Bellingham's App For Finding a Roommate
Finding a roommate in Bellingham...
is a breeze with RentHoop. It's been one of my main goals to have our app be the best way to find a roommate in Bellingham, as I went to college up there so it holds a special place in my heart. Up there of course, because Bellingham is the northernmost city in the United States with over 50,000 residents (Wikipedia). Bellingham is home to my alma mater, Western Washington University, which gives BHam its college-town feel. College is much more fun when you have roommates to kick it with. Western has so graciously made us their top off campus housing resource (WWU) so we can help you find the special people you will call roommates in Bellingham. Here's a quick summary of what living in the different parts of Bellingham is like.
You're smack-dab in the middle of Western's campus and downtown, an extremely convenient place to live as a student at Western. Upperclassmen will enjoy the ease at which you can go from a house party on N. Garden to the bars in 15 minutes or less. That obviously makes life easier and eliminates the thought of driving, so housing on north campus is in very high-demand. Most leases start in September so you want to make sure that you are actively on the hunt for a vacant apartment or house in February or March. "Open houses are competitive, you're just trying to get the application in as soon as possible. One open house we went to had over 60 people, it was insanity," says 21-year old, Western junior, Joe Calabro. The average rent of a one-bedroom apartment as of 2017 is around $750 per month, nearly half the cost of Seattle (ApartmentRatings). Finding a roommate will drop that rent even more to around $500-$600 per month.
Bill McDonald Parkway will take you through south campus, from 21st street to 32nd. There's plenty of housing available and nearby spots to grub. Beware missing the bus to campus if you live on 32nd as I did many of times, although your calf game will be strong if you make that trek often (Entourage). Super Duper Teriyaki on Harris seems like a hole in the wall, but has world class chicken katsu that is pure heaven (Yelp). There are more apartment complexes on south campus than north, but it's convenient and a short walk to grocery stores like Haggen's.
Fairhaven is uniquely Bellingham. There's great shopping, bookstores and cafes. The Fairhaven school essentially lets you create your own major which is very new age-y and reflects on Bellingham pretty accurately. If you're heading there from north campus, be sure to check out one of the most popular spots in Bellingham, Boulevard Park. This place is packed during summer as many students find their way to Woods Coffee to cram for finals or wait for the perfect sunset to put on their Ista. The bus runs less frequently to campus so make sure to accommodate for that if you have to go up to campus everyday.
Downtown Bellingham is ranked as the 8th best downtown in the entire nation (WaState). While living there is a bit more expensive as well as loud on the weekends, you're a stone throw away from everything you need. The Wild Buffalo is a cozy music venue that attracts big names and great eats like Casa Que Pasa's potato burrito (Moving to Bellingham). It's legendary among locals and college students. Most of the rental units downtown are apartments with two or three bedrooms.
As a freshman, you'll be enjoying the magic that is the Ridge. I transferred to Western so I can't tell you much about the dorms. Here is a great thread on Reddit that discusses each of the dorms which include; Beta, Gamma, Mathes, Nash, Buchanan Towers, Kappa, Omega, Edens, Sigma, Higginson, Alpha and Delta.
Bellingham is a great college town with a ton of outdoor activities. Finding a roommate who you can enjoy Bellingham's awesome off campus activities with will enhance your college experience. There's good runs of basketball in the rec center, skiing at Mt. Baker, breweries like Boundary Bay, margaritas at Jalapenos, and hikes at Oyster Dome that are much more enjoyable with roommates.