Off-Campus Housing Guide

Location - Transportation - Housing Costs - Pets - Housing Options
Laws Governing Student Living - Furniture - Grocery Stores - Services
Laundromats - Moving and Storage - Banks - Short-Term Housing
Apartment Complexes

Bryn Mawr College undergraduate resident students are expected to live on campus in College residence halls throughout the course of the academic year. A student may choose to live off campus during the spring Room Draw process for the following academic year by selecting “off campus” on her housing sign-up card. If a student decides to move off campus during the academic year, or wishes to petition for off-campus housing as a first-year student, she must complete an Off Campus Housing Petition.

To help students approved to move off campus, the Residential Life Office hosts an online Off-Campus Housing Blog at http://offcampus.blogs.brynmawr.edu/ which offers the following:

> online posts of local rental opportunities targeted at students
> a forum for individuals to search for roommates
> a place for people to post recommendations and advice for others.

In order to use the site, you must have a valid brynmawr.edu email address.  If you don't have a Bryn Mawr email address, but would like to post to the site, contact reslife@brynmawr.edu with your information.

We hope this site will serve as a valuable resource for those seeking off-campus housing.  Let us know if you have comments, questions, or suggestions!

We hope the following information will be helpful in your housing search. Please contact the Residential Life office at reslife@brynmawr.edu with any questions.

Location

Bryn Mawr, located in Montgomery County , is a suburb of Philadelphia and about a 30 minute drive from Center City Philadelphia. It is part of a string of small communities known as the "Main Line". The Main Line refers to the suburbs located west of the city, located along the SEPTA R5 train line. Overbrook, Narberth, Ardmore , Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, and Villanova are all towns located on the Main Line . St. Davids, Radnor, Wayne , and Devon are also towns that are located on the R5 route that are also within a 15-20 minute car drive of the College.  If you are using an online map to find the college, use the address "101 North Merion Avenue Bryn Mawr, PA 19010."

Please be aware that finding housing in this area can be more challenging due to the large number of students in the area, so it is important to begin your search as early as possible . Keep in mind that you are competing for housing with students from more than four area colleges and universities.

Transportation

Living in Bryn Mawr without a car is definitely possible, and many students, faculty, and staff do not have cars. However, depending upon lifestyle and personal needs, there are mixed feelings about the possible inconveniences of not having a car.

If you do plan to bring a car, be aware that Pennsylvania has some of the highest vehicle insurance rates in the country, as well as a more complicated automobile registration process. If it is at all possible and you do not need to establish residency, you may want to consider keeping your former license and registration. If you do bring a car, you will need to pay for a parking pass each semester at Public Safety in Merion Hall in order to park on campus.

The Philadelphia area public transportation system is operated by SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority). The system is fairly extensive and there are a number of fare options, such as tokens and monthly passes, which can save you a little money over SEPTA's base fare. Information can be obtained directly from SEPTA at 215/580-7800 or from their website at www.septa.org . SEPTA schedules can be ordered at 215/580-7777.

There are three main routes which service Bryn Mawr:

  • The R5 commuter train follows the Main Line into Center City Philadelphia. It is approximately a 20 minute commute from the city to Bryn Mawr. The station is located a few blocks from the college on Lancaster Avenue.
  • The Rt100 Norristown High Speed Line is approximately six blocks from the College. It travels the Main Line suburbs and is less expensive than the R5, but does not run directly into the city (though connections are easily made).
  • Bus route 105 travels the Main Line from Paoli to Ardmore along Lancaster Avenue . It, too, is less expensive than the train.

Parking in center city Philadelphia can be expensive and challenging to locate, so even those who do have cars will often take the train for convenience. If you live on the Main Line , it is generally not difficult to find parking near or where you live. However, it is highly recommended that you discuss parking issues with the landlords of housing you are considering, as there are sometimes extra fees involved.

Housing Costs
The following approximations are monthly rental rates for the average apartment, not including utilities. They are included to give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay for rent in the area.

