Favorite Apartment Rentals, tips and tricks

haveuheard rentals ucf

Living Off-Campus, the real rentals.

Here are our best tips for rentals at UCF. With each of my kids, I have three; not one stayed in the dorms beyond their freshman year. My youngest considered staying in the Towers next year because she loves the location so much. However, with the new lottery system for dorms, she didn’t want to risk not getting the dorm she wanted next year and recently signed a lease to live off-campus. The rentals are plentiful, but the later in the school year they look, the higher the rent will be. Most apartment complexes increase their rates after New Year’s because they know students and parents start looking then. Generally, they will send out renewals in the fall, and if you are staying, sign right away before the prices increase.

Below are some of the more popular rentals and apartment complexes students live near UCF. Some provide buses to campus (which can be important since parking on campus can be a nightmare), some rentals have facilities that rival a fancy hotel (pools, hot tubs, volleyball courts, lounges), some provide reserved parking spots for a fee, some are gated and provide constant security. All have various options, from studios to 4 bedrooms. Prices vary and generally go up slightly each year.  Many will also help find a student to fill a vacant room if need be. Wi-Fi is generally included in rent, but utilities are not. Be sure to check all these things before making a decision on rentals.

We tried to stick with the important things like security and furniture rather than tanning beds and lit volleyball courts, if you know what we mean, but some of the amenities are pretty impressive. Below is our list of favorite rentals.

Boardwalk – hasn’t been updated lately, which could be why it is less expensive than some of the others. Students say their management and maintenance haven’t been the best since living there. The apartment rentals are rather spacious, though. It is located less than a mile from campus and has a shuttle. 4×4- $699/month.

High Pointe Club – One of our intern’s best friends has lived here for three years and will continue to live here for another year. And now our intern moved there and loves it too. She agrees that this apartment complex has a homey feel. Unlike the other rentals and apartments, it is a bit out of the way from UCF, about 10 minutes away from campus. There is no UCF shuttle, so students must have a car to live here. They only have 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartments available, which can cost up to $1,800 for the whole apartment, meaning each person would pay $900 monthly. We love this place anyway.

The Hub on Campus – UCF’s newest apartment complex is located on E. Colonial Drive, down the street from campus. This is one of those luxury-style apartment rentals with a sundeck, volleyball courts, fitness room, sauna, on-demand fitness trainer and classes, a tanning salon, and a yoga room. They have private study rooms & a conference center, a coffee bar, and a game room too. Even the bathrooms in each apartment feature Bluetooth showerhead speakers. While the rent includes cable, internet, water, trash & electricity, keep in mind the electricity is capped so you will be charged the difference if you go over that amount. The front desk often offers fun pool parties and free snacks/lunches. Like The Station, if students are not worried about the price, this is a good place to live. Aside from the pricing, our only complaint is that the shuttle is inconsistent. Prices start at $785 and go up from there.

Knights Circle – is right across from campus and has good security. The maintenance was questionable last year, but perhaps it has improved. This apartment complex is right before one of UCF’s entrances and has multiple shuttles! If you miss one, walking to another shuttle stop and hopping on is easy. The apartment itself is a clean-living space, and many of our intern’s friends live here. They’ve noticed that people who sign leases here tend to stay here until graduation, which is a great sign. The biggest complaint is that it is easy to go over electric charges if you are not careful enough. Nevertheless, it is one of the more affordable places, particularly if you sign up as soon as leases are released, to live near campus, which makes many people happy!

  • 4×4- starts at $745/month
  • 3×3- starts at $800/month
  • 2×2- starts at $845/month

Lofts – homey and affordable, with shared bathrooms.

Northgate Lakes – is super close to UCF. Pet-friendly. We do not know anyone who lives here, but it could be because it does not have a great reputation amongst the students we asked.

  •  Four bedroom/two bath- $695/month
  • Four bedroom/four bath- $794/month
  • Three bedroom/two bath- $715/month
  • Three bedroom/three bath- $660/month

Orion on Orpington – Good reviews. Fall and Spring semesters rental prices:

  • $760 for premium large
  • $770 premium extra large
  • $785 platinum
  • $795 platinum extra large

The difference between premium and platinum is that the premium is a bit of an older model, while the platinum has been redone to look more modern. The biggest difference is its bathrooms. All of these layouts are 4×4.

Plaza – is one of the most expensive and newer complexes. The location can’t be beaten; located on top of the Plaza shopping center, which has many restaurants, shops and is very near campus. For a fee, students can get their own parking spot, which is highly recommended because parking can be abominable. The gym and pool are amazing. This is one of our intern’s personal favorites. Not only is it right above one of the most popular plazas around campus, but it is extremely close to campus. Students love walking downstairs and grabbing a bite to eat at Menchies or Blaze. It is especially cool because Bar Louie is downstairs as well, so students feel comfortable enjoying the bar and not worrying about driving. A great option for UCF students.

