As you may have noticed, housing in Boulder is expensive. If you are still looking for a place, you may want to note that apartments/houses near campus are always more expensive than those farther away. Most students find that the neighborhoods near the University are not only more expensive, but usually noisier and heavily populated with undergraduates.
Most students will want to live off-campus, but family housing is an option for some.
Family housing is an option for some graduate students; the term "family" can be taken fairly loosely here, and doesn't mean you need to have children in order to be eligible. Its a great place to live inexpensively if you have a significant other (with a joint checking account) or other family member that can live with you. The location, price and amenities can't be beat. They provide utilities (power, phone, cable and Ethernet) free of charge, and some units come furnished.
There are four different complexes that students can live in and each has its own unique features. Athens North is an enclosed, air conditioned apartment building with a main lobby that everyone goes through. Marine court is similar yet has no air conditioning. Smiley court is the newest and has the largest rooms.
Random Tid-Bits: It usually takes between 3-9 months to get into an apartment once you apply. If you apply in April it is easily possible to be in by June/July if you are willing to start the lease before actually moving into town. However, if you list August as your preferred move in date, it may be January or February before an apartment becomes available. Additionally, unless you have a child or are living with a brother/sister, it is almost impossible to get a two bedroom apartment (couples are generally held to a one-bedroom). However, it is possible if you are willing to take a lease starting in May or June when there are the most vacancies and few individuals are willing to start paying rent. For the extra months rent, you could get an extra room which would make a huge difference.
As far as trying to find the best housing as a graduate student, some suggestions are:
1. There are several large rentail companies in Boulder such as Boulder Property Management. They own a large amount of the properties in town, and typically rent to undergraduates. These companies usually require large (3x month's rent) security deposits. Alternately, there are many private owners who will rent out homes and these often have smaller security deposits which may be easier for someone new in town. Both types of properties can be found through the resources listed below, so keep in mind which type of rental you would prefer.
2. For finding an apartment, the following organizations will provide you with current listings:
Off-Campus Student Services
Mountain West Rentals - a free site created by a business graduate student at CU-Denver
The Boulder Daily Camera
The Colorado Daily
3. Housing Helpers is an organization that is great at finding apartments, or roommates for you if you already have a place. Their website is at www.housinghelpers.com.
Here are some students' thoughts on where they've lived:
"My first year, I lived in a house in South Boulder. This neighborhood was great; it was largely residential and there were a lot of families around so the streets were safe and quiet. I was on one of the really nice creek bike paths, as well as on three major bus routes. It was convenient to get to school, to Denver, or to the airport from this spot. My favorite location was definitely South Boulder, and there are always a good number of houses (if you can get at least three people) and apartments in this area.""My experience with housing in Boulder is that it is not cheap. I currently live in the Winchester apartments just off of 30th and Colorado, just two blocks east of campus. While I didnt put much effort into finding the place (I basically looked at the three cheapest places I could find in the newspaper), from what I have heard, at $700/month, it is pretty good for a clean one-bedroom apartment. The neighborhood has a nice international feel, with a few international graduate students and a large Latino population. The area is a bit noisy because it is so close to campus."
"I lived in an inexpensive ($890/2 bed + 1 bath) apartment in North/Central Boulder. The place was a bit of a dump, but it was quiet. It was nice to be within walking distance of Safeway, and it was an easy ride down Folsom to campus (but the hill at the end was annoying). The place is not as close to bike paths, or hiking trails, and there is no quick bus route to campus from there."
"I live 4 blocks north of Pearl St. (downtown) and love being able to walk or take the bus everywhere. It's more expensive than other parts of Boulder but it has character and a good mix of families and older students, which keeps the night time noise down. In general, north of Spruce up to Alpine between 9th and 19th are nice neighborhoods in easy walking distance of downtown."
"Superior is a great location if you are interested in purchasing a newer home or townhouse and have some extra means to provide for the cost of living there. Its location is central to both Boulder and Denver and allows an easy commute from the Superior Park-and-Ride. A 15-minute bus ride on the Boulder Local (B line) drops you off right in front of the campus and chemistry building. The Rock Creek subdivision is beautifully built and has newer homes in a non-college environment. It is ideal for those with families or those that will be starting a family during graduate school."
"I live in Gunbarrel About 5 miles northwest of campus. Fewer undergrads here, quieter neighborhood, more open space, great for dogs. Rent: comparable to central Boulder, some condos are inexpensive enough to buy. (150K-250K) Transportation: Bus line 205 runs into Boulder every 15-30 min, you can catch the Hop from the mall. Usually 40 min door to door, including waiting time. Driving to campus takes 15 min., assuming you can park."