Where do I live near Vanderbilt?
April 3, 2010 12:22 PM   Subscribe

[anyone-looking-for-a-housemate-filter?] Moving to Nashville, going to Vanderbilt, already freaking out 4 months in advance of figuring out where I'm going to live.

I've been accepted to VU's Nursing program. Hooray!

But: This is the first time in my life I've had to secure a place to live, at a distance, in a responsible sort of way.
I was a hobo for a while and have spent most of my life crashing around on couches and living in warehouses, squats, and that sort of thing. I've never signed a lease in my life or paid a formal deposit, so this is a mystery.

I really want to live somewhere within walking/biking distance of Vanderbilt - this is important to me, although I get the impression it's also incredibly expensive. I've had the 12 South, Belmont, and Hillsboro neighborhoods all recommended, as well as Sylvan Park.

When should I be looking more actively for a place when school starts mid-August? Do you have any advice about neighborhoods? I'm checking out craigslist as well as VU's online off-campus housing referral, but I'm finding that when they say "10 minutes from Vanderbilt" they mean 10 minutes driving.

What neighborhoods are near the medical side of campus and cheap?

How bikeable are the neighborhoods around campus? At all? Are there any housing co-ops near the University? Is it reasonable to sign a lease/pay a deposit at a distance or is that a bad idea?

Are there any hostels in Nashville, if I went out there earlier and spent some time looking around? How far in advance do you recommend making reservations?

Sorry for the glurge, feeling a little overwhelmed today!

.. anyone looking for a housemate in July? I don't play the banjo very loud, I swear.
posted by circle_b to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
Vanderbilt has an Office of Housing Off Campus Referral Service here, it might be the first place to start.
posted by Marky at 12:30 PM on April 3, 2010

I live near and work at Vanderbilt! What I did when I moved here was sub-let a room from a Belmont student for a couple months while I got my bearings. The area around Vanderbilt is very bike-able, I bike to the medical center from the Belmont neighborhood, Belmont Blvd has a great bike lane.

Hillsboro Village - Very nice, close to Medical Center, expensive but if you got a room in a big-ish house with several people it could be very reasonable.
Edgehill / music row - I lived here for a year and a half, it is very close to the medical center. It is probably the worst neighborhood close to Vandy crime-wise but is somewhat cheaper, especially north of Edgehill I think. For reference we had a 3-bedroom with a yard on 15th Ave s. for $1200/month.
Sylvan Park: Further away, on the other side of I-440, but you can bike it. Seems like a nice area, probably cheaper the further out towards Charlotte / White bridge you go.
Belmont - I live here now, it's really nice but really expensive (probably 7-800+ / month for a small 1 bedroom. )
12-South - not quite as nice as Hillsboro / Belmont, slightly farther and cheaper

You might actually consider living in East Nashville, across the river. It's a lot farther than the neighborhoods above but also generally cheaper and there's a pretty nice bike route pretty much all the way to Vandy (and a pedestrian / bike bridge across the river.)

Me-mail me if you have any specific questions and congrats on your acceptance!
posted by ghharr at 12:48 PM on April 3, 2010

And don't freak out, you should have no problem finding a place to live with 4 months.
posted by ghharr at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2010

Welcome to Nashville and congratulations on being accepted into Vandy's Nursing program.

I don't know much about housing prices or what you would consider "cheap" or "incredibly expensive". I do get the impression that, Vandy and Belmont being the types of schools they are, you're not going to get a huge amount of cheap student housing around them. That said, the Belmont area would be extremely convenient for you, as would the 12 South and Hillsboro neighborhoods. And so would the Sylvan area, either Park or Heights. (Sylvan Heights is closer, but many people would call it sketchier.)

Nashville isn't a bike town like, say, Portland or Boulder, but biking happens. Some areas are better than others. I learned to ride a bike here, and where I live now I can get to Sylvan Heights in around 20 minutes, with maybe an extra 10 to get me to Vandy. And I know well how to get further on to Belmont and 12 South, and then all the way back home. All this is to say that I can do it and I've been riding for less than a year.

As far as hostels go, all I know I learned from Google: Music City Hostel, Hostels in Nashville.
posted by ymendel at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2010

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