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Old 04-30-2013, 08:03 PM
Location: San Diego, CA
3 posts, read 3,745 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all. First off, this forum is awesome! I feel really lucky that I stumbled across it in my search for a placde to live in Madison. So much good and useful information! Since we live in San Diego
My husband and I are moving to Madison this summer so that I can attend grad school at UW. We have a smallish dog (about 20 lbs), and are looking for a place to rent that is convenient enough to campus (hopefully on the bus line with a less than 30 minute ride to Vilas Communication Hall), but is quiet enough for a good night's sleep. While we would dearly love to rent a house, I haven't seen many small houses for rent. We would like to have either 1 bedroom plus a den/office area, or a 2 bedroom place.
With a budget of about $1000 a month, do you think it is worth it for us to keep looking online for a house, or should we just give up and look at apartments? I've tried StartRenting.com, but I find it kind of low on information, and what it does have seems to be out of date or otherwise incorrect. Mostly I've been using padmapper, which harvests from a number of sources including craigslist. I checked out the humane society list, and it is extensive. It will take me a while to plot it all out on a map and find what is close enough to campus.

We're hoping to make a scouting trip either in this month or maybe June/July. Is that too late to find anything decent?

On the apartment front, does anyone know about Arbor Lakes in Middleton (run by Fiduciary)? The website makes them look awesome, but it is about the furthest I would want to be from school, and the rent seems suspiciously low- $771 for a 2 bedroom. Is this just because it is out in the burbs, or is the neighborhood unsafe?

Thanks for looking this over!
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:30 PM
5,680 posts, read 10,345,432 times
Reputation: 43791
Well, to start with, I'd definitely suggest that you not limit yourself to house rentals, because there just aren't very many of those in Madison. And I'd frankly be shocked if you found a house for $1K/month that you'd actually want to live in.

You can probably find a one-bedroom-plus-den or two-bedroom apartment for $1,000, though it won't be luxurious. The sad truth is that rents in the Madison area are awfully high for the Midwest, and unless you are comfortable living in a sketchy neighborhood, it's likely to be hard to find anything in the city itself that will fit your budget.

The other comment that I'd make is that if you are looking for an August start date, then the sooner you can make that scouting trip, the better. I am sure you don't want to live right downtown in the undergrad districts, of course, but if you did, you'd already be pretty much out of luck finding anything there for an August move-in date. Campus area landlords start signing August 15 leases in about November of the preceding year, and by this time most or all of the high-demand buildings close to the UW are already leased up.

The farther out from campus you go, the easier it will be to find a place, particularly at this point in the year. And the farther you are from the city center, the better the rents will probably be, too. I think you could reasonably expect to get to the campus area within 30 minutes from most of the nearby communities (Middleton, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, McFarland, Fitchburg, Verona) on all but the snowiest days, so do check those as well as Madison itself. You may need to commute to the edge of Madison to pick up a city bus, but it's doable.

As to the apartment possibility you found, that is not a company that I have any experience with, but you may want to check in with the folks at the Tenant Resource Center to see if they have any comments, good or bad, to make about them. Tenant Resource Center Best to call rather than emailing, as they are a volunteer-only group and sometimes slow to respond.

If you identify particular neighborhoods that you'd like to ask about, do stop back by with more questions. Good luck to you!
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:36 AM
Location: San Diego, CA
3 posts, read 3,745 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the prompt reply! I just reread my post and wow: never writing while I'm waiting for cold medicine to kick in again.
I had only been looking in the Middleton area in addition to Madison proper, but I will definitely check out the other communities that you mentioned as well. The rents in Madison are a bit better than here in San Diego, but I was surprised at how high they were.
I will definitely be back once I have looked into these other areas. I have some friends that live on the isthmus, but I haven't seen much to rent there with the dog in mind.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:08 PM
Location: San Diego, CA
3 posts, read 3,745 times
Reputation: 10
Ok, I think we're getting on the right track now. I keep running across Ripple Management when I look for apartments that are dog friendly. Does anyone know anything about them as an apartment management company?
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:07 PM
Location: Madison, WI
1,741 posts, read 5,404,230 times
Reputation: 821
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, although I'm not familiar with the management company per say, I am with the areas that their rentals are located in. Generally not great areas, I'm afraid. There were a few properties listed on their site that I would have suggested checking out, but they were restricted to cats only. Overall, their inventory is in less desirable neighborhoods.
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