When should I begin my college apartment search?

Photo of GrandMarc At TallahasseeGrandMarc is just steps from FSU.

When it comes to apartment hunting, timing is everything – especially when you're looking for the perfect student apartment near FSU. With a heavy student demographic and a consistent flow of new residents, knowing which steps to take and when to take them will guarantee that you don't miss out on your dream Tallahassee apartment. So, when should you start shopping for your college apartment? With a few tips and a well-thought-out timeline, finding your new apartment home will be a breeze!

The Ideal Tallahassee Student Apartment Hunting Timeline

By planning ahead and allowing yourself ample time to shop around, you'll be able to explore and research your new city, tour all of your favorite Tallahassee apartments, and avoid feelings of stress and worry – ensuring that you aren't rushed into making a decision you may come to regret.  

  • October: It's never to early to start looking! Now is the time to examine your lifestyle and evaluate your needs to determine what your best apartment looks like. Identify your budget, think about locations you may desire, and narrow down the amenities and features you'd most like to see in your new apartment. Once you've got a good idea what you're looking for, make a list of your top 5 favorite apartments.

  • November – December: Come November/December, it's time to start touring – the best part of the apartment hunting process! Visit the apartments on your list of favorites and really get a feel for the neighborhood and the community itself. Can you see yourself living here? Is it in your budget? Does the location serve your needs? Now's your chance to really explore all each apartment has to offer, including resort-style amenities like granite counter tops, walk-in closets, top-notch fitness centers, dog parks, and wood-style flooring.

  • January: It's time to get serious about your new apartment! At this time, you should be preparing to make a final decision. Contact your top choice to inquire about move-in requirements like deposits and income.

  • March – April: In the early spring, contact your favorite apartment community to sign a lease and guarantee your spot. Work on gathering any necessary information and get guarantor approval.

Reasons to Sign a Lease Early:

  1. If you plan on sharing your space with a few roommates, signing early will ensure that you're able to get in the right size apartment for you and your roomies.
  2. No more sleepless nights worrying about finding an apartment. Signing early will give you peace of mind and make the moving process stress-free.
  3. You're guaranteed that your favorite apartment/floor plan will not sell out. If you have your eye set on a specific floor plan, be sure to sign early so it doesn't get snatched up!

Reasons to Sign a Lease Later in the Season:  

  1. Signing later in the season (around May), will give you extra time to make sure you're enjoying your classes at Florida State University, are happy with life in Tallahassee, and still want to commit to signing a year-long lease.
  2. Some apartments end up offering better specials and rental rates at the end of the season. Keep in mind that this is risky because your favorite apartment could sell out if you wait too long.
  3. If you've never lived off-campus before, leasing later in the season will give you a little extra time to determine your needs. Really nail down your budget and figure out what amenities would be most beneficial to you, so you find the best apartment for you. 

The Florida State University apartment market is interesting because the university has rolling admissions. Students can apply to be a student at any time of the year and may receive their letter of acceptance at any time. Other major universities, such as the University of Florida, have an admission date where they let all of the baby Gators know they have been accepted. This results in a leasing frenzy as the incoming freshmen start shopping for apartments near UF. At FSU, rolling admissions make the market less predictable, and students who apply and are accepted later in the season should find an apartment and secure their spot as soon as possible.

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