Plaza prices-

  • Four by 4- $789/month
  • Four by 4 with a pool view- $804/month
  • Three by 3- $819/month
  • Three by 3 pool view- $834/month
  • Two by 2- $879/month
  • Two by 2 pool view- $894/month

The Retreat – has fabulous amenities (yes, that includes a tanning bed) and can be somewhat costly, but we hear you get what you pay for. They have apartments as large as six bedrooms, which may help keep costs down. The location is ok (some consider it walking distance), but the traffic in that area can sometimes be heavy. Pet-friendly. Here are the most recent prices:

  • Six bedroom/6.5 bath starts at $685
  • Five bedroom starts at $705
  • Four bedroom- starts at $765
  • Three bedroom- starts at $810
  • Two bedroom- starts at $865

The Station Alafaya is one of the newest apartment complexes at UCF. Located 5 minutes from the main campus, it is highly rated by most students. If students are not concerned about the pricing, it is a wonderful place to sign!

UCF Downtown Campus (Union West at Creative Village) – *Note: this is generally for students that attend the downtown campus. For both UCF and Valencia students. It will have its own restaurant complex and RWC in the building and a collaborative area, including a lounge, coffee shop, and media center. 5-floor plans-

Three different 4-bedroom floor plans. There are shared bedrooms in 2 of the unit types. Private bedrooms and bathrooms are available as well. These floor plans come fully furnished and include a mini-fridge per resident. Utilities are included in the price (water, power, WI-FI, cable, and trash).

4/2 Suite shared bedrooms

  • Fall ($3,420)
  • Spring ($3,420)
  • Summer C ($2,280)

4/2 Suite private bedrooms

  • Fall ($4,320)
  • Spring ($4,320)
  • Summer C ($2,880)

Apartments include living spaces and kitchenettes

4/2 Apartment with shared bedroom

  • Fall ($3,870)
  • Spring ($3,870)
  • Summer C ($2,580)

4/2 Apartment private bedrooms

  • Fall ($4,770)
  • Spring ($4,770)
  • Summer C  ($3,180)

4/4 Apartment- private bedrooms

  • Fall ($5,445)
  • Spring ($5,445)
  • Summer C ($3,630)

Residents have the ability to reserve their own private parking in the UnionWest garage (attached to the apartment building). The rate is $110 per month and will be on a “first come” basis. You can email UnionWest@platinumparking.us to reserve a spot. Downtown Orlando parking ranges from $125-$175 per space/month for 24-hour reserved parking. More information on private parking for residents transits.

Union West – *Summer C is different

  • 4/2 suite private- $4,320 per semester
  • 4/2 apartment shared- $3,870 per semester
  • 4/2 apartment private- $4,770 per semester
  • 4/4 apartment private- $5,445 per semester

Villages at Science Drive – One of our interns currently lives here and loves it so much that she resigned for senior year! The apartments are extremely spacious, and she loves the furniture that came with them. If there is an issue, she simply calls the office and hears back from them the same day. It is also one of the more affordable options. While most apartments are increasing their rates to $800+, she pays $699 monthly. Her only complaint is that because living on the first floor, she deals with bugs from time to time (one time, she actually called the office to help kill a bug, and they did it with no complaints!). It is right next to UCF with a road leading to the back way of the main campus and is extremely fun and safe to live at. Highly recommended.

In the end, we found that the top recommendations are:

As the weeks go by, apartment prices increase gradually, so the sooner you sign a lease, the more cost-efficient it can be.

Remember, too that each apartment will come with its own utility bill. Most use Duke Energy, but some use Conservice. Every apartment complex on our list (except for Northview) splits the apartment utility overages amongst all residents.

Most of these apartment rentals come furnished and are gated communities. These are, however, just some of the more popular off-campus complexes UCF students seem to flock to. There are many more.

Renting houses vs apartment rentals is becoming extremely popular. They usually don’t come with a shuttle or furniture, but they can cost hundreds of dollars a month. It is far less expensive than most of the popular apartment complexes. However, there is a fairly nerve-wracking process to finding one. Most houses have 3 to 4 bedrooms and are unavailable until June or July. This means taking the chance that you will find a suitable one in the timeframe needed. Then, when you think you have found one worth looking at; it disappears as students will often take them without actually seeing them. Parents must be prepared to sign as a guarantor and do so quickly. I, personally, found the process very difficult as we found that many houses we looked into wouldn’t allow students or were available in August, which meant finding a place to store her things (check out our blog on storage and managing the gap here) and essentially doing a double move. There are, however, some neighborhoods that are close to campus and really lovely; if you can find the house you want that works for your student and their roommates.

Opening in the fall of 2019 is UnionWest, UCF’s new student resident community at UCF Downtown, and Valencia College Downtown at Creative Village. UnionWest is a 15-story building with student residences, restaurants, student services, classrooms, and amenities. UCF recommends this for students in the following programs:

  • Communication
  • Digital Media
  • Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy
  • Legal Studies
  • Health Management and Informatics
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Public Administration
  • Research Administration
  • Urban & Regional Planning
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Public Affairs

Another resource is 407apartments.com, which is a guide to Orlando apartments that meet your lifestyle and budget.

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2023-05-08T16:27:06-04:000 Comments

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