Moving to State College
July 7, 2008 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Advice, suggestions, recommendations for a couple looking to rent an apartment or house in State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State).

30 year old Ph.D. candidate and her 28 year old boyfriend are moving to State College at the end of this month/beginning of August. Where is the best place to live? House or apartment? We don't want to be next to all of the undergrads but we also don't want to live too far from campus.

Any insight into cool places/areas to live would be helpful. We are hoping to spend $600-$800 for a two bedroom - is this reasonable?
posted by billysumday to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty much everything in State College is about 20min drive from campus.

The neighborhood right around campus, within walking distance are pretty mixed in terms of townies and students . Don't live in an apartment in town, especially on the east end of town there are TONS of undergrad students living in that area. On the west side of town, there are some nice rental houses. Don't rent from Sun Realty. The apartments and condos a little farther out from campus, like in Toftrees and Park Forest, aren't so bad and the bus line goes there and it's also an easy bike ride to campus.

Look on craigslist and the local newspaper the Centre Daily Times and also the campus newspaper the Collegian for rental listings. This website has listings broken up into undergrad and family/grad housing.

If you have any questions, you can memail me. I'm pretty familiar with the area.
posted by backwords at 11:37 AM on July 7, 2008

I'd second everything that backwords had to say. I'd also take a look at the Waupelani Dr./Blue Course Dr. or the Bellefonte area. The population in Bellefonte is much older but I've known several people who have been able to find great deals on housing out there.
posted by Joe Schlabotnik at 12:09 PM on July 7, 2008

Thanks for the responses. We are leaving tomorrow morning (from Ohio) to spend the day in State College driving around and looking at apartments, trying to get the feel for the area. Is Bellefonte too far? What do you think about Lemont?
posted by billysumday at 12:12 PM on July 7, 2008

The only way to tell if Bellefonte is too far is to drive it for yourself. It's a lot closer to State College than it once was since they opened up the US 322 bypass. I lived in Lemont for a while when I was in grad school. It's a nice place (among many nice places in the area).

When you get to town, I recommend you stop off at the Visitors Bureau next to the stadium. Along with the websites that were mentioned earlier, they might have some helpful information.
posted by Joe Schlabotnik at 1:36 PM on July 7, 2008

I lived downtown right behind the fire station for 2 years.

If you are familiar with the area, there are many nice houses in the area a little further than campus from my apartment building.

They were classy places. Not far from the fun that is downtown State College but not close enough to have a bunch of idiots running around a lot.

Seems like a good mix for what you're looking for.
posted by decrescendo at 3:09 PM on July 7, 2008

I wouldn't live in Bellefonte. It's too middle of nowhere for me it seems. I like the action that is downtown but I only graduated one year ago so maybe that chaos is still in my DNA.
posted by decrescendo at 3:12 PM on July 7, 2008

Go check out the people in your office/program. At Universities this large, it's not uncommon for people in your department to look for people to sublet, housewatch, etc.
posted by filmgeek at 4:48 PM on July 7, 2008

Take a look at the area north of campus-Park Avenue and north. There is some rental housing there, but few undergrads.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:32 PM on July 7, 2008

My wife used to live off Blue Course Dr. There are plenty of townhouses around there of varying quality, within ten minutes of campus. I lived near Atherton and Allen for a while, which was a great location in a low-key residential area but still within walking distance of campus.

I still have friends there, and names of previous good landlords, just memail me.
posted by slogger at 9:24 PM on July 9, 2008

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