The Hunt Is On: Searching for Gainesville Apartments

The University of Florida differs from any other college due to its apartment locations that range from the main points of campus to many miles away. This situation creates challenges for students because apartment hunting for the following year starts at the beginning of the previous fall semester. UF students find themselves in a scramble for living spaces that meet their housing needs. When looking for apartments in Gainesville, consider these tips before kicking off your search.

Set a price point for yourself

The closer an apartment is to campus, the more expensive the rent will be. If you are determined to be seconds from class, but want to maintain a reasonable cost, look for leases that include shared bathroom spaces. Costs tend to go up with the more individual rooms one has in their rent. In addition, the average parking rates tend to lie around $200 per month on top of the rent. From doing personal research, rents revolve around $750 to $850 per month without additional parking rates. An alternative to paying the high parking cost includes purchasing a city parking decal. According to the City of Gainesville’s website, decals range from between $55.25 to $110.25, but you must live in a permitted zone to apply. On the other hand, apartments located on the outskirts of campus or on Archer Road are much cheaper and parking is usually more abundant and affordable. The Regional Transportation System buses, RTS, offer free services for UF students which can help if you have a longer commute.

Don’t let the leasing companies fool you

As the first week of school approaches, UF students can find “tour now” signs lining the streets of campus. These advertisements stir students into a frenzy as they begin to think about their living situations for next school year. Leasing companies will advertise their complexes as sold out or that they only have a few remaining just to further drive their sales. I recommend calling the businesses and taking a tour because, chances are, there are plenty of leases left. As September ended, I found many of my acquaintances signing for their apartments and making roommate plans. I felt very behind and worried about not having a place to live for the 2020-2021 school year. Halley Kunda, a political science sophomore, emphasizes that “the hardest thing is that there are so many people living in Gainesville, especially the student population.

“If you don’t sign a lease at a certain time then you could be left with no housing,” she said. Despite all of the chaos, I looked into apartments for myself and found that there were many still available. Although I now have an apartment for next year, waiting till the wintertime is perfectly acceptable. You might not necessarily get the hottest place to live near campus, but there are apartments all across Gainesville who will be begging for your business.

Plan for the future

It can be easy to get caught up in the thrill and adrenaline rush that comes with planning for your future living situation. However, when you are touring the model rooms at apartment complexes, keep in mind that your home will probably not appear as glamorous. The leasing companies pay interior designers to create room aesthetics made for drawing in customers. My main tip: don’t get sucked in by assuming your prospective home will match the standards of a model. In the same light, evaluate the status of your roommates. You’re going to want to choose the roommates that share ideals in the way you plan to live. Living with your best friends can sometimes harm friendships, so keep that in mind when determining your future roomies.

Apartment hunting in Gainesville can be a struggle, but don’t fret and be sure to remain calm. Sometimes it may feel like it comes in the blink of an eye when everyone’s rushing to plan the future. With these friendly tips, you’re sure to have an easy experience.