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Housing and Transport in Davis

Housing in and around Davis
Thanks to Davis' highly politicized land development scheme, various ballot measures, and zoning policies, housing within the city proper is scarce and becoming more expensive. This situation is unlikely to change in the near future, and at present the vacancy rate is 0.5%, compared to normal city rates of ~5%. Individual prices vary, ranging from ~$500 per month for a one bedroom to ~$1100 per month for a house. According to the UCD Aggie newspaper, the average rent for a two bedroom apartment is $830/month in Davis, $714 in Sacramento, $632 in Woodland, and $744 in Dixon. According to the Davis Enterprise, annual rent increases ranged from zero to 7%, with an arithmetic mean of 3.51%. Only 6.4% of rentals increased by 6% or more per year in 1999.

Housing in Davis varies along a few important dimensions, including type, quality, location, and price. Here is a brief overview of some more pertinent concerns. For finding places to live, major resources are (Local area code is 530):

  • General student housing information: 752-2033
  • Student family housing: Provides info for on-campus housing for students who are married and/or have families. Located in Solano Park or Orchard Park Apartments, 752-4000.
  • Russell Park Apartments: Privately managed on-campus housing for students who are married and/or have families. 752-7322.
  • Cooperative/Innovative housing: Includes Davis Student Coop, 754-0433; Pierce Coop, 754-1935; Agrarian Effort, 754-1310. Call 752-3976 for details.
  • Local Newspaper Classified Ads: Davis Enterprise: 756-0826, California Aggie (UCD): 752-0208, Sacramento Bee: 800-284-3233, Woodland Daily Democrat: 662-5421, Dixon Tribune: 707-678-5594. Also try Internet searches.

FYI: Many students have commented on how pleasant sharing a house is compared to sharing an apartment. Some of us moved out of Davis in order to find cheaper housing in the nearby Sacramento, Woodland and Dixon. Due to the shortage of housing, it would behoove you (if you want hooves, of course, heh heh) to begin your home search as early as possible. Like right now!

Rentals may be divided into three types: houses, duplexes, and apartments. The campus maintains a site on housing in the area, and check this commercial site for many of the apartment complexes in Davis. Their quality and convenience varies considerably (feel free to e-mail for some student comments), so we encourage you to take a good long look and ask many questions to be sure that your needs and requirements are met at any given place. Your life will be WAY easier if you use us as a resource.

Duplexes and houses for rent vary considerably as well. Distance from campus and condition of the house interact in determining price: the price decreases as you get further away from campus, but increases as you get into the newer and nicer homes (which tend to be built further away). A better predictor of price may be neighborhood. Davis has no "bad" neighborhoods, but homes in West Davis (west of Route 113), North Davis (north of Covell Road), and South Davis (south of Interstate 80) tend to be more expensive than those in East Davis (east of the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks) or in Central Davis (the middle).

Bikes are a vital and encouraged form of transportation in Davis. In fact, bikes are often a faster way to get around Davis considering the many parking restrictions. Most roads have wide bike lanes, and rumor has it that there are more bikes than cars in Davis. Bike cops are real police officers who won't hesitate to give a ticket for broken laws or to confiscate a bike, but the strip search thing is just an ugly rumor. Honest! Be aware that you need your bike to be registered if you have it on campus.

The two big freeways are Interstate 80 and State Route 113. The main thoroughfares in Davis are Russell Boulevard/Fifth Street, Eighth Street, Covell Road, Anderson Street, Oak Street, B Street, F Street, and Pole Line Road, all of which become more or less congested during rush hours. This is especially true of the I-80/Richards Street interchange, so remember this when deciding whether or not to live in South Davis. Given the exceptionally low crime rate in Davis, the police here are notorious for 5 mph-over-the-limit tickets.

The Unitrans buses run all over Davis, with two major terminals on campus. You may want to acquire a YoloBus schedule (Davis is in Yolo County) to find out about buses between neighboring towns. This, too, may be helpful in deciding where to live. Bear in mind that public transportation makes travelling frequent, long trips quite a chore. Think seriously about your own car or truck.

Parking is a nightmare on every campus, and this one is no exception. Parking areas are crowded, the meters are vigorously enforced, and permits are expensive. Additionally, many areas surrounding campus are either off-limits to general public parking or have limited availability (i.e., 2-hour maximum, or no parking without resident permit, etc.). Near campus, the only street on which all-day, free-parking is permitted is on Russell Blvd., from College Park to just beyond Sycamore Street. Naturally, it is often difficult to find an empty spot. The city and the campus encourage the use of bicycles, by making it easy to bike and difficult to park cars.