Gainesville is home to a number of cheap apartments that offer all-inclusive options. Many of these apartment complexes near UF cater to local college students, many of whom are living on their own for the first time and adjusting to a new school and a new community.
How All-Inclusive Apartments Work
All-inclusive apartments combine your monthly rent with utilities such as water, sewer, garbage, electricity, heat, Internet and cable. Sometimes, these options are called “all bills paid” leases. In many cases, these arrangements make a lot of sense. You make only one payment for all of your living expenses each month instead of having to remember due dates for half-a-dozen other bills. If something goes wrong with one of the utilities, you simply call up your apartment manager, and he or she handles repairs directly with the service provider.
Also, since the inclusive arrangement charges you a pre-determined and consistent amount each month, you never have to worry about the fluctuating costs of heating, water and air conditioning. This makes it easier to budget and balance your expenses from month to month.
Ultimately, an “all bills paid” arrangement can save you hours of time and plenty of frustration.
Do All Inclusive Apartments Make Financial Sense?
Only you can say for yourself whether the convenience of an all-inclusive apartment is worth any extra expenses. You can, however, get a rough idea of how much the convenience is costing you.
You won’t be able to precisely know what your ordinary utility expenses would be if you paid them individually and directly to the utility company. You can, however, estimate your potential costs. Most utility companies publish the average cost of their services online, and those estimates can give you an idea of potential costs. Check each of your local utility providers' estimates and add them together. Then find the amount of rent you would pay for a comparable apartment in Gainesville that is not all inclusive. Add all of the figures up and compare the total with the amount you’re paying for your all-inclusive apartment.
If you’re saving money or only paying a little extra each month for the convenience of an all-inclusive package, that’s terrific. If you’re likely to pay a significant amount more for an “all bills paid’ program, you may want to try to negotiate the inclusive amount when you sign your lease.
Many apartment communities near UF also consider that they’re providing you with other amenities and savings. For instance, many local cheap apartments offer 24-hour fitness centers that offer group classes and personal training sessions. You could cross that expense off your list if you choose an all-inclusive apartment. Other all-inclusive apartment developments provide extra perks like coffee bars, discounts on Uber rides, computer labs and lighted tennis courts. These are all amenities you would pay extra for in the outside world, so you may want to consider them in your price comparisons.
In your final tally, you may find that you’re paying more for an all-inclusive apartment in Gainesville than you would for a regular rental agreement. That extra cost, though, doesn’t necessarily mean that an all-inclusive lease is a bad deal. Once you weigh the potential extra costs of an all-inclusive arrangement against the time, aggravation and fluctuating costs of many different utilities and service providers, you may find that an all-inclusive lease is worth it for you.