Not so Rusty in Muncie Read Guide >
One of the first questions people always ask when moving to a new city is, “What part of town should I live in?” There’s not a whole lot of distinction between the various neighborhoods in Muncie, but if you’re one of the approximately 22,000 Ball State students living here, you’re probably better off targeting one of the campus area complexes in the northwestern sector.
Most of the city’s economic and housing growth has occurred in the northwest in recent years while the more well-established neighborhoods are mostly located in the formerly industrialized eastern and southern districts. We recommend you spend plenty of time in a neighborhood to make sure you’re comfortable with it before pursuing a lease.
The historic downtown arts and culture district in Muncie is dotted with quality art galleries, museums, eateries, watering holes, and eclectic shopping hotspots. Other attractions include a performing arts theater and symphony orchestra, while outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy a plethora of campgrounds, an arboretum (nothing sounds cooler than an arboretum), botanical gardens, and numerous parks, gardens, and trails. Ball State University football games are popular events for students and diehard locals alike, while the famed Indianapolis Speedway (don’t forget your Dale, Jr. t-shirt and mesh hat!) and Colts and Pacers stadiums are located only about an hour away.
One of the most attractive aspects of living in Muncie is its above-average public transportation system. The MITS city buses run 15 routes Monday through Saturday and hit up the majority of the city’s business districts, so it’s quite possible for apartment dwellers living within walking distance of a MITS stop to rely almost entirely on public transit to get around. Still, having your own set of wheels remains the most convenient way to work, shop, dine, socialize, and just plain live conveniently. Fortunately, traffic is minimal, parking spots are a dime a dozen, and the average commute to work takes less than 20 minutes. Because so many apartments are located within easy walking distance of BSU, students can easily survive in Muncie without a car of their own.
A few things you should know before embarking on your apartment hunting adventures in Muncie:
Scoring an apartment in Muncie isn’t as difficult as, say, passing that advanced trig class you’ve been struggling with all semester. Waiting lists are rare but occupancy rates do spike drastically just before the fall semester and drop off at the end of the academic year in early June. If you’re targeting a campus area pad, begin your hunt no later than March to make sure you have the pick of the litter.
Most leases in Muncie are for a full year and most begin in August, although a limited number of short-term and corporate leasing options are available as well. Because the university and the bulk of the city’s employment opportunities are located in the northwest quadrant, your best bet might be to target one of the numerous rentals in that area.
Muncie is one of the Midwest’s most affordable cities; you couldn’t spend more than $1000 on an apartment if you tried. Studios and modest 1BR units near campus are readily available in the $500 range, while even super-spacious, 3BR luxury rentals can be found in abundance for less than $800. Amenities at various properties run the gamut from minimal to lavish, so do some preliminary research about a property’s perks before scheduling a walkthrough.
Obviously, many of the apartments surrounding BSU are inhabited largely by students. This is great for co-eds but can be a bit aggravating for those who have already matriculated and, for some strange reason, have a problem with things like raucous, all-night parties preventing their pre-work beauty rest (how unreasonable!). If you’re unsure about an apartment complex’s tenants, just call in advance and ask a leasing agent what sort of, ahem, clientele live there.
Pet polices can be vastly different from complex to complex. Some landlords allow cats but not dogs, others frown at the idea of a mere goldfish living with you, while others could probably care less if a 600 pound Bengal tiger shares your living space. Again, do some preliminary research and read your lease carefully to make sure you’re comfortable with a landlord’s pet policies and other rules.
Because apartments turn over so frequently in Muncie, landlords sometimes end up overlooking minor or even major blemishes in your new humble abode. Take your move-in checklist seriously and make note of even the most minor flaws, or else you risk losing your security deposit over a preexisting imperfection.
And now it’s time to scour the listings and hit the streets in search of your dream dwellings. Best of luck and welcome to Muncie!
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