Whether you're a student looking for a rental during the upcoming session or a parent hunting family-friendly apartments, you're in good company when searching for cheap Gainesville apartments. This guide is designed to help you find the most affordable properties without sacrificing safety or the amenities that you need to live comfortably.
What Can You Sacrifice?
The reality is that most budget-friendly apartments lack some features that you would get if money were no object. While you don't want to sacrifice everything just to get a low rental rate, it's helpful to identify areas in which you're willing to scale back at least a little. This will help you determine how low you can go in rental prices without interfering with your quality of life.
Here are some areas in which you may want to cut back in the name of saving money:
- Space. Apartments with less square footage are generally cheaper than larger units.
- Views. If you can open the window and enjoy beautiful scenery, you're likely to pay more for the unit.
- Laundry facilities. You will typically pay more for apartments with in-unit washer and dryer connections.
- Luxury interior features. Can you live without granite countertops, vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors?
- Parking. If you can take the RTS bus or use a bicycle, you can eliminate the cost of a car entirely.
- Private outdoor living space. Apartments with decks and balconies tend to command a higher rental price.
- Community amenities. The cheapest apartment complexes are less likely to feature an Olympic-sized swimming pool or a state-of-the-art fitness center.
You can find cheap apartments with some of these luxuries, but you're not likely to find one that checks all of these boxes. If you can identify where you're most comfortable scaling back, you'll have an easier time determining which apartments best suit your lifestyle as well as your budget.
What's Considered A Cheap Apartment in Gainesville?
For apartments with three or fewer bedrooms, the cheap category generally includes all properties under the $600 mark. You can easily find apartments with one or two bedrooms for around $500, and you may find some units at even lower rates in select areas of town. If you're looking for an apartment with more than three bedrooms, then anything under $700 may fit into the cheap category.
Keep in mind that some apartment communities close to the UF campus will charge per resident rather than per unit. This is an arrangement that many students find comforting when living with roommates because they don't want to lose their apartment if their roommate can't come up with their share of the rent. For someone searching for cheap Gainesville apartments, you have to check what type of lease is being offered so that you don't mistakenly assume that the stated rental price is for the entire unit. The price is suddenly far more expensive when you realize that you must pay the full price rather than splitting with your roomies.
What's Included in that Cheap Rental Price?
Determining what you will pay per month for an apartment near UF isn't enough to determine whether it fits into your budget. You also have to think about what is and isn't included in that rental price. Here are some questions to ask before signing the lease:
- Are utilities included in the rent? If not, try to get an estimate of how much those utilities run each month.
- Does the apartment have air conditioning and heating? If not, you may need to invest in portable air conditioners and/or heaters. If you can't afford an energy-efficient unit, then these additions may increase your energy bill.
- Is the apartment furnished? You won't have to buy furniture if it is, so you may want to look for cheap furnished apartments if your budget is tight.
- What kitchen appliances come with the apartment? An apartment that comes with a microwave and other small appliances may cut down your move-in expenses. Some cheap apartments also feature mini fridges that won't hold as much food as a full-sized refrigerator.
Also consider the distance between the apartment and the UF campus or other locations that you will frequent in Gainesville. You may want to spend more per month on an apartment within walking distance rather than renting a cheaper apartment near UF that requires you to pay bus fare or maintain a private vehicle.
Are Roommates Cheaper?
In some cases, it is cheaper to live with one or more roommates, but not always. If you want to live in a more luxurious apartment than you could afford on your own, roommates may make sense. If you prefer to live alone or don't feel comfortable living with roommates whom you don't know personally, then there are many cheap apartments in Gainesville that will satisfy your budget without requiring a roommate.