times on the ceiling just by sitting straight up from the bed. And she is 5'3. Seriously wth? LOL. They just can't wait to get out of the dorm. With the apartment even though they may end up paying 20K per YEAR it would probably still be cheaper than the dorm or the same.

    @LMK5 thanks for the link, we will check it out

    Still early I suppose but it's like a jungle on the internet, hard to know which apartment is close to what. But I guess that's where the girls have to walk around and look.

    Always appreciate the thoughtfulness of the responses on this site.

    Oh and good luck with the class full of pancreas and microfilaments :-) What are you majoring in?
    edited November 2019
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80202 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Walter924 wrote: »
    If you're specifically looking for a 4 bedroom, looking at listings for Premium properties, North Berkeley Apartments, Everest/Raj/other companies owned by evil dude, or whatever other realtors, would be most effective.
    Note 1: The evil dude named Raj owns like 1/3 of Berkeley, and although it is well agreed that he is evil and we probably shouldn't support his properties, the customer service is efficient and my building manager is cool and responds to issues within a few hours. They repainted my windows, the bathtub, got us new curtains, etc.

    Are you referring to the landlord described in https://www.dailycal.org/2019/02/28/berkeleys-housing-empire-built-on-fraud-and-sexual-slavery/ ?
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    There's quite a few of the really nice variety. Top one that comes to mind is Berkeley Central, on the west end very close to the BART station. That's the high end of luxury and pricing I would think. You could just go to a place like apartments.com and look. I would guess more would come up in the winter and spring.
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  • Walter924Walter924 198 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Nhatrang
    Yup. That's the dude who owns my apartment.
    I'm Econ + MCB CDB
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  • UndercrackersUndercrackers 872 replies2 threads Member
    My D20 got into a Martinez Commons apartment her sophomore year. 4 individual rooms with a roomy bathroom - it was really nice as that building is less than 10 years old. She and her roomies rolled the dice for their junior year, but wound up with Clark Kerr, which would have been a step back. At that point, it was off campus living, where D found 3 new roommates in a 2-bedroom apartment and will continue with those gals through her last year. That is the benefit of not being at the whim of on-campus housing: if you like your digs/roommates and your landlord likes you, you don't have to pick up and move, AGAIN. My advice to anyone looking for off-campus living:
    - Start looking early in the spring (or earlier). Shoehorning online searches, physical tours, getting on waitlists, etc., around school/work is A LOT. Some places may open up closer to graduation as seniors realize they are leaving and start listing spots they are vacating, but that is not a chance we wanted to take.
    - Scour Facebook and other online resources to get a feel for what is available and what is in your budget.
    - Keep your ears open. You may know a senior (or a friend of a friend) who's moving out and looking for someone to fill that spot.
    - Be flexible with distance. The closer you are to campus, the pricier it is (on average - if it's cheap, dig a little - there's probably a reason). A 1/2 mile walk/bike/bus ride is not going to kill you if it means saving some $$ on rent.
    - Be flexible with roommates. Finding a place to accommodate 6 besties may be tougher than an apartment looking to backfill with one or two people. Sometimes, established friends are NOT the best people to room with.
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