If you’re currently a UF student living in Gainesville, it’s likely that you’ll have to decide during your fall semester whether you want to renew your current lease or move to a new property next year.
With new properties opening every year near the University of Florida that have updated features and resort-style amenities, it can be hard to decide which apartment will best suit your lifestyle.
At Sweetwater, we know how overwhelming it can feel when you’re searching for student housing. Our leasing team has helped hundreds of students navigate the decision of moving versus renewing.
In this article, we will discuss the advantages of renewing your lease versus exploring other options to help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences for the upcoming school year.
Moving to a New Student Property in Gainesville
Pro: Newer Amenities
Because new student housing properties are opening every year in Gainesville, the market is increasingly competitive. This means that new developments are offering unique amenities, floor plans and experiences in an effort to beat out their competitors.
These features can range from anything such as a modern fitness center or resort-style pool deck to an in-house coffee shop or golf simulator. New apartments often have top-notch interiors; you might find features like floor-to-ceiling windows or sleek standalone showers.
If you would enjoy having the most updated amenities as opposed to just the basics, a new development may be a great choice for you.
Con: Moving Fees and Expenses
Many people can agree that the moving process is one of the most draining parts of getting a new apartment.
While it’s true that some properties offer moving services or storage solutions, these can be hard to come by. The costs that you might incur from hiring movers, renting a storage unit, or renting a moving vehicle can add up quickly. In addition to that, it’s important to consider the first-time fees associated with moving into a new property.
If you choose to move to a new complex near the University of Florida, you get to be a part of the first group to live in that apartment.
You get to be the first person to use your new shower or cook dinner on your stove. The whole development is completely new, so you also get to be among the first people to see and use all of the community amenities. The entire apartment complex offers a sense of novelty since you are the first person to call the space your home.
While a new apartment may offer unbeatable amenities and an upscale style of living, these features typically correlate with a higher price point. For student housing in Gainesville near UF, students can expect rent prices to range from around $700 to $2,000 per month depending on a wide variety of factors.
The brand new, luxurious student housing options in Gainesville will generally fall in the middle or higher areas of this range. In some cases, such as if you currently live in a recently constructed development near UF, renewing your current lease may fall around the same price point as moving to a newly built apartment. However, if you live in an older apartment, you will likely find that your renewal rate falls in the middle to lower areas of the price range.
It is important to consider factors like renewal specials and the time frame in which you’re making your decision when looking at which option better suits you. Remember to think about what fits into your budget while also offering the best value for the cost.
Pro: New Roommates and Community
A new apartment complex offers a host of new experiences, including a new community of students in addition to the luxurious new amenities. Since you are among the first group to live in your building, you and your neighbors will set the tone of the apartment’s community.
More importantly, if you are thinking about living with new roommates or changing the number of roommates that currently live in your apartment, it’s likely that you’ll need to move to a new space to accommodate your living situation. If this is the case, it might also make sense to consider moving to a new property since you would probably have to move units within your current complex anyway.
Con: Disruption and Stress
The process of packing, organizing and moving requires a great deal of time and energy. This process typically takes an entire day, if not longer, and can often involve logistical challenges and unforeseen complications that can make this process even more time-consuming and stressful.
Be sure to download our free Moving Checklist for UF Students to make your move as seamless as possible.
Renewing Your Current Lease in Gainesville
When you choose to renew your lease, you have the luxury of staying in a comfortable space that you’ve already made your own. There will be few surprises since you’re already familiar with your property’s amenities, community, and staff, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Con: Same Environment
While it can feel comfortable to renew your lease and retain a sense of comfort in a familiar space, there can be downsides to choosing to remain in the same environment for another year. You won’t get a fresh start that comes with the novelty of a new building, and your amenity offerings might not be as modern or efficient as those in a newer complex.
Pro: No Moving Fees
One of the biggest reasons that students might choose to renew their lease is that you can leave all of your things in your apartment. When renewing, you can put off spending time and money on moving for another year.
Since leases at student apartments also follow the school calendar and tend to last from mid-August to the end of July, the few weeks in between that you wouldn’t have a place to stay in Gainesville can be a big inconvenience. When renewing, you likely won’t run into this issue and can stay in your apartment during this time. However, this is a case-by-case basis, so be sure to ask your current apartment and any other complexes that you are touring about their renewal policy and lease dates.
Con: Potential Rent Increase
Because the student housing market at a larger school like UF continues to grow, the costs of living in Gainesville are typically increasing as well. For this reason, many apartments need to raise their rent prices from year to year to keep up with this. Therefore, it’s possible that even if you renew at the same apartment complex, you might be paying more than you did the previous year. When thinking about whether or not to renew, be sure to ask your leasing office about pricing for the upcoming year.
Pro: Keep the Same Roommates
Many students will agree that your roommates have a huge impact on your experience at UF. Plenty of students live with some of their closest friends and choose to keep the same group of roommates for multiple years. If this is your situation, it may be simpler to renew your current lease, as you will be living with the same people.
Moving vs. Renewing: Things to Consider
At the end of the day, you’ll want to ask yourself:
- Does this apartment still fit my needs?
- Do I feel like my property’s management is responsive and trustworthy?
- Does my property feel safe? Am I satisfied with the security precautions?
- Do I need (or no longer need) access to parking?
- Does the rental rate work for my budget?
- Can I afford something better?
- Is leaving worth the hassle of moving?
If your apartment still meets your needs and you value staying in the same place, you may want to consider renewing your lease. However, if you value newer amenities and a fresh start in a new space, you may want to consider moving to a new development near UF.
While both student housing options have their selling points, we hope this article helped you better weigh the pros and cons of moving to a new property in Gainesville vs. renewing your current lease near UF.
If you have any questions about student living near UF or want to learn more about Sweetwater, contact our leasing staff, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have during your student housing search.