Students pay extra to live closer to campus and bars

Anthony Holloway

Some pay more than $700 per month to be near the university

Zoom out to see the shaded blue area of this map where all of the place markers are located.

Data collected from local Realtors affirm what you probably already knew: The closer students live to campus, the more likely they are to pay higher rent.

Rich Youngblood, owner of Kent Rentals, said student rental properties, like those near or touching campus, cost more to rent because of their prime location.

But despite the higher costs, there are students who are willing to pay the extra price.

“Almost all of the people I talk to say they want to be close to the bars more than to campus,” Youngblood said.

Junior nursing major Kaitlin Djuric said her three-bedroom house on North Lincoln Street is worth paying $700 per month, not including utilities.

“It’s nice because it’s close to campus,” she said. “It’s in good shape.”

She said living near the bars and parties can have its pros and cons.

“Since we’re so close to the bars, we’re more prone to having something happen to the house,” Djuric said, “but it’s also not too far of a walk getting to and from the bars.”

Djuric said they had someone try to break in through a side window at one point so far in the semester.

Tim Chaffin, senior business management major, said he decided to live at Pebblebrook Apartments on state Route 59 toward Ravenna.

“I wanted to be fairly close to campus,” Chaffin said. “I liked the way it looked, and it’s close to Wal-Mart.”

Chaffin said he could see the location play a part in the price, though.

“If it were closer, I could see it being more expensive,” Chaffin said.

Clint Hamilton, leasing consultant for Pebblebrook Apartments, said the extras, such as their pools and workout rooms, don’t count toward the rent cost. In addition, apartment complexes are better for padding costs because of their closeness.

“It’s a community,” Hamilton said. “You can absorb some heat from other apartments where (apartment) houses are subject to wind and other conditions.”

Katie Brown, junior art education major, said she looked at Holly Park and places in Brimfield, but those properties were too far from campus.

Brown, who also lives on North Lincoln Street, said she pays half of the $600 for her two-bedroom house, and she is willing to pay the price to get her morning fix.

“I love being so close to Starbucks,” Brown said. “It’s definitely one of the great things about living here.”

She said despite the occasional “drunken debauchery” and panty trees (toilet papering with panties), “it’s not too bad.”

Youngblood, a property owner for 20 years, said the closer students get to the peak of where people want to be, the more it’s going to cost.

“College and Willow are the middle,” he said.

Shaun Soukenik, junior business management major, said he’s glad to live on College Avenue.

“It’s cheaper than living on campus,” Soukenik said as he looked down the road at Franklin Hall.

He said he and his roommates pay $375 per room, not including utilities.

He said in addition to the location, it’s just a great place to live.

“A lot of people portray this place to be bad because of what happened (with the riot this spring), but it’s a really nice and peaceful place to live,” Soukenik said, pointing to the empty street. “It’s a really friendly atmosphere.”

Contact student finance reporter Anthony Holloway at [email protected].