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Old 06-18-2011, 10:39 PM
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I've just accepted a job in Fitchburg. Where would the best apartments for a young professional be located? I'm looking for an area where I can walk to stores and restaurants and have less than a 30 drive to work. I would like to be around other young professionals or grad students and away from undergrads.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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Congratulations on your new job, and welcome to Madison! I hope you find success and happiness here.

There are several areas around town that I think would meet your criteria, so you should find plenty from which to choose. And the city is small enough that unless you choose someplace way to the north, you shouldn't have any trouble finding an apartment within a 30-minute drive of work.

You are prudent to want to avoid the undergrad-heavy area, as their antics can be a little tiresome to most folks over the age of 22 or 23, but fortunately that really only eliminates the campus itself and the area within a mile or so of its borders. By the time you get more than a mile from campus, likely the only undergrads you'd find would be the quiet ones who don't want to live in the party district, either.

There are a few non-student apartment buildings right downtown, which might possibly be of interest to you if you want to be right in the heart of the action. The pluses to living there would include the plethora of good restaurants in easy walking distance, lots of small shops and stores, close proximity to events like the Farmers' Market, Art Fair on the Square, Concerts on the Square as well as several arts venues. The minuses would be expensive, scarce parking, more noise, no good grocery stores or department stores within less than three or four miles - and possibly some of those same points that I listed on the plus side, depending on your viewpoint.

The near west side, which is still somewhat close to campus but generally seems to attract more grad students than undergrads, could be an option you might enjoy. The area along Old University and Kendall is lovely, and the residents in that region are a mix of grad students, young professionals, families and retirees. I can think of at least one professional-type apartment building on Lynn Terrace, which is near west side, that might suit your needs, and I am sure there are others.

Farther on the west side, around Mineral Point Road and near West Towne Mall, you are likely to find plenty of professional-friendly apartment buildings, although finding places that are in walking distance to restaurants and shops may be a bit more difficult.

The near east side along Williamson Street (currently torn up in a major reconstruction project) and Jenifer Street is often mentioned as a good place for young professionals, and would certainly offer the proximity to restaurants and stores you mention. It's definitely hippie central there, though, so if you are more on the conservative end of things, or if you prefer a more upwardly mobile lifestyle, you might find yourself uncomfortable there.

I've heard many folks suggest Middleton, the smaller city just west of Madison, as offering a nearly ideal mix of stores, restaurants and professional lifestyle. I am not as familiar with Middleton as some other regulars in this forum, so I unfortunately can't suggest specific neighborhoods, but it could be well worth your while to check out.

I'm not sure what your price range is, but I should warn you that apartment rentals in Madison tend to be on the pricey side for the Midwest. You should expect to pay at least $700/month for a decent small one-bedroom in a not-bad part of town, and you could easily go as high as $1,000/month if you want lots of space and amenities. Two-bedrooms are likely going to be $800 to $1,300 per month, depending on location and amenities. You can find places for less, but you probably wouldn't want to live there.

I'll give you a couple of links that you might find useful. The first is an apartment-listing website that many landlords use to list their vacancies, here: Start Renting - Search for your Madison, Wisconsin Apartment. You can set criteria for size, price, features, location, pet policy and other factors, and really narrow things down. If you find an apartment that interests you, feel free to DM me the address and I can tell you a bit more about the area.

The other link would only be relevant if you wind up renting in the city of Madison itself, but could still be helpful. This is a link to Madison Gas & Electric, and offers you the ability to find out the exact utility cost history of any address in Madison: Average Energy Use and Cost for Residential Addresses. If you rent in Madison in a place where you pay utilities, it is absolutely essential to find out ahead of time what those winter heating bills will cost.

Good luck in your search, and do feel free to come back with more questions once you narrow the search to a specific area!
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:42 PM
Location: Planet Earth
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In addition to the great suggestions above, look into the Monroe Street area as well.
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