Where to live & how to do it

When it comes to deciding where to live next year, there are a lot of options available, some better, and some worse than others. Whereas freshmen are limited to the dorm life, by sophomore year UNH students can live anywhere they please. There are plenty of different living options on and off campus, and even outside of Durham if students drive, or are willing to live based on the local bus schedule. The sheer number of available living options can be intimidating at times, and difficult if you don’t know where to look. So, here’s a look at many of the UNH housing options for students.

The dorms are almost always an option for students, especially sophomores and juniors. There’s the Cercs, Stoke, The Mills, The Mini Dorms, Adams Towers, Upper and Lower Quad, and others scattered about campus. All dorms are walking distance to any and everywhere on campus, because the whole point is that they’re on campus.

While freshmen must live in dorms their first year, often in Williamson or Christensen, many sophomores, juniors, and even a few sparing seniors live in dorms by choice.

Maggie May, UNH sophomore who lives in Haaland Hall (Cerc C) said positively of the dorms, “I want to maximize the amount of connections I make with people on this Campus and dorm life is a valuable resource in doing that.”

The dorms offer the maximum amount of social interaction you’ll see on campus due to the close proximity of students. However, few dorm students get their own rooms, on which May later added, “I like the social aspect of living in the dorm and being around people at all times, but at times I don’t like that I have to sacrifice my own personal space for that. Having a roommate or suitemates leaves you with little alone time, so sometimes even doing homework in the room becomes impractical.”

Living in dorms on average costs between $6000 and $7700 per year, depending on whether you have a single, double, triple, or built up triple. This does not include the price of a meal plan, which is often required or necessary for students living in dorms.

For those looking to go through UNH but want to head further off campus, and might also want a kitchen, then the Gables and Woodsides apartments are a perfect option. Both are still relatively walking distance to campus, though are far enough off that a bus ride isn’t a bad idea, especially for the Gables.

“The rent’s about $4200 a semester [for the Woodsides], and they’re not worth the money” said Chris Wilson, UNH junior and Woodsides resident, adding that there isn’t much room for the price, but it’s nice to be somewhat off campus. Prices for Gables and Woodsides range between $6,500 and $8,850 per year.

Dylan O’Neil, UNH senior, who has lived in the Gables for the last two years said he hasn’t left because it was easier to live in the same apartment a few years in a row. He added, “I wish I moved because of the bars really, but the walk back is a good time to sober up.”

The Lodges and Cottages both offer condominium-style living in a community filled with only college students. Both locations are offered through non-university entities, but still feel like campus-apartments because of the amount of students in the community. Like dorms or living in the Gables or Woodsides, these areas are home exclusively to college students in close proximity to one another.

Adam Gomes, UNH Junior who currently lives at the Lodges said he chose the lodges because he got his own room, and it came fully furnished with a queen sized tempurpedic mattress. He also said, “I like the Lodges for the size of the apartments, the luxuries of a hot tub, sauna, and local gym,” adding also that while the rent can be a bit much at $800 a month (roughly $8000 with summer months not counted), the addition of free parking is a plus.

Gomes concluded, “College kids are usually rowdy at times and damages are easy to come by, costing us from time to time. Also, the distance from campus can take a toll, especially on days with bad weather conditions. Other than that, I would recommend the lodges to anyone seeking off campus life.”

The Cottages offer many of the same amenities as the Lodges, including newly furnished kitchens, single rooms, and a gym. Prices for the both the Lodges and Cottages range from $8,000 to about $1,150 per person per month.

For those done with looking for housing through the university, there are many, many options walking distance from campus. The two big realtors in Durham are Golden Goose Properties, who own houses, apartments, etc at Davis Court, Madbury Commons, apartments off Rosemary Lane (The Rosemary’s), Dennison Road Apartments (The Coops), and a number of properties near Davis Court, Dennison Road, and off Madbury Road.

In my own experience as a former Davis Court Resident, the townhouse, duplex-style homes offer a lot of space and often a front porch and yard space, which is an underrated luxury, especially in the warmer months. Most bedrooms are doubles, some with more space than others, and the locations have a kitchen, living room, usually with 70’s wood paneling on the walls. Frankly, they look like your parents could have lived in the same place when they went to college, though the nostalgic factor adds a little to the comfort of the home. The townhouse properties offer a little more space than the apartments, but both are viable options for those looking for their own place. Rent begins at about $625 per person per month, and ranges towards $900 per person per month depending on the space.

Madbury Commons, the newest development on Madbury Road, offers new age kitchens, spacious living rooms, and a washer and dryer in the units. Jack Riley, UNH junior, said the pros are location and laundry. He added, however, “It’s not worth it. It’s so expensive, and it’s hard to personalize and make your own. It’s small living arrangements…It’s a last resort unless your parents pay for everything.”

Prices for Madbury Commons start at $865 and range to over $1000 per person per month.

University Edge owns properties at 22, 24, 33, and 37 Madbury Road, 22 and 42 Garrison Ave, 8,10, 25, 29, 35, Main St, Park Court, and various other local locations. Many of the properties offer apartment-style living with a living room, single or double rooms, single bathroom and a kitchen. The Garrison Ave apartments, referred to as “The Ghettos” by some, are often two floor properties with more space than the other single floor apartments. Each property is noticeably different than the rest, and deserves its own tour if a student is interested. Rent for these properties begins around $625 per person per month.

Other properties around downtown, offered by University Downtown and other realtors offer spots close the bars and campus. Brady Malave, UNH sophomore currently lives at Jenkins Court, says he loves his apartment for the “location, location, location,” adding you can’t beat being downtown at the prime of college life. Locations downtown vary greatly in size and rent, but all offer great location, even if the rent is a little above average.

Outside of Durham, many students choose to live in either Newmarket or Dover, adjoining towns with their own diverse communities of more than just young adults. Carlie Schwaeber, UNH graduate student, moved to Dover after graduation to pursue teaching. She said, “Well, Dover is okay. It has some fun bars and restaurants. The rent is so afforadable. My rent for a house with roommates is cheaper than [previous] rent with roommates in an apartment.” Dover, less popular for undergrads than Newmarket, offers more of an established town-feel than the young communities of Durham or Newmarket. Schwaeber said that her favorite part of Dover was that as a grad student she felt more connected to her own life in Dover than the college communities of Durham.

Katie Curnan, UNH Junior, moved to Newmarket this past year and says she’s glad she made the change. She added, “I moved here because of the atmosphere and community., Its nice to have people other than college students. There are families. It’s a different environment. It’s more grounding than just living around people your age.”

Newmarket has risen up as a very popular town for students to live in, with attractions such as the Stone Church and the Newmarket Millspace. While Curnan admitted that relying on the bus schedule can be a hassle sometimes, overall the change was worth it. Rent for houses and apartments vary greatly in Newmarket, but are often much cheaper than spots in Durham, with rent for some places beginning as low as $300 per person per month.

When looking for housing, there are a lot of variables to consider: price, location, style, kitchen/washer/dryer, etc. Every house and apartment gets made a home eventually, but when students can choose their year-long home a max of 3 times in their college experience, every tour, lease, and move-in day counts.

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