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Benefits of Apartments Built for Students vs. Traditional Apartments

By Caroline

If you attend the University of Florida, you may be getting ready to sign your first lease near campus. With so many options both on- and off-campus, the leasing process can be difficult to navigate.

At Sweetwater, our team has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the leasing process, and are often asked questions about apartments built for students.

For this reason, we will be answering some of our most commonly asked questions, including:

Student Housing vs. Traditional Housing

What is purpose-built student housing?

exterior of sweetwater

Sweetwater is located at 1225 W University Avenue, just one block from the UF campus.

Purpose-built student housing is the industry term for housing that caters to college students, designed to meet their unique needs. Commonly known as student housing apartments, this type of housing has recently emerged as a prime option for college students and parents, and is the most popular type of off-campus housing near UF.

Since purpose-built student housing is built to specifically accommodate a student lifestyle, it offers many amenities and features that traditional apartments do not.

What are the benefits of apartments built for students?

study floor at sweetwater

In our study mezzanine, you’ll find plenty of unique spaces for quiet study or collaboration.

Student housing apartments offer features that are tailored specifically to students, which traditional apartments typically do not offer. These features typically include:

  • Leases tied to the academic calendar
  • Leases by the bed
  • Fully-furnished units
  • Study areas
  • Close proximity to campus

Read Next: Which Type of Off-Campus Housing is Right for Me? Student Housing vs. Traditional Apartments near UF

Of these benefits, the two prime differentiators of purpose-built student housing are the leasing model and furnishing.

The leases offered by most purpose-built student housing apartments are tied to the academic calendar meaning, the lease will likely begin in early-mid August and end on July 31st, complementing the student academic schedule.

Your lease will usually be by the bed, also known as an individual lease. Instead of leasing out the entire apartment, as in a traditional lease, an individual lease allows roommates to take responsibility for their room (or bed) only, plus the use of communal spaces. In this case, each tenant signs their own lease and pays rent separately to their landlord.

For example, if you live in a 3×3 (three bedrooms, three bathrooms) with two other roommates, each roommate will sign their own lease for their bedroom, bathroom, and use of common space. There are three individual leases signed, and each roommate is held responsible for their payment only.

Read Next: 5 Benefits of Signing an Individual Lease at an Apartment near UF

Another key differentiator is that purpose-built student housing apartments typically come fully furnished.

Fully furnished apartments not only minimize furniture costs, but they also allow you to avoid the process of selecting and moving in furniture. Additionally, if you choose to study abroad or take an internship in another city, you won’t need to worry about renting a storage unit to store your furniture.

Read Next: 8 Ways to Save Money on Student Housing in Gainesville

In addition to the list above, some but not all student housing apartments may offer additional services, such as ​​roommate matching services or meal plans.

Are student housing apartments right for me?

yoga room in Sweetwater

Sweetwater’s yoga studio has floor to ceiling windows which flood the space with natural light to elevate your zen experience.

Of the many housing options near UF, student housing apartments have emerged as an extremely popular option in recent years.

While there are many traditional apartments and houses in Gainesville and the nearby areas, there are many benefits to choosing purpose-built student housing over traditional housing as a student. Though newer purpose-built student housing developments can be a bit more expensive than traditional apartments, they offer simplicity and less financial risk, ideal for students.

Though purpose-built student housing is quickly growing in popularity, we understand that all students have different housing needs. If you prefer to live on-campus or in a traditional apartment, there are still many options near UF. To help you better understand your housing options near the University of Florida, we have developed a guide to housing near UF: What Types of Housing Are Available for UF Students?

We hope this article helped you understand what purpose-built student housing is, what the benefits are, and if it is right for you.

If you have any questions about leasing a student housing apartment in Gainesville, feel free to contact our leasing team, who are happy to answer any questions you may have during your housing search.


Caroline is a Leasing and Marketing Assistant for Sweetwater. She is a sophomore at UF majoring in Marketing.

January 11, 2023

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