5 Tips For The Gainesville Apartment Hunt

Whether you were scared off by dorm life or are just looking for a space to call your own, searching for a home in Gainesville can be daunting with no house-hunting experience. Here are some tips for the nervous collegiette trying to snag her ideal apartment and location.

1. Make a checklist of your must-haves and deal breakers

There are way too many housing complexes and real estate companies around UF to go into your apartment search with no guidelines. Think over your priorities before you set up tours: are you interested in Midtown’s proximity to campus and nightlife, or Archer’s ample parking and navigability? Would you choose affordability over amenities or vice versa? If you can narrow down what you will and will not accept in a new place, the pool of available houses shrinks for the better.

2. Communicate with your roommate

You might be nervous to offend or prod your future roommate on your search, but sharing your necessities for your new home is the only way to make progress together. Whether you have budgetary restrictions, are set on a certain neighborhood, or need to know the safety measures for your apartment, making it known early on keeps you both from wasting your time on homes that won’t work for the two of you. Recognize that you’ll have to compromise, but don’t agree to anything you’re uncomfortable with.  

3. Ask every question you can think of (even if sounds ridiculous)

Don’t meet your real estate agent with blank stares when they ask whether you have any questions. You should be informed on what’s included in the rent and amenities before making any decisions. You wouldn’t want to sign a lease only to find out that the apartment doesn’t allow pets and that your pupper will have to find a new home. If you’re at a loss for things to ask during a tour, check in with your parents and take suggestions, especially if they’re signing onto the lease with you. They’re sure to have some experience and advice on moving into a new home.  

4. Tour your apartment before you sign your lease

Even if you’re toured around a model of the unit you’re interested in, inspect the actual unit you’ll be living in before you sign. You need to know what you’re getting with your money and that there are no nasty surprises left behind by previous renters. For instance, if the current inhabitants punched a hole in the wall, you’d want reassurance from the realtor that it would be taken care of before you moved in. Don’t be embarrassed to look closely; this is a big decision after all.

5. Don't procrastinate

It’s important to be proactive and not sit on a property too long. The student market is quick to snap up appealing options, and you wouldn’t want your dream place snatched up from under you. Be diligent with contacting the realtors and guaranteeing you’re making an informed choice on your new home.

Once you finalize your housing, you’ll feel relieved and be ready to have fun decorating. (Home Goods, here you come!)