When is the best time to sign a lease in Gainesville, FL?

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Spyglass Apartments
Spyglass offers semester long leases, perfect for those who want to test an apartment out before committing for a full year lease.

Conventional Non-Student Apartment Homes

Signing a New Conventional Lease

4 Months Out

Approximately 4 months prior to your desired move in date, we recommend beginning to shop your Gainesville apartment options. Perhaps you've dabbled in some online searches or seen some great properties that have caught your eye in passing. Now is the time to begin to focus your search. Crunch some numbers and determine your budget. Use our neighborhood guides to learn more about areas of the Gainesville community that fit your lifestyle. Then, get out there! Drive around and get a feel for the community you may call home. As you discover your favorites, create a list of 5 to 10 options for further discovery.

Search for Non-Student Apartments in Gainesville

3 Months Out

Now you're ready to tour! After your discovery mission, you'll have a better feel for the neighborhoods that feel like home. You likely have discovered properties right here on swamprentals.com that meet your budget and amenity requirements. Perhaps you've discovered a property that is close to a park or place where you like to spend down time. Or, perhaps it's on a great bus route to work or you know it will provide an easy commute. You're ready to pick 3 to 5 properties and schedule tours. Be discerning and open minded. You have plenty of time to learn about your likes and dislikes as you tour each apartment home. You may even determine that a slight budget adjustment is in order to better meet your housing needs.

2 Months Out

Approximately 60 days out from your move-in date, leasing offices will have an excellent idea of their availability. Now is the time to get serious about securing your home so go ahead and apply. In fact, we recommend seriously considering if you're comfortable signing a lease 60 days out from your move in date. There's a chance your desired apartment community will have availability and, in that case, it's wise to go ahead and secure it.

30 Days Out

Have no fear! Didn't have 4 months to leisurely apartment shop? You can still accomplish your goal of finding a great place to call home in a short amount of time. We're just going to put you on the fast track plan. In fact, we recommend clearing your schedule a bit (weekends work nicely) and planning to pack in some research. Identify a few non-negotiables like pet friendly policies and a washer and dryer included. Take tours, use the robust search features offered here on swamprentals.com and be ready to tackle it! Also, be ready to sign. You are within 30 days (or less) of your desired move in date, so if your desired apartment home has availability, be prepared to sign on that dotted line.

Signing a Renewal Lease for A Conventional Property

All leases are different but feel free to begin inquiring about availability 90 days from your renewal date. By 60 days from your renewal date, you should be ready to sign your renewal or you will likely risk losing availability. This is the time for the gut check. You may be wondering how you'll know if signing a renewal is the right decision for you. We encourage you to reflect on these questions: Am I happy? Does my rent price seem fair? Does my apartment feel convenient and safe? How do the current amenities I enjoy compare to other amenities I may be able to find for the same price?

Student Apartments

Signing a New Lease for Fall Move-In

9-12 Months Out

During this timeframe, you'll want to begin to reflect on what options are available and know what you may have already discovered without even realizing it! Perhaps you attended a friend's party and really loved their apartment, or you know the type of amenities that appeal to you. Did you drive past a property you just loved? Is there a neighborhood in Gainesville you frequent like Midtown or Butler Plaza? Start making mental notes.

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6-9 Months Out

At this point, we highly encourage you to determine your budget for housing. This will allow you to stay on track, and better understand what items on your housing wish list you can achieve and where you may need to make some reasonable compromises. This is also a great time to become a bit more granular in your location focus. Maybe you have a job or know your classes will be at the UF law school and know you don't want to be too far away from campus or your place of employment. These are great factors to start developing an awareness of and will help guide your search in a few short months. Make a short list of your top 5 favorite apartments. This is also an important time to consider who your roommates may be. While roommate matching services typically do a great job, be sure you're talking to your friends and begin to determine the dynamics of how you might house together if that's an option for you. Note, you'll have to be prepared to sign a lease 6-9 months out to ensure space for everyone. Additionally, if you're looking to live within walking distance to UF in popular neighborhoods like Sorority Row, now is the time to sign that lease (anytime between December – February for a Fall move-in date).

5 Months Out

Time to tour! Choose your top 3 options, schedule appointments to take a look around, and begin applying to your favorites! We also want to encourage you that now is the time to sign if you find a place that meets your criteria. Floorplans begin selling out in April so now is the time to sign and secure your desired home.

3 Months Out

Options may be a bit slimmer at this point. Before you set your heart on any favorites, we encourage you call around to properties that interest you and make sure they are still an option for your space and budget needs. If your desired floorplan is available and matches your budget, you should sign a lease as risk for sellout is high at this point.

1 Month Out

Let's be honest, it's slim pickings property wise at this juncture. However, finding the apartment of your dreams is not unheard of nor impossible! You'll want to get in touch with your top two or three properties as soon as possible and be prepared to move quickly. If there is availability, be prepared to sign a lease that day and then celebrate because you hit the jackpot!

Spring Move In

To clarify, Spring move-in refers to move-in dates for the Spring school semester, which begins in January. It should be safe to begin your search in September, as most of the student communities will have an idea of which students were "no-shows" for leases beginning in August and have an idea of what their availability will be like for January. You can keep looking through the end of November, as spaces may open up at properties if students decide to back out of their lease due to a difficult school semester or trouble with finances. You can plan to sign a lease for the Spring semester anytime from September through the first week of December of the prior year.

Summer Move In

Summer move-ins tend to be more difficult as leases tend to wrap around until the end of July. The good news is that any apartment communities that do have homes available usually offer good deals! We recommend you begin your search in February or March and when you find your desired location, floorplan, and community, take it! Subletting an apartment home is also a popular option and you can often find sublets available until the big move out dates in August. For sublet research, we highly recommend checking out student groups on Facebook or postings in Facebook Marketplace.

Renewals for a Student Apartment

This may seem counterintuitive, but you'll need to keep your eyes peeled as early as September and October to renew for the following August! Ask yourself, have I been happy here? Do I like this location? Do you like your roommates? Do I generally see myself living here next year? If the answer is "yes", it would be wise to jump on that first renewal opportunity which will be coming your way in early Fall. From our years in the apartment industry, we can confidently tell you that this first renewal offer will almost always be your best one so waiting for a deal or deeper discount likely won't serve you and may only set you up for disappointment! Need a little more time to consider it? No problem, you'll still have time around Christmas and the New Year to make your decision and sign. Still not sure? It's ok! Your current apartment might still have space in February and you'll be good to go but please note it can't be guaranteed that late in the season. Now, if you haven't signed a renewal by 3 months before the end of your lease, chances are slim that a spot will still be available so talk to your leasing team. But, let us give you some insight. If you haven't signed a renewal yet it might be safe you say you weren't that happy? You can always hop over to our search for apartments in Gainesville to find an alternative apartment that fits better with your budget and lifestyle.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.