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When you only have a few days to search for an apartment and you’re battling thousands of others who are looking for similar spots, it can be tempting to settle for the first community you see.


Your apartment will be your home for the next year or more, and you’ll want to make sure it meets most, if not all, of your needs. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting your move. Before you sign a lease, take the time to consider these 10 issues regarding Gainesville rentals:

1. Affordability

What’s the total cost of the Gainesville apartment when you add up rent, utilities and any other regular costs? (Note: Most experts recommend you spend no more then 25-30% of your income on housing.)

2. Amenities

Does the community have high-speed Internet, which would make it easier to conduct research for school? Does it have quiet common areas for study so you can get away if your roommates are entertaining? Does it have a rec room where you can let off steam, a pool or outdoor sports facilities?

3. Transportation

Is there an adequate parking close to your unit, or will you have to walk half a mile loaded down with books or groceries? If you’re trying to get by without a car, is the community close to public transportation? And don’t just think about the proximity to buses headed to and from school. You’ll also want to consider whether you can easily get to the grocery store, entertainment and a possible part-time job.

4. Atmosphere

Is the community known for parties 24-7? Is it so quiet it will drive you crazy? Are the residents mainly young students? Professionals? A Mix? There’s no single right choice here; just make sure the atmosphere is a good fit for your personality and your work or study habits

5. Building Basics

Are the walls, ceilings and floors well insulated to keep out noise from the people in the apartment next door or above or below you? Do the windows and doors seal tightly to keep out the wind and weather? Are the rugs and flooring in good shape? Is the water pressure strong enough for a good shower?

6. Safety

Do all the doors and windows lock? Does each room have at least one operable window that you can use as an escape in case of fire? Are there smoke detectors and do they work? Is the lighting outside adequate? (Note: If you’re concerned about possible crime problems around an apartment community, contact the Gainesville Police Department at 352-334-2400 and ask whether they have records of criminal complaints and if so, how many reports have been filed against the Gainesville apartment you are considering.)

7. Appliances

Do the freezer and refrigerator get cold enough to safeguard your food? Do the stove and oven work? If there’s a dishwasher, does it work? Is the water heater large enough to provide hot water for several showers each morning? Is the air-conditioning unit large enough to adequately cook your rooms?

8. Utilities

Are there enough phone lines to handle both phone and Internet service for you and your roommates, or will you have to share lines? Are there enough outlets for all of your computer, stereo and other needs? Enough cable connections for TVs and/or cable modems?

9. Staffing

Does the staff seem friendly and helpful? Are there enough people to handle maintenance and repair? What do existing tenants think of the quality and speed of service provided by this Gainesville apartment community?

10. Pet Policies

Does the community accept pets? Does it prohibit animals over a certain weight or breeds of dogs that historically have proven vicious?

The Gainesville rentals specialists at Apartment Hunters can answer many of these questions as they help you evaluate communities. To learn more, stop by the Gainesville office, or call (352) 336-9349, call toll free at (888) 275-0986. If you have any issues once you move in, you can email the SG Off-Campus Housing Cabinet at offcampus@sg.ufl.edu.

Printed with permission of Insite Magazine.