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Review of Madison, Wisconsin

Very quickly becoming unaffordable.
Star Rating - 1/22/2018
I call it the most conservative liberal city in the US. After living here 35+ years I've seen the best and worst. There has been a boom in Dane County recently with much of it surrounding Madison. The UW is causing major changes with regard to housing. Luxury high rises are going up everywhere and students are moving there as opposed to the old run down victorians all over town. The drawback is rental agencies are raising their prices as well to make up the difference. The prices shown on the previous page are ALL OFF by at LEAST $200. Finding a studio to live in for $650 is next to impossible without being on a waitlist for several years. The city is throwing money to gentrify a lot of the older rundown areas of town in order to attract new people to move here. The East Washington corridor is in a state of constant high rise construction.

The Pros: The UW. State Street and Capitol Square. Buses. Access to farm fresh foods. No sales tax on unprepared foods. Numerous summer farmers markets. Numerous summer neighborhood festivals. Nationally know concert venues. Great for young families. Lakes. Outdoor activities. Commuter biking opportunity. Lower unemployment. LOTS of Insurance & Tech companies. Good health care. 10 mins from the country. People are very nice. Diversity, but not a large minority population.

The Cons: Cost of living, PROPERTY TAXES ARE HIGH! On a $100,000 condo you pay as much as a $200,000 home in one of the bedroom communities OUTSIDE of Dane County. RENT is ridiculous (a studio rents for $850+ for a nice place). Even with the high rises there is a shortage of affordable rentals. High utility rates. PARKING PARKING PARKING, costs can be an additional $125+ a month with alternate side parking during off summer months. Everyone has a car, or two. Parking tickets (numerous and for just about any reason). Retail is either east side or west side (neither convenient). Commutes for a city 12 miles across can be ridiculous. Layout of the city(three major roads to either side. Bus routes. Expensive regional airport (most people make the drive to Milwaukee or Chicago). A younger up and coming age group but none of the national retail services as a major city. Expensive health care. Not a great town for singles. Laws against almost anything (ie dog laws, don't bring one to the farmers markets, or a wagon). Listed the 15th worst city for allergies in the US. Algae bloom on the lakes making them unusable and smelly. Cold winters. It's crowded for a small city. Very large population of homeless and mentally ill. Crime is rising quickly.
Christopher | Madison, WI
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