  Main Line Philadelphia
studios/efficiencies: Starting at $700 $550
one bedrooms: Starting at $800 $650
two bedrooms: Starting at $1000 $850
room rental: Starting at $450 $350

Distance - Generally, the farther away you live from the Main Line and from Bryn Mawr, the cheaper your rent will be. This is not always the case, but is a general rule of thumb. If considering housing in Philadelphia , keep in mind that transportation costs, car insurance, and city wage taxes will increase your living expenses.

The towns of Ardmore & Narberth (the Main Line) and Havertown ( Delaware County) tend to be a bit less expensive and are very convenient to the college. In addition, Wayne, Devon, Conshohocken, and King of Prussia also have many apartments and are within 20 minutes of the College.

Apartment vs. House - In this area there are many students who will live in a room or "apartment" in someone's house. The rent is typically cheaper than an apartment. Also, occasionally people in the area will allow you to live in their houses for free in exchange for childcare, etc. for a set number of hours each week. In addition, sometimes students will get together and rent a house for a year. The best method for finding this type of option is to check the Off-Campus Housing Blog at http://offcampus.blogs.brynmawr.edu/, come to the Campus Center to check the bulletin board postings, or check the local newspapers.

Pets

Please be aware that few landlords in this area will allow pets (especially dogs). You may need to consider alternate arrangements for them or be prepared to live a greater distance from the College in an area that offers more pet friendly housing.

Housing Options

The Main Line provides many rental opportunities. Local newspapers are the best source of housing listings. You can arrange for a subscription, which is helpful in making appointments before you arrive, or purchase papers at local convenience stores, supermarkets, or bookstores on the Main Line. Many of the local papers are also accessible on the web.

Laws Governing Student Living

Lower Merion Township has very strict rules regarding student living. Housing is usually designated either as student or non-student approved. Please be aware of this when applying for a residence. The law defines a student home as:

A living arrangement for students, unrelated by blood, marriage or legal adoption, attending or about to attend a college or university or who are on a semester or summer break from studies at a college or university, or any combination of such persons. Student homes shall not include fraternities, sororities, or community residential programs. A student home can have no more than three students located in a dwelling with a floor area of at least 1,500 square feet, exclusive of basements, garages, and accessory buildings.


If you locate housing in Lower Merion Township and want to check to see if it is student approved, you may contact the Lower Merion Township office at 610/649-4000.

Furniture

For used items, you may want to check postings around the Bryn Mawr campus and in the local newspapers. Also, the following thrift shops offer a good selection: Bryn Mawr Hospital Thrift Shop (Haverford Ave. in Bryn Mawr); The Junior League (Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore); Pennywise Thrift Shop (Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore). In addition to local area malls and retail stores such as K-Mart, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond there is an Ikea store in Conshocken (abut 20 minutes from campus) that offers a wide selection of many household items and furniture. You can also opt for renting furniture from Cort with showrooms in King of Prussia and Philadelphia, http://www.cort.com/student

Grocery Stores

  • ACME Supermarkets: Lancaster Ave & Penn Rd., Bryn Mawr
  • Super Fresh Supermarket: 250 Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood
  • Giant: 550 East Lancaster Avenue, St. David's and 50 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood
  • Whole Foods, organic and natural groceries: 821 Lancaster Avenue , Devon; 339 E. Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood
  • Traders Joe's Market: Suburban Square, Ardmore; Gateway Shopping Center, Wayne
  • The Farmer's Market: Suburban Square, Ardmore
  • Lancaster County Farmer's Market: Lancaster Avenue in Wayne

Services

  • Verizon Fios 866/656-4454 
  • Comcast Xfinity 800/934-6489
  • PECO Energy Company 800/494-4000
  • Pennsylvania Car Registration 800/932-4600 (in PA), 717/391-6190 (outside PA)
  • Aqua Pennsylvania (water company) 610/525-7300, 800/711-4779

Laundromats

  • Rittenhouse Place Laundromat, 58 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore 610-649-9775
  • The Laundry Room, 909 Conestoga Road , Rosemont 610-525-9755
  • Narberth Laundromat, 103 North Narberth Avenue , Narberth 610-664-9085

Moving and Storage

 

Banks

Short-Term Places to Stay

Places near or on the campus

Area Hotels

 

Apartment Complexes

The following MANAGEMENT COMPANIES handle many area complexes, so a single call may save both time and money. Descriptions of the various complexes, where available, are included in the listings by area. Rent prices are approximate and subject to change.

