Apartment Hunting in Gainesville
The idea of committing to a brand-new apartment - whether you’re relocating locally or new to Gainesville altogether – can be daunting. Lucky for you, we have compiled a guide for how you can begin your search for an apartment in Gainesville and find the best fit for all your needs.
The first thing to do to kickstart your apartment search is to start thinking about what your main priorities are – creating a list of non-negotiable attributes can be a great way to consolidate your ideas. Is your dream apartment within walking distance to UF’s campus or is it right around the corner from Butler Plaza’s shopping options? Maybe your top priority is finding a pet friendly apartment for you and your furry friend. As soon as you determine what you need in your new apartment, you can start focusing on what you want – from pools to private study rooms, the options are endless!
Swamp Rentals is proud to bring you this unique Gainesville apartment guide specially designed by our team of local experts. We are the local online apartment search guide created by a group of UF Gator grads with plenty of personal experience to help you find the perfect apartment for rent in Gainesville for you!
Student and Non-Student Apartments
One of your first simple decisions to make when narrowing down your apartment search in Gainesville is which type of housing best suits you; student or non-student.
Student apartments in Gainesville offer a variety of perks such as fitness centers, resident socials, study rooms, and computer labs. Plenty of apartments near UF are as close as a short walk to campus, and most student-oriented apartments are located on the RTS bus route that intertwines with UF’s campus.
These apartments offer a variety of floorplans ideal for the independent or social student – from one-bedroom studios to 5-bedroom apartments. You’ll also find that student-friendly apartments offer the ability to sign individual leases, have private bathrooms, and lockable bedrooms – appealing even to non-students who wish to maintain personal liability and security when renting with roommates!
Speaking of roommates, finding roommates is easier than ever with frequent roommate matching services that might even help you make friends in the complex prior to moving in. Roommate matching is offered at most student apartments and the process is very simple – applicants fill out a section of lifestyle questions, from how often they like to host friends over to what temperature they prefer to keep the thermostat on. From here, leasing teams use applicants’ answers to match them up with future roommates they feel they’ll be a good fit with!
Overall, student apartments are ideal for those who want to maintain proximity to campus or stay involved in an exciting social life in their living area.
Student housing isn’t for everyone – you might find yourself interested in moving to Gainesville to focus on some aspects of the community that aren’t catered directly to students, such as UF Health or community development. Referred to as conventional housing, non-student apartments can provide the perfect experience for those looking for a quieter community – such as professionals, families, and graduate students. Choose from your favorite studio apartment all to yourself or larger three-bedroom apartment configurations for those looking for plenty of space. Non-student housing is also preferred by some UF students who might favor a more remote location, and many of these complexes are still on bus routes that will take you to campus or around the Gainesville area. Many non-student apartments in Gainesville still offer a host of useful community amenities – such as pools, dog parks, and business centers.
Gainesville Neighborhoods Galore
The landscape of Gainesville is constantly changing as new cohorts of students and people come in and out through the years. One of the most attractive things about this development is that the neighborhood availability is incredibly diverse, and there is something for everyone. Whether you’re a student looking to live within walking distance to study areas, an avid yogi wanting to stay close to a nature area to practice, or a healthcare professional seeking an apartment close to UF Health – there’s a neighborhood for you.
Swamp Rentals offers robust neighborhood guides to help renters understand their options in Gainesville. We’re excited to announce that Swamp Rentals recently partnered with the WUFT Media Services team to create brand-new and up-to-date neighborhood guides for the 7 diverse neighborhoods of Gainesville. You’ll find helpful video overviews of each neighborhood with fresh footage as well as neighborhood guide content with recent changes and trends in each area of Gainesville.
Our team was inspired to update our neighborhood guides mostly because Gainesville is changing and growing faster than ever! Every year, we’re seeing multiple new apartment developments hit the Gainesville market. These new builds are providing the best of the best amenities, finishes, and locations to students and Gainesville residents. Not only do the many new builds provide more off-campus housing options for students, but these new builds are redefining the student lifestyle, with game-changing amenities like rooftop fitness centers and retro indoor arcades. These new apartment communities are sure to keep Gainesville living fresh and exciting.
There is a Gainesville neighborhood that fits every lifestyle and budget. Some notable Gainesville neighborhoods include:
If you enjoy having more access to a variety of shopping and dining locations, living in apartments in the Archer Road neighborhood might be perfect for you. Booming developments near the I-75 corridor have made Butler Town Center and Celebration Pointe the center of Gainesville’s entertainment. These exciting new developments feature a Dave & Busters, Regal movie theater, and tons of shopping and dining options. Archer Road also has endless options for grocery shopping or for a romantic dinner. Archer Road is conveniently close to UF Health, the VA Hospital, and UF Veterinarian and Dental schools – so this neighborhood is perfect for doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals.
As the closest neighborhood to UF, Midtown is a gator wonderland equipped with plenty of student-oriented dining options and nightlife. Apartments in the Midtown and College Park neighborhood are within walking distance to monumental UF buildings such as Library West and The Warrington College of Business, so students looking to live close to campus will find this neighborhood extremely convenient. Whether you’re looking to be right near the action on gameday or want to walk to sorority row, this is a hot spot for student living. Developers are constantly looking to improve the area for the student lifestyle, and you will find new complexes, dining, and retail options popping up regularly.
