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Moving Off-Campus: A Learning Experience

Ted Chen ’16, Staff Writer 

Although most students seem to prefer to live on campus in college, there are still a number of students at Merrimack that are commuting.
Renting an apartment seems a very popular choice among the commuters and there are a few nice apartment communities near Merrimack. Here is a guide for you to find out information about recommended apartments near Merrimack, so that you won’t have to travel too far.

Royal Crest Estates
Across the street from campus, on the North Andover side, you will find this huge estate with a fancy name. The size of the estate is pretty royal — it is almost as big as Merrimack.

Royal Crest is a close proximity to campus so you don’t need to have a car. It is a quiet community with a swimming pool, gym and tennis court.
The only flaw residents identified about Royal Crest is that the buildings are very old. The complex has over 50 years of history, though some of the buildings has been refurbished.

Royal Crest provides apartments with two and three bedrooms, priced from $1,500 to $2,000 per month depending on the floors, the equipment, lease terms, etc.

The two-bedroom units average around $1,600 a month and the three-bedrooms around $1,900 a month. It is a fairly good price if you share your rent with your roommates.

As for the apartment itself, it is big and comfortable, though some apartments haven’t been refurbished yet and it is really easy to have mold problems in those apartments.

If you are looking for apartments in Royal Crest Estates, go straight to the management office to get those new units.

Addison and River Pointe
Addison and River Pointe are two more apartment complexes near campus, in South Lawrence. These are grouped together here because they are very close to each other and are run by the same management company.

They are about a five-minute drive and a 20-minute walk from campus.

The apartments here are newer but smaller than Royal Crest. The management is very friendly, and since it is a smaller community the manager is close to everybody in the community. There is a gym and a swimming pool in River Pointe.

Residents say the downside to Addison and River Pointe is the inconvenience in getting to school. It is a five-minute drive during off-peak times, but if you have a 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. class, you will find traffic in front of the apartments, on Route 114, very busy — especially since across 114 is the North Andover Mall, with its busy restaurants and shops.

The rent is close to the same amount as Royal Crest.

Students who prefer to live on campus say it is easier and there are a lot of friends to hang out with in the dorms. But living off-campus has its charms, too.

Students learn a lot just by applying for the apartment, preparing for the documents, moving in and paying the bills on their own. It can be a lot quieter if you want to have your own space.

Compared to apartments in Boston, the apartments here are a lot cheaper, which makes it actually cheaper than living on campus (if you control your other costs, like food and utilities). However, living off campus means you could become less school-oriented and less connected to classmates.
Students who want the basics on tenant rights and responsibilities in Massachusetts can find a free state guide at

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