Long time lurker here. I know most people are not worried about housing at this point but I got in via ED about 20 days ago so it is all I’ve been researching this whole time. (167, >3.8. Non– PT. Complete Nov 1)
Renting a random house is just out of question for me. Durham doesn’t have the best crime rate and as a woman, living in a safe community is a must. It would actually be nice to live in a place with a lot of grad students. Correct me if I’m wrong but from what I gathered most 1Ls live at Addington Farms, Alexan Garrett, Pinnacle Ridge, The Lofts and Trinity Commons.
The Lofts and Trinity Commons – Both seem overpriced and overrated, and most students who live there are the ones who do not have a car and need to be really close to school. Another place to avoid is Belmont since it is just full of undergrads.
Addington Farms – Apparently changed its management team this year and it is now called Century Trinity Estates Apartments. The new team has really BAD reviews on apartmentratings.com and someone on the student survey complained back in 2009 about security in general (http://econ.duke.edu/uploads/assets/200 ... Survey.pdf
Pinnacle Ridge – I think this is the most popular place among 1Ls and although some people say its old and a little outdated, it has the best reviews of them all. I’m aware that it could be their own management team trying to boost their reputation but the fact that almost no one is going online to complain about it is a positive sign to me.
Alexan Garrett – Second most popular choice among 1Ls. It’s news and a bit more expensive than Pinnacle but it’s totally doable if you are living with a roommate (about $600, $700 each).
Another place is Alexan Place at South Square – It’s more popular with Fuqua and Med students but it seems very nice. I like it.
Also, I was reading the threads from previous years and someone mentioned that it is very hard to sublet. As 2Ls, we are coming back only at the end of August so paying rent for almost 4 months while away is insane. The best thing to do is probably doing a 9-month lease and renting a storage unit during the summer. Any other suggestions?
I was between Pinnacle and Alexan Garrett but Alexan has my vote. Pinnacle charges different prices for a 9 and a 12-month lease. For instance, 1 bed apts start at $790 for 12 months but $975 for 9 months. Alexan Garret charges the same for both starting at $940. So the 9-month lease is going to end up being around the same for both with Alexan being newer and nicer! That said, I will probably try to get a roommate.