G is for garages

One of the most important parts of the housing equation is something that might be a second thought— garages. Not garages alone, but more specifically, parking. Where you live greatly affects how much parking costs and how convenient it is. For those without a car, this isn’t a big deal, but if you’ve got one, listen up.

On-street parking is one option, and Urbana beats Champaign by a long shot here. On-street permits in Urbana cost $135, but the only drawback is that you won’t have an assigned spot. Hunting one down can be a challenge at times, but think of it as an adventure in saving money!

Only those who live in the West Urbana parking district can buy the permits; the boundaries are Green Street on the north, Race Street on the east, Florida Avenue to the south and Lincoln Avenue to the west.

If you live in Urbana, but not within those streets, consider parking north of Green Street. The parking up there is free, and this is where I parked my entire junior year. It was a bit of a hike, and finding a spot was usually fairly difficult, but the price — free — was worth it.

If you’re living in Champaign, plan on shelling out significantly more money. On-street permits with assigned spots range from around $500 to nearly $700, and are only valid for the academic year. Most parking lots cost around $600 for an entire year, and expect covered parking and underground garages to go from $800 to nearly a grand or more.

If I’ve learned anything at the University, it’s that having a car ain’t cheap. Then again, taking the bus to Meijer isn’t fun at all. Trade-offs!

Going out is something to take into consideration when picking a new home. Will you be close to your favorite spots, or at least close to a bus stop? It’s no fun to be stranded somewhere at 3 a.m. when it’s raining.

At the very least, check out what bus stops are close to where you’re thinking of living, and how often or late the buses run.

You’ll be thankful later on.

James Vanderberg is a senior in Media.