Do you prioritize a walkable neighborhood with a chill city vibe? Consider living in downtown Gainesville, where there are plenty of local restaurant establishments such as longtime favorite Karma Cream for you to enjoy. There is also easy access to one of Gainesville’s centerpieces, Depot Park, where you can go to enjoy some fresh air and get a change of scenery while studying. Go out for drinks with friends or stay active at a nearby rock climbing gym – downtown has plenty to do. Apartments in the Downtown neighborhood are typically more boutique-style communities or historic rental homes with modern upgrades. While the area is less active than the Midtown area, it is still within proximity to campus and bustling with student-friendly attractions.
Prioritizing in Your Apartment Search
Step 1: Create a budget
After choosing between student or non-student apartments, creating a budget is a great way to focus your search, as you can determine a perfect price range for what you are looking for and match it to your non-negotiable needs. Whether you’re looking for luxury apartments in Gainesville or cheap apartments in Gainesville – there are plenty of options for every budget.
Consider trying the 50-30-20 budgeting rule out to determine how much you can afford to spend on monthly rent. Be sure to give yourself some breathing room, though – keep an emergency fund as well as a fund for fun things like eating out and your future spring break vacation. Additionally, keep in mind that most apartment rental rates are not all-inclusive, meaning you could be paying bills like electricity, water, or pest control on top of the monthly rent.
Step 2: Narrow down floorplan preferences and move-in date
Once you finalize your budget, start narrowing down how many bedrooms and bathrooms you would prefer in your future home. Would you prefer a bed and bath for every person in your apartment, or are you okay with sharing? Do you have children who each need their own room? Do you have guests frequently, or prefer a separate home office? All these things are important to consider when making this key decision in your consideration process. Additionally, have a clear idea of your move-in date based on factors such as your current lease end date or the first day of class for a new semester if you’re a student.
Step 3: Determine non-negotiable amenities
Another easy way to narrow down your apartment search is to determine which amenities are absolute musts. Some examples of needs for many apartment searchers in Gainesville include all-inclusive apartments, washer and dryer in unit, hardwood floors, or furnished apartments. For certain renters, such as those with children or pets, community amenities like playgrounds or dog parks might make the essential list. Take a minute to reflect on which amenities you will use consistently throughout your day-to-day life, and decide which amenities are non-negotiable.
Step 4: Create a wants wish list
Now that you’ve narrowed down the nitty-gritty of your apartment search, it’s time to make a wish list of things you don’t need, but that you want. This is where your apartment search gets fun – start thinking of things that would be super beneficial for you and your lifestyle. Do you love hosting watch parties? Consider adding a clubhouse with a TV or movie room to your wish list. If you are sharing your apartment with a furry friend, consider their needs in your process – whether this means having a separate space for the litterbox or a full-fledged dog park. Features like bay windows can be the perfect place for cat trees to keep your feline friend entertained day-round.
Some other amenities that you might want to prioritize include how many utilities are included. For some, the hassle of setting up your own internet, cable, or utilities can be a headache worth prioritizing all-inclusive rent for. If you love to cook or have guests over, you should spend extra time looking for the kitchen perfect for your spatial needs. Do you love to hunt Facebook marketplace and thrift new furniture to make your space your own? Prioritizing a furnished apartment might not be on the top of your list. But, for students who are starting to live on their own and want to avoid this process, furnished apartments (which are available in many Gainesville communities) can make life easier. In your search, always remember to consider transportation – whether that be car, scooter parking, or bus routes near your complex of choice.
Gainesville Apartment Hunting Timelines
Always take your time in your apartment search process – spending extra time is worth it to ensure you’re in your dream home! If you find yourself feeling like you are behind in the apartment search process, don’t panic. Gainesville offers plenty of apartment options that have leasing options year-round and can accommodate your needs. If you are prioritizing a student apartment, be mindful of move-in dates and deadlines that align with the student calendar and how that may impact unit availability. Many student-oriented complexes increase their prices for the following school year gradually throughout the year as the semester goes on, and some run out of units early depending on availability.
If you are a student looking for off-campus housing for the following school year, expect that your new lease will likely start at the beginning of the school semester – meaning August, January, or June. August is typically the most popular move-in date considering that many new students enter campus in the Fall, but there will be options for summer and spring starts as well. If you are prioritizing an August move-in date, you should expect to begin touring apartments in the late Fall semester and signing a lease as early as January. As the spring semester goes on, complexes might start to sell out for the following Fall, so it is best to have your place reserved at your new home prior to the end of May as this is when apartments will likely begin running out of units.
If you are looking for conventional housing, you should start to browse apartments and potentially tour as early as 6 months before your move-in date. Non-student housing complexes will likely have opportunities for move-in throughout the year and should know their availability around 60-90 days before your move-in date. During the months prior to your desired move in, we recommend you amp up your search and prepare to sign a lease during the 30 to 60-day period before you are moving.
The most important factor for you to consider in your search process is where you can see yourself being happy. Pay attention to the way the apartment environment makes you feel while touring and be sure it’s somewhere you can see yourself living for the lease term! Consider talking to other students and locals and doing online research prior to signing a lease. Be sure to remain excited amongst the stress of apartment hunting – a new home means new opportunities and memories to be made. Swamp Rentals can’t wait to help you find your perfect match, and our team is prepared to provide you everything you need to be happy in your new home. Welcome home!