Rental Basics in Seattle>Question Details

tuloon, Renter in Seattle, WA

Grad student rental

Asked by tuloon, Seattle, WA Sun Jun 3, 2012

I am a 23 year considering going to grad school at UW. One of the things I am worried about, being from a small town in the midwest, is where to live and feel safe in a big city. What are some good neighborhoods for a single graduate student to live? And what should I be expecting to pay a month?

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When I moved back to Seattle after college, I looked for apartments on walkscore.com. You can either find rentals you're considering, then plug in the address to get the "walk score" or search by neighborhoods with good "walk scores", then find rentals.

A Walk Score is essentially a rating of how walkable a neighborhood is, based on the density of amenities. The more dense a neighborhood is, the higher the walk score, usually. I know the University District is very walkable, so it probably has a really high walk score, overall.

Getting more to the safety issue: When I was personally choosing a neighborhood to live in, I wanted to be able to park my car or get off a bus and quickly be home (so no long walks home, alone, in the dark). That came down to the very specific buildings I was considering renting in. I chose one that had a well-lit entryway, covered off-street parking and was 1 block from a bus stop.

Another thing that makes me feel safe is being in a busy neighborhood where people are out and about, walking their dog, taking their kids to the park, getting a cup of coffee and whatnot, so I personally equated feeling safe with a neighborhood that was more walkable and lively. If you're into walkability, Fremont, Ballard, Greenlake, Phinney Ridge, Roosevelt/Maple Leaf and some parts of Queen Anne and Magnolia have that walkable feeling to me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 8, 2012
Welcome to Seattle! What you'll find is that while Seattle is a mid-size urban city, it's made up of many small neighborhoods that feel like smaller towns. There are several good guides for Seattle that will give you an idea of what they are like, NileGuide is one (referenced below), but you can search online for others, and for Seattle Neighborhood blogs that will give you some insight on each area. (Note, if you're looking to live close to campus, University, Wallingford and Greenlake are all relatively close by). Once you've narrowed down a likely location, your best bet for rents is to search Zillow or Craigslist for those areas, and you'll see a good idea of size/amenities/rents to expect.

-Rob
RD House Real Estate & Property Management
http://www.rd-house.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
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