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Friday, March 31, 2023

Before this last month I has never had to fool with off campus housing. I still lived at home and my boyfriend lived on campus in graduate housing. When we decided graduate housing had turned into too much of a hassle, we started the search for an apartment. We didn’t realize how much of a hell it would turn into.

Here are my top five reasons why finding off campus housing in Gainesville just plain sucks.

1. Price

We decided before starting our search that we’d be looking for an apartment that had a similar rent to the on campus apartment where my boyfriend was already living. We were under the impression that this would be a breeze, as graduate apartments charge a fortune in rent.

We were greeted by the surprise that - yes apartments are affordable in this town - if you live with three other roommates.

Most apartments in this town are priced by bedroom, not by the apartment as a whole. So finding a whole one-bedroom apartment that was the same price as each of the bedrooms in a three-bedroom apartment was nearly impossible.

2. Location

This all goes back to price. Apartments become more expensive the closer to campus you are. My boyfriend and I are both students – of course we wanted somewhere close enough to campus that we could still walk there. Apartment complexes are savvy to the fact that they can charge more just for the walking convenience to the University of Florida.

3. Safety

We looked at a few apartment complexes that – I won’t name names – weren’t very safe. One apartment complex that we looked at appeared perfect. It was kind of old, but the price and location were right. On the tour we asked lots of questions about the safety, and the employee at the complex assured us they had no problems with noise or theft.

All lies.

One of my coworkers proceeded to inform me about the hellish level of crime she experienced when she lived in that complex. Several of her neighbors were dealing hard drugs, and she had her apartment broken into multiple times.

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4. Pets

I have a dog that I love, and my boyfriend really wants to get a cat. Pet friendly was one of the top requirements on our list. It’s hard to find an apartment that will allow pets in this town in the first place. However, you then have to tack on additional monthly payments for pets, huge pet deposits and breed restrictions.

You think you find a nice pet friendly place, and then it turns out they only allow cats. Well, then you’re out of luck.

5. Parking

One of the things we hated most about graduate housing was the parking regulation. You have to buy a decal to park at your own apartment complex, and you are only allowed one guest pass (which students can’t use.) I was given a hefty $150 parking citation for using a guest pass as a student.

When we started looking for apartments, we were disgusted by the places that had parking regulations. Around campus these restrictions are very common to prevent students from using the parking lots.

I don’t want to live anywhere I have to pay to park. No thanks.

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