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Off-Grounds Services: About Off-Grounds Housing

The purpose of this site is to assist in all aspects of making the decision about living on-Grounds vs. living off-Grounds, and to support, as needed, those who choose to live off-Grounds. The information on this site is a work in progress. Existing material will be changed or deleted as necessary and new material will be added based on feedback and market changes.

Here are some things to be taken in to consideration in making the decision to move off-Grounds:

What do you want from your living experience?

  • Are you looking for a community?
  • Do you want privacy?
  • Do you expect to have a place to study? Relax?
  • What amenities are important to you?

Who do you want to live with?
Friends don’t always make good roommates - Examine the criteria for both!
Utilize the Roommate Agreement before signing your lease and establish some basic agreements on issues including: cleanliness, chores, visitors and noise.

Where do you want to live?
Consider the basics of location: The Corner? JPA? Preston? Virginia Ave? What about parking, getting to/from class, noise, neighbors, personal safety? How near is the closest bus stop?

How much will it cost and how much can you afford?
Consider these estimated rent only costs for the 2011-12 school year:

  • 1 bedroom range: $350 (bedroom only)- 1250; average: $700
  • 2 bedroom range: $750-$1200; average: $790 ($400/room)
  • 3 bedroom range: $780 – $1800; average: $1300 ($400/room)
  • 4 bedroom range: $1300 – $3300 average: $2000 ($450/room)


  • Water/Sewer/Trash: Often included in apartments, not in houses
  • Electric/Gas: $50-100/month for apartments; $75-175/month for houses
  • TV/Internet/Phone: $99/month

When do you need to look and decide?
You'll hear this a lot, but there is no housing shortage in Charlottesville. You really need to have the answers to the questions above before you consider signing the lease, which is a legally binding document.