Finding housing in the Durham area can be overwhelming given the variety of apartment complexes. With multiple universities all located in the same general area, student housing is abundant. Taking the time to explore the pros and cons of each housing option before signing a lease is worth it in the end. Most of what follows is geared to students looking to rent apartments.

Buying Or Renting a House

Several students opt to purchase homes for their law school years. Durham’s real estate market is generally stable and students have been able to purchase a townhouse or condo and then sell it after graduation. Provided an increase in value (not necessarily a given these days), you can essentially live for free during law school. Generally homes have more square footage than apartments.

Some Helpful Housing Numbers

  • Duke Off-Campus Housing: This is a great website listing rentals and sublets in the Durham area from Duke students and faculty members.
  • You can also check out the Duke List, which is updated weekly and has a small number of housing listings in each issue. There are also listings for furniture, cars and people looking for roommates.
  • Triangle Apartment Finder 24-hour hotline: 1-888-360-APTS
  • Apartment Guide
  • RentNet
  • Craigslist RDU Housing

Popular Apartment Complexes

Durham is a very affordable and fun city in which to live, but there are some things you should consider when selecting your apartment. First, as the real estate people say: location, location, location. Distance is a major consideration for many students who are selecting apartments. Depending on where you live now, a twenty-minute commute may seem like a short trek, but in Durham, any travel longer than ten minutes is considered “far.” Second: affordability. The financial aid office has a set budget for loan approval which considers the cost-of-living in Durham. “Cost-of-living” is used loosely here because cost differs greatly depending on whether you select West Village or ARIUM Pinnacle Ridge.

One way to reduce the cost of rent is to find a roommate. The admissions office circulates a list of people looking for roommates in March, or you can look for your future roommate at Admitted Students Open House. Of course, the roommate decision should not only consider cost. Your own personal living preferences, and how a shared living space will impact your experience is also important. Many have had many amazing experiences with roommates, but others less so.

Another consideration when choosing an apartment complex is the “perks.” Apartments offer amenities ranging from the tangible (e.g. free coffee, soda and snacks) to intangible (location). Visiting is the best way to determine which amenities matter to you — but if you cannot make it to Durham before signing a lease, you should consider the different options in light of what you value in a home (e.g. a sanctuary, someplace fun, many fellow law students). And most importantly, if you have questions… ASK! Many of the apartment complexes are willing to refer you to their current law student residents who can answer your questions. If they cannot do this for you — reach out to people you know or may have met at Duke Law School. For a more general comparison, visit College Rentals.

ARIUM Pinnacle Ridge
3611 University Drive
Durham, NC 27707
In past years, this has probably been the most popular choice for 1L Duke Law students. Students are drawn by the low cost and more plentiful amenities compared to its economical comparisons. The complex features a pool with nice deck chairs and gas grills, tennis court, a racquetball court, and laundry facilities.

Garrett West
4130 Garrett Road
Durham, NC 27705
Located next door to Addington Farms off of Garrett Road, this complex is quite similar to Addington Farms. The complex also contains a pool, exercise room, and laundry facilities. Prices are comparable to Addington Farms.

The Lofts at Lakeview
2616 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27705
The Lofts are the closest apartment complex to the law school and the rest of West Campus. As the website proclaims, “The common and ordinary have no place here.” The high price tag will deter many students, but those who are still interested may well like what they find. Featuring an internet cafe (supplied with snacks for the taking) and a movie theater, The Lofts supplies many perks — but these perks will cost you.

The Heights at LaSalle
500 South LaSalle St.
Durham, NC 27705
When you live at The Heights at LaSalle Apartments you’re not just close by everything you need . . . you’re already in the neighborhood. The entire campus of Duke University is a three-point shot away. Miniscule minutes from your front door is the Warehouse District featuring Brightleaf Square, the premier shopping, dining and entertainment venue in Downtown Durham. Performing Arts venues, the legendary Durham Bulls baseball team and other attractions abound.

Trinity Commons at Erwin
2530 Erwin Road,
Durham, NC 27705
Comparable to the Lofts at Lakeview in price, amenities, and location, these just newly completed apartments are directly across from the Duke Medical Center and adjacent to the Lofts at Lakeview. The corner units on Erwin Road have killer views of Duke’s West Campus.

West Village
605 W Main St.
Durham, NC 27701
These loft-style apartments were remodeled from former tobacco warehouses. Located near Brightleaf Square, Durham’s historic shopping district with many restaurants and bars, this location is ideal for urban dwellers. If you want to be near downtown, this is the place to be. The apartment is quite pricey and features the usual amenities for this category, including a brand new pool.

Alden Place at South Square
100 Alexan Drive
Durham, NC 27707
Located right off of 15-501, Alden Place is about an 8- to 10-minute drive from campus. Very similar to Addington Farms in style, Alexan Place has two pools, a tanning bed, and exercise room. Prices are similar to the other apartments in this category, and many people keep costs low by securing a two-bedroom and a roommate.

Century Trinity Estates
240 Ivy Meadow Lane
Durham, NC 27701
Quite popular among law students, living options in Addington Farms range from apartments to townhomes to cottages. The complex has a pool, rudimentary exercise room, and laundry facilities. Located just off of 15-501 and Garrett Road, Addington Farms is less than a 10-minute drive to school and is on the way to Chapel Hill. Prices range anywhere from a great deal to a bit pricey, depending on the size of the apartment, townhouse or cottage.

The Belmont at Duke
1000 McQueen Drive
Durham, NC 27705
The Belmont is an apartment community located about a one-mile walk from the law school. This is a great option for those who like the comfort of a nonexistent commute, and those students who will not have cars. The units are moderately priced though much more reasonable than the neighboring Lofts at Lakeview, but are populated by many noisy undergrads.

605 West
605 W Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC 27701
At 605 West, you’ll find a variety of floor plans, numerous amenities, proximity to Duke University, and a thriving resident community, all located in the heart of downtown Durham.

Other Complexes

Alvista Durham Apartments
4800 University Drive
Durham, NC 27707

Berkeley at Southpoint
1400 Laurel Springs Drive
Durham, NC 27713

Campus Oaks
311 Swift Avenue
Durham, NC 27705

Crescent Ninth Street
749 Ninth Street
Durham, NC 27705

Erwin Terrace
Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.3830 or toll-free at 866.383.9256

Evergreens at Mount Moriah
5512 Sunlight Drive
Durham, NC 27707

Lenox at Patterson Place
100 Rose Garden Lane
Durham, NC 27707

North Pointe Commons
2335 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27704

The Parc at University Tower
20 Moorcroft Lane
Durham, NC 27705

Partners Place
929 Morreene Road
Durham, NC 27705

Springfield Apartments
4600 University Drive
Durham, NC 27707

Non-Traditional Apartment Complexes

If you are looking for non-traditional apartment complex living (such as living in a house off of East Campus, for example), there are several brokers:

Trinity Properties – students have had positive things to say about Trinity in the past
2723 Campus Walk
Durham, NC 27705

Bob Schmitz
1222 Broad Street, Suite A
Durham, NC 27705