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Old 02-24-2012, 11:45 AM
2 posts, read 3,322 times
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I have just recently been offered places in PhD programs at Princeton and Penn State. I have not yet decided which offer I will take. I wanted to get a sense of prices and potential locations for both places to factor into my decision. I will be moving with my boyfriend and two large dogs. We are not interested in campus housing or apartments at all. We would prefer a stand-alone house to a townhouse or duplex. Ideally we would like to find something like we have now--3 BR, 2 BA house with a fenced-in yard for under 1000. I fully realize we will likely need to move into a smaller place or pay more, but we can probably not afford more than 1300 and would prefer at least two bedrooms. Is it possible to find something like this in these areas? We don't have to be right near the universities, but probably no more than 45 minutes away. Any advice as to how to find houses for rent would be greatly appreciated--every website I have found is focused on apartments.

Thank you very much
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:40 PM
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You'll have much better luck with that at PSU then Princeton, but that's about all I know. Princeton has got to have one of the highest cost of living in all of New Jersey. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:05 AM
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Smile Seconded

If both PhD programs are equal and jobs don't enter in to the equation, then, definitely Penn State will have cheaper housing. Hint: go to realtor.com and in the "Home Type" box pull up "Rentals" instead of "Homes for Sale" then enter your zip code, rental budget/bedrooms and you'll get houses, rather than apartments.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:43 PM
Location: Topton and Nescopeck, Penna.
9,834 posts, read 5,614,528 times
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For openers, we need to know exactly what area you're speaking of. The map to which you're linked shows Penn(Township?) wich is a suburb of Pittsburgh, and about 150 miles from the Penn State main campus. Princeton is across the state line in New Jersey, about 300 miles from what's shown on your link.

Penn State is situated in the exact geographic center of the state; the nearest small city is Altoona, about forty miles away and not much bigger, (and definitely less spohisticated) than State College itself. The nearest city with any real amenities is Harrisburg -- 100 miles away; add aother 100 for Philadelphia.

Princeton has easy access to mass transit, and once you're in "the Corridor", you can get to just about any place that counts without a car. State College, on the other hand has only two-a-day buses to Harrisburg and/or Altoona/Pittsburgh, and feeder airlines to similar points. The nearest major airport is, again, in Harrisburg.

But what Happy Valley lacks in amentities, it makes up for in safety, high levels of education, and a low cost of living. And I can't think of any place nore suited to the lifstyle of the young and mobile.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:02 PM
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Probably the best chance of renting a house with that budget would be outside of State College. Something like Bellefonte, Pine Grove Mills, Centre Hall, or Stormstown. But many of those homes are very old buildings, many are dumps. So be cautious. There are plenty of old moldy dumps around here. Be sure to know how old the home is and how well kept it is. Don't agree to anything before you see it. Finding homes for rent on the internet should be just as easy as finding apartments. You could try searching for property managers and contacting them. Craiglist is an option, but you have to be careful with that. The Centre Daily Times (local newspaper) internet site links to apartments.com for rentals classifieds.

I don't know anything about Princeton.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:08 PM
190 posts, read 573,024 times
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Hi there! Finding a 2-3 bedroom house/townhouse/duplex in the State College area really shouldn't be that difficult at all. Honestly the best resource would have to be Craigslist in my opinion. centredaily.com(newspaper) and statecollege.com are also good resources. There are also the websites of the companies themselves. However, I found a rental myself on the State College craigslist page, no problem. Many of them have pictures or a map so you can get a sense for it. I would definitely recommend checking it out in person before committing to something though. Look in State College itself and the areas that are also in the State College school district such as Lemont, Stromstown, Boalsburg, Houserville, and Pine Grove Mills, as well as Bellefonte(15-20 min. from campus), Centre Hall(20 min.), Pleasant Gap(15 min.), and Spring Mills(25-30 min.) In your price range in all of these areas you should be able to find something nice. The "dumps" (not-as-nicely kept), as there really aren't any "bad" areas in the area, are going to be much lower.

State College is really a very nice, family-friendly place to live. I don't know much about Princeton, but I know that it is definitely larger. State College is no large city, but it is a safe, clean, friendly town. Campus is beautiful, and there are many local amenities. Outdoor activities are huge, especially hiking, biking, fishing, etc. Even though it is small, there are many things that you will find someplace larger, like a Wegmans, Target, Wal-Mart, a Trader Joes is coming, many nice restaurants. It has everything that you need. I hope I helped you, and good luck!

craigslist: state college classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events

State College, PA - Penn State Classifieds: All Categories[]=1&category[]=2&category[]=74&category[]=6&category[]=35&category[]=66&category[]=3&category[]=4&price_start=&price_end=&search=Search
Toftrees's town-homes might be perfect for you: Cooper's Pond at Toftrees Apartments - State College, PA
Farmstead Lane Townhomes: http://www.apartmentsstatecollege.co...erty.php?id=48
http://www.apartmentstore.com/state-college/ (scroll down to "Professional Rentals/ PSU Graduate Student Housing/ Family Apartments")
http://www.rentpfe.com/index.htm (look at "townhomes" and "single-family homes")
More about the area itself:
Central PA : State College Hotels, Attractions, Recreation & Travel
HappyValley.com - State College and Penn State Football, Hotels and Lodging, Restaurants, Bars, Attractions, Sports and Entertainment

Last edited by toobusytoday; 03-01-2012 at 07:08 AM.. Reason: removed Realtor listing
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:41 AM
Location: Midwest transplant
1,920 posts, read 4,460,537 times
Reputation: 1415
If economics are a priority, definitely State College and Penn State if the programs are equal. Princeton housing will be more expensive, the auto insurance will be double what it might be in PA. Traffic is horrible, and everything in NJ is much faster paced and my overall opinion when I visit (I lived there for 27 years as well) is that it's crowded. Lines of waiting for everything~no such thing as a quick trip or a stop and grab. You wait to get on the highway, wait to get off the highway, wait for gas, wait for coffee, stand in line everywhere...the best thing about NJ is the close proximity to NYC and that you don't have to pump your own gas.

The the cost of living is much less expensive, and the quality of life in PA is much more laid back, relaxed and slower paced. Many more inexpensive/free things to do in PA. You will have to go to 2 different stores to get your beer and wine though~PA doesn't allow you to mix the two under one roof unless it's a Wegmans.
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