Apartment Hunting in Tallahassee
Are you on the hunt for a new apartment in Tallahassee? With so many apartment options scattered throughout Florida’s capital city, finding the perfect apartment can seem like a daunting task. With just the right combination of budget, location and features, you’ll be feeling at home in your new apartment in no time. Getting started is the hardest part, so follow this guide to help you identify your renting needs and can kick off your search with confidence. Tallahassee is home to a diverse community of government employees, families, students, nature enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, and apartments in the area offer just as much variety! No matter your reason for relocating to Tallahassee, this guide can help you locate an apartment that is the best fit for your lifestyle.
This Tallahassee apartment hunting guide is brought to you by the team of Local Experts at RentTally, a local apartment guide that makes it easy to find Tallahassee apartments that fit your lifestyle and budget.
Identifying Your Tallahassee Apartment Needs
Before you start your search, it’s important to identify what is most important to you in your new Tallahassee apartment. Setting your personