Where you choose to live will affect your housing costs, distance to amenities and services, school assignments, and your commute. Consider the following when making this decision.
University Housing has accommodations for both singles and families. However, postdocs are permitted to stay in on-campus housing only one year, and the waiting time to get into on-campus family housing is approximately one year. Depending on your plans, this may be sufficient for your needs, but most postdocs find other options more convenient.
The city of Lincoln offers a wide variety of off-campus housing options, including apartments, rental properties, or homes for sale. Here are three ways to find what you're looking for:
Online listings are convenient and provide an assortment of options:
- Rentals.com: Listings for houses, apartments, townhouses, duplexes, and lofts.
- Housing.ne.gov: Search rental properties by many parameters. Includes complexes of all sizes.
- Apartmentsforyou.com: Search the Lincoln Journal Star's online classified advertisements. Only the larger apartment complexes are advertised online.
- Apartmentguide.com: Search for apartments in a wider area, including Omaha and surrounding towns. This site sometimes has deposit or rent coupons.
- Forrent.com: Search advertised apartment rentals, based on type and amenities within a price range. Good descriptions of larger apartment communities.
- NeighborWorks Lincoln: A list approved by the NeighborWorks Lincoln program. Well-maintained and well-managed properties in Lincoln's original 12 neighborhoods.
- Classified ads in a newspaper: A larger variety of property types for rent will be listed in the Classified Ads of the Lincoln Journal Star and are unavailable online. Many smaller companies, property owners, and homeowners advertise only in the Sunday paper.
Personal Experience: Get your own impression of the City and its neighborhoods. Drive or walk around neighborhoods that you like and look for "For Rent" signs, because some landlords don't place ads at all. Ask colleagues from your department where they live and what areas they recommend.
You can also compare different parts of the city by looking at crime reports from the Lincoln Police Department. Lincoln is a safe and friendly city but, like other cities, some areas are better than others.
Utilities and Services
Your monthly bills will be determined by where you choose to live. For example, most apartments will pay for water and garbage service, but in a house you'll be responsible for those services. A small apartment will usually have lower energy bills than a large apartment or house. Some landlords pay for cable television service. Make sure you understand which utilities you're responsible for and consider that in housing costs. You can contact utility companies to ask how much utility bills have been for a specific address.
Electricity is provided by Lincoln Electric System. Your landlord may have the service put in your name after you sign a lease agreement, or you may have to do it yourself. Landlords almost never pay for electricity.
Water is provided by the City of Lincoln. Some landlords pay for water.
Natural gas is provided by Black Hills Energy. A few landlords pay for gas. Some homes don't use gas.
Mobile phone service is provided by Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, T-Mobile, and others. You should shop around for the best package and rates.
Phone service providers also provide various types of internet and/or television services. A few landlords pay for cable services.
Household garbage is usually collected once or twice a week by privately-owned companies. Each company picks up trash from a designated area of the city. If you rent a house, you may be responsible for paying for garbage collection. If you rent an apartment, the landlord will pay for it to be picked up.