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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Freshmen ask, seniors answer: The search for off-campus housing

Question: “How does one go about finding off-campus housing for the next year?” — Anonymous

Answer: When I was a freshman, I did things the hard way; I never lived on campus, so I started my housing search by driving aimlessly around Gainesville and stopping at apartments that looked decent and were near enough to campus… Trust me when I say that there are more effective and efficient ways to conduct your off-campus housing search.

1. Create a budget. Be honest with yourself about your expenses and create a budget that will allow you to search within your price range. Take into account the cost for rent, amenities, pet fees, application fees, security deposits, furniture (if applicable) and any other costs that may arise during your search.

2. Decide where youd like to live in proximity to campus. As you might have guessed, the student living accommodations are significantly higher-priced closer to campus. Of course, you can always bring prices down by having multiple roommates or foregoing certain amenities — just be aware that these are all things you should take into consideration during your search. Keep your budget in mind.

3. Use the housing locator. UF offers an easily navigable “Off Campus Life” housing locator for students to find housing. You can limit your search by number of bedrooms, bathrooms, rent, pet friendly properties. You can even find roommates/subleases.

4. Take tours of the apartments youre considering. UF’s Off-Campus Life recommends touring at least five or six complexes before signing a lease — this will ensure you know your preferences and are prepared to commit to a housing arrangement. Never sign a lease without touring!

5. Cross your Ts and dot your Is before making your final decision. Double check your budget, read the lease (yes, read it), consider all the pros and cons and be positive you’re satisfied with the apartment before signing your name on the dotted line — there’s no turning back, then.

Submit any further questions you might have about housing, Gainesville life or the like to our submission form. We’ll answer your question as soon as possible.

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