Are you ready to make the move to a new apartment in Gainesville? Signing your first lease or moving to a new place can be intimidating and stressful. However, there are several ways in which you can prepare to make this new chapter in life more exciting and less daunting. Gainesville is home to a diverse community of students, families, entrepreneurs, nature enthusiasts and athletes, so no matter the reason for relocating you’re guaranteed to find a place that’s perfect for you.
This guide is brought to you by the team of Local Experts at Swamp Rentals, a local guide created by a group of UF Gator grads that makes it easy to find apartments in Gainesville that fit your lifestyle and budget.
Before getting started, it’s important to identify your priorities and lifestyle needs. Evaluating things like budget, location, and lease length will form the basis for your search.
The central Gainesville area is relatively small, and you can drive from one end to the other in 30 minutes or less, especially with the help of I-75! With The University of Florida at the heart of our small town, traffic can cause delays during peak commute times. If you need to travel often to work or school during rush hour, we recommend choosing a Gainesville apartment on the same side of town as your final destination or with easy access to I-75. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular neighborhoods for renting in Gainesville:
After nailing down the major needs, it’s time to start thinking about the things that will make life easier and more enjoyable for you. If you’re an animal lover, check for apartments that are pet friendly and have amenities catered to you and your furry companions, like a dog park. For those looking to cut down on costs by finding a roommate, consider size, layout, and apartment type (by the bed vs. by the apartment) when looking for the right space. If an all-inclusive rental is more appealing, check for communities that include utilities, such as: water, electric, internet, cable, trash, and pest control in your rent. Students starting out on their own may benefit from an already furnished apartment, and luckily many Gainesville communities offer furniture packages. Amenities like a fitness center, pool, or laundry facility may also come in handy. No matter which neighborhood you choose, you’ll want to check on parking arrangements (free or city) and bus routes in the area.
There is no shortage of apartment communities and rentals in Gainesville, so there’s no need to rush before having weighed all of your options. If you’re a little late to the game, don’t panic! There are plenty of apartments in the area that have openings consistently throughout the year as residents come and go. Do keep in mind that apartment communities operating on a specific lease term may have strict move-in and move-out dates, especially to prepare for students coming back to Gainesville after the summer break.
Students looking for off-campus housing should expect to sign a lease that begins at the start of the school semester: in August, January, or June. The most popular move-in date for Gainesville student housing is mid-August just before the Fall semester starts. For an August move-in date, you should plan to sign a lease as soon as January but should have your place reserved before the end of May as many of the top apartment options in Gainesville will start selling out around this time.
Non-students looking for conventional housing should start apartment hunting as much as 6 months before the desired move-in date. Non-student apartments in Gainesville have lease openings throughout the year and should know their availability 60-90 days before your move-in date. We recommend you amp up your search 90 days out, and plan to sign a lease during the 30-60 day window before your move-in date.
If your family includes a cat or a dog, you have an extra list of boxes to check during your search for a pet-friendly apartment in Gainesville. You’ll want to ask a few important questions before you sign your lease to be sure that your future apartment is a good fit for you and your furry family member.
Are there any weight or breed restrictions? Apartment weight restrictions on dogs can range from 25-75 lbs. depending on the apartment’s insurance policy, and the apartment will ask for a copy of your pet’s most recent veterinary records to verify your pet’s breed and weight. Restrictions vary by apartment community, so you must ask this question at each individual location.
Are there any pet fees or monthly pet rent? You can expect to pay a $25-50/month pet at any apartment in Gainesville. Additionally, apartments will charge either a pet deposit or pet fee upon move-in. The distinction between “deposit” and “fee” is very important. A pet deposit may be returned to you upon move out pending the condition of your apartment while a fee will not be returned regardless of the apartment’s condition.
How many pets can I have in my apartment? Most apartments in Gainesville limit the number of animals that can live in an apartment home. If you have 2 or more animals, you’ll definitely want to double check that you’re not over the limit.
Overall, make sure that the apartment community you choose is somewhere you see yourself being happy. Do your research, talk to the locals and weigh all of your options. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the exciting adventure that awaits you. Our team at Swamp Rentals can’t wait to help you find your perfect apartment match. Welcome home!