Housing off campus is very limited. About 95 percent of the student body lives on campus all four years, and only a handful of juniors and seniors are able to find housing off campus. Most students will argue that living on campus is the better deal, both more convenient to class and friends. Also, on a campus where snow is the predominant weather pattern throughout most of the year, living off campus can be more frustrating than fun. Since classes aren't ever cancelled, except in the case of white-outs, driving through snow, ice, and poor visibility at 8 a.m. is one of the drawbacks to living off campus. Most of the events Hamilton students go to take place on campus, and there is very little to do off campus, so it is worth living in the dorms for the convenient access to facilities. The apartments downtown aren't very nice either. The apartments are spacious and cheap, but usually in a state of disrepair. Expect the faucets to fall off your sinks in the first week. In order for off-campus housing to be worth it, you have to be able to fix small things around your house (as your landlord probably will not do it) and get along very well with your housemates.
On the other hand, there are obvious benefits to living in a house off campus like living in a house with a group of friends. It does tend to be Greeks who are able to pull off-campus housing for members of their society, and the houses downtown are only about six in number. Since so few students are granted permission to live downtown, it is not a very dominant social scene. The residents of Clinton and the surrounding areas are known for being unfriendly towards students, so having a party in your apartment could get you evicted. At the very least, the police will be called to break up the parties.