Perhaps you simply assume that new apartments are likely to offer the upscale amenities and in-unit features that you want, but that isn't always the case in Gainesville. There are many luxury apartment homes in this city, including some located within walking or biking distance of the university. These apartments often come with granite counter tops, hardwood floors, walk-in closets, gourmet kitchens and private washers and dryers. Most are beautifully maintained, so they may feel like new apartments even if they aren't newly constructed.
New constructions do pop up in various areas of Gainesville each year, and one of them may turn into the perfect living environment for you. In addition to new apartment complexes, you may want to track existing apartment communities for new additions. For instance, an apartment complex that once offered apartments with two and three bedrooms may add a four-bedroom apartment or a few spacious studios.
You can often find out about these new units by watching advertisements for student housing in July or August. Talking to other students, professors and university staff members will keep you up to date on new housing options coming to the university area, and you can always drive around Gainesville to look for signs of new constructions throughout the year.
Selecting the Right Apartment in Gainesville
While new apartment constructions may get you excited, it's important to select the right apartment for your personality and lifestyle regardless of when it was built. Work through this checklist to eliminate many Gainesville apartments that just won't work for you.
• Location. In a college town, this often comes down to how close the apartment is to campus. If you plan on using public transportation, you should research the closest RTS bus routes before signing a lease. Even apartments within two or three miles of the university may require you to transfer buses because there is no direct route to campus. If you have personal transportation and want to live away from the noise and traffic, then you will need to plan a longer commute to the school.
• Student vs. Family Housing. Most apartments near UF are designed at least partially with students in mind. They may offer individual leasing rather than the standard yearly lease, and they often provide more private space by connecting bedrooms to bathrooms. If you venture away from the university, you can find apartments close to downtown attractions, restaurants, employment options or local schools for younger students.
• Surrounding Amenities. Many apartments close to UF are perfect for students who don't want to worry about maintaining a car and paying for gas, but some are also close to The Oaks Mall and some of the more scenic Gainesville parks. Living close to a park can give you access to walking trails, ponds and open green space suitable for picnics and simply hanging out in the sunshine. You may also want to think about the apartment's distance to bars and other nightlife attractions, especially if you want to stay away from the noise that nightlife often attracts.
• Security. New apartments in Gainesville are likely to offer some level of security, especially if you look for new luxury apartments. Some units may offer private security systems, which ensures that your neighbors can't give the passwords or codes to others. Some luxury apartments also offer live security guards on duty 24/7. You may also choose to live in a building with an electronic key system or a privacy gate.
• Laundry Facilities. Do you want an apartment with an in-unit washer and dryer, or are you okay with sharing facilities? You should also pay attention to the wording used in apartment listings and advertisements. Some apartments offer in-unit connections while others offer in-unit machines. If you can't provide your own machines, a unit with connections won't do you much good.
Finally, look at the on-site amenities offered when you come across a new apartment. Here are just some of the popular amenities often offered to Gainesville residents:
• Swimming pools
• Hot tubs
• Study rooms
• Fitness centers
• Basketball courts
• Tennis courts
• Fire pits
If you're looking for a family-friendly apartment, you may also include dog parks and playgrounds among the most desirable amenities. Some student communities still offer dog lots, and many are a short walk or bike ride from parks with walking trails, playgrounds and open green spaces.
Look for Move-In Specials
Many new apartment communities will start looking for tenants before the apartments are officially ready for move in. If you catch these communities at the right time, you can take advantage of move-in specials that give you a discount on application fees or other expenses. Some new constructions also start to charge higher rental rates as units are occupied, so it's worth your time to act fast when a new apartment may fit your needs.