  • Marks & Company
    610/649-7700
    College Hall Apartments, Bryn Mawr Gables, The Mermont, Mermont Plaza , Haverford Gables & The Llanberris

  • Metropolitan Management
    610/667-1700
    Merion Ct , Suburban Court , The Wyndamere, The Triangle & Brynwood.
    610/668-2299
    Narberth Hall, and Narberth Station

  • Halfpenny Management
    610/642-2768
    Merioneth, Arglen & Suburban Square
  • mainlineapts.com

    Oakwynne House, Radcliff House, 429 Apartments, Sevila Court, Rosemont Plaza, Conwyn Arms

Bryn Mawr/Rosemont/Ardmore/Haverford

Wayne/St. David's

  • Home Properties of Devon
    300 Avon Rd
    Devon, PA
    610/687-4522
    www.HPDevon.com
  • Wayne Manor
    Located in the heart of Wayne
    1 block to train
    610/658-7243
  • La Maison Apartments
    219 Sugartown Road
    Wayne , PA
    610/688-3800

  • Sheldrake Arms Apartments
    517 E. Lancaster Ave.
    St. Davids , PA
    610/688-0583

  • Radnor Crossing
    284 Iven Rd.
    St. David's, PA
    610/687-1300

  • The Regency
    313 Creek Drive
    Radnor , PA
    610/688-1717
    Pets allowed

 

Narberth/Bala Cynwyd/Wynnewood

  • Merion Court Apartments
    118 Montgomery Ave.
    Bala Cynwyd , PA
    610/667-3461

  • Essex Manor & Hampton Manor
    203 N. Essex Avenue
    Narberth , PA
    610/668-8595
  • Thomas Wynne Apartments
    200 N. Wynnewood Road
    Wynnewood , PA 19096
    610/642-8860
  • The Oakwynne House
    1209. Wynnewood Road
    Wynnewood , PA 19096
    610/896-7460

  • Wynnewood Park Apartments
    150 E. Wynnewood Road
    Wynnewood , PA 19096
    610/642-5850

  • Llanberris
    101 Conshohocken State Rd. (Rt 23)
    Bala Cynwyd , PA 19004
    610/649-7700
  • Sevilla Court

    32 Conshohocken State Rd.

    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

    610-668-4868

  • Narberth Hall Apartments
    Metropolitan Management
    300 North Essex Avenue
    Narberth , PA
    610/668-2299

Valley Forge/King of Prussia (approx. 20 minutes from BMC)

  • Courtside Square Apartmnets and Suites

    Across the street from King of Prussia mall

    aptinfo@willnerproperties.com

  • Belmont Plaza
    200 Ross Road , #J-240
    King of Prussia, PA 19406
    610/265-2638

  • Lafayette at Valley Forge
    935 Penn Circle
    King of Prussia, PA 19406
    610/783-0331

  • Marquis Apartments

    251 W. DeKalb Pike

    King of Prussia, PA 19406

    610/265-5250

    www.marquiskop.com

  • Kingswood
    580 Lewis Road
    King of Prussia , PA 19406
    610/265-2650
    Allows pets, including dogs

  • Gulph Mills Village
    649 Henderson Rd.
    King of Prussia, PA 19406
    610/337-2880
    Cats allowed

Philadelphia/City Line Area

6301 Overbrook Ave.
Philadelphia , PA 19151
267/521-2767


  • Pennbrook Apartments

    2120 N. 63rd Street
    Philadelphia , PA 19151
    215/253-3650

www.pennbrookapartments.com

 

Lincoln Green
4000 Presidential Boulevard
Philadelphia , PA 19131
215/477-5454

Beekman Place
Metropolitan Management Corporation
2746 Belmont Avenue
Philadelphia , PA 19131
215/878-2826

The Bala
Woodward Properties
Suite 200 ; 4920 City Avenue
Philadelphia , PA 19131
215/473-4803

The Presidential
3900 City Line Avenue
Philadelphia , PA 19131
215/477-7310