A large percentage of Stony Brook's students live at home and commute to school. It is only a small population of students that rent apartments in the nearby area, which is a contributing factor to the lack of a college town feel. With that said, students can be found living anywhere from Centereach and Selden, to Mount Sinai and Sound Beach. A car is a requirement for living off campus, because housing within walking distance is hard to find, and generally costs more. The further one is willing to commute, the better the price one can find. Neighborhoods found along the shore have a tendency to be much nicer, a little more removed from suburbia with a picturesque beach nearby.
SBU's Off-Campus Housing Services helps students to find just the right place in the right price range. Rental prices in the Stony Brook area may vary from less expensive to terribly expensive, but the quality and condition of housing found is usually in great shape. The cheapest and easiest apartments to find are basement studios. Unfortunately, these apartments are often cold, dank, and dark. Generally found in part of a private home, utilities are usually included, as well as the additional noise above. Be sure to inquire over the phone about what kinds of requirements are necessary, such as internet access and parking. Long Island has lots of "illegal apartments," which are makeshift apartments that have not been approved by the town. While it is not illegal to live there, it can be a center of tension if the landlord is not on top of things.