Live West Campus- But Where?
West Campus of The University of Texas is no longer a nook of Austin, it has grown to be a large area with different vibes, condos, restaurants, and scene all together. If you know you’d like to live in the West Campus area, awesome! But what part do you want to live in?
Let’s start with the North part that contains several corporate apartment complexes such as The Block and The Quarters, which are great options if you want to be close to Dean Keaton and that particular part of the UT Campus. The North Side of West Campus also includes being close to many hip venues on The Drag including Hole in The Wall where you can catch live music almost every night of the week. You are also just a hop, skip and jump away from North Campus/Hyde Park near Spider House Coffee and Buffalo Exchange clothing.
Let’s talk about the heart of West Campus. Here you’ll find some beautiful condo complexes and historic homes that belong to the Greek Life of UT. There are many Fraternity and Sorority homes in this area and is a very ideal place for anyone who wants to be apart of the Greek life or already is. You’ll of course be close to campus, UT Bus Shuttles, and some famous hang outs such as Cain & Abels on Rio Grande and 24th.
The south part of West Campus and a totally different vibe in my opinion. Whether you’re on MLK or just south of 24th Street, you can find older homes, duplexes, historic bed and breakfast which is a great place for parents and family members to stay while visiting you at school! Being close to MLK puts you in the area where you’re just a short shot to Downtown and to UT Campus. You have Queso’s Taco House, UPS Store for your shipping and postal needs, as well as the south part of The Drag with plenty of yummy cafes.
Regardless where you choose to live in West Campus, you can always find a neat nook or cranny of the city that fits your needs.
Spring Break for students is near and I’m sure there are plenty of shenanigans and plans in the works for you and your friends. For some, it’s a chance to catch up on school work you were behind on before or get ahead of your studies for that next big exam. For others, it’s social time! So, what is the vibe like in West Campus during this time? Usually, it’s a pretty big hit considering that one of the worlds largest festivals go on during the entire week of Spring Break called, SXSW!
SXSW calls for thousands of musicians, actors, artists, you name it to migrate their way to Austin, as if we didn’t have plenty of wonderful Artists here already! With venues happening all over West and North Campus, some offering free shows, food, and parties to attend to meet new people. A lot of shows will be located on The infamous Drag of West Campus that I’m sure by now you are familiar with. Keep an eye out for shows at random coffee houses, restaurants, bars, etc in the area too. The SXSW website (https://www.sxsw.com/schedule/) is very helpful in finding those shows but some are spur of the moment or secret that you’ll have to ask around for.
Another great celebration happening during Spring Break is St Pattys Day! With all the Iris blood in our society, I’m sure there are plenty of people who decide to celebrate the holiday. Austin is full of parties and surprises for St Patty’s day. There is plenty to do and see around Campus, even if it’s during Spring Break.
Regardless, of your plans for the break, whether you go to the beach, skiing with family, study, head home to be taken care of by your parents, always keep in mind that many students and neighbors in West Campus and North Campus are gone as well. Precautionary measures need to be taken in order to ensure your safe and your apartment, condo, home is safe as well. Always keep your doors locked, especially when you’re not home. Windows closed and locked, unless you’re enjoying a beautiful Austin Spring day at home which is totally understandable! But, things do happen and there are people who take advantage of the scarcity of tenants in the area during the break.
As the weeks past by after returning to school or work after the holidays, you start to realize it’s time to secure a place for next year. The inventory is dwindling in West and North Campus at this time and will continue to get more and more slim throughout the Spring, leading into the Summer. But, it doesn’t have to be that hard for you! Use a realtor or an agent to help you locate your ideal place for next school year.
Have you been Googling properties and browsing the internet? Well, stop it! You’re putting way too much work in it when someone can be doing all of that work for you, for free! In many other cities using the internet to locate a place to live, especially, short term leases, the internet can be very helpful for that situation. However, that technique does not work well for students who wish to live in the campus area of Austin. Central Austin is full of condos and the difference between condos and apartments are that each unit in the condo complex is typically owned and managed by a different person and the only way for them to market their property is to have a company or realtor advertise it for them to other realtors.
The nature of the beast in the campus area consist of availability lists sent out by realtors to other realtors to let them know what is available. This information is very private and only available to registered agents that have established a relationship with the listing agent. Meaning, you won’t find that kind of information on line. You may see some pictures and vague details on a particular property but you’ll have to speak with a realtor to get the information you need.
Bottom line, use a realtor, agent, or leasing company to take the stress and work out of finding a place to live. All the companies in the area have access to all the information you need to find the right place and are typically very knowledgeable on the area and complexes available.
And best of all, IT’S FREE for you!
Being a student and in love can be challenging when you’re trying to spoil your sweetheart and you’re on a budget! Lucky for you, Austin is full of scenic spots and inexpensive way to say I love you to that special someone. You will have to venture outside of West Campus and try some new spots in Austin.
One great place to take someone special is Mount Bonnell in West Austin that features beautiful shots of the lake. Along with picnic tables secluded off the trail and spots where you can lay a blanket down for a picnic. Be aware that it is a small hike up flights of stairs so be sure to wear your walking shoes but it will all be worth it when you get up there. Especially once that sun starts to set.
Another great option is finding a free music show downtown featuring artist that maybe the two of you enjoy. As you know Austin, TX is the music capital of the WORLD, so I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding some sweet melodies.
And last but not least, Austin is full of great parks! Including Zilker Park! Grab a blanket, your guitar, some snacks and enjoy the evening at the park! You can even bring the pups for more entertainment.
We are lucky we get to enjoy all this great city has to offer and even though the cost of living increases each year, there are still ways to save a few bucks and enjoy yourself.
As most of you are struggling to keep up with school work and social life, time can fly by quite quickly in the Spring semesters. On top of all of that, there are fabulous events to attend in Austin, such as: SXSW, St Patty’s Day Celebrations, Mardi Gras and of course, Spring Break! Next thing you know, it’s May and you secured a place for the Fall semester.
There will be some inventory of condos, houses, and apartments in May but do you really want to have to choose between the slim pickings of what is left over from the early birds? When you have a strict criteria for a particular apartment or condo, it’s very important to be on the ball about finding the right place for you. You’ll be living in there for a year so you need to make sure to find a place you’ll enjoy. Especially, if you are deciding on West Campus. The inventory in West Campus goes very quickly. The best time to look for a place is close to the first of the year after the Holiday break if you’ve already waited this long. So, the time now!
However, if you are interested in North Campus/Hyde Park, you do have a little more time to pull the trigger on a place. BUT, I wouldn’t wait too long! I would say, securing a place by no later than April is ideal. Again, you don’t want to be stuck spending the same amount of money on a place you’re not in love with when you had other options early on.
If the financial part is the obstacle, which is totally understandable, there are housing options that can meet your needs and only require small up front costs. As your realtor about specific listings with those kind of requirements. We can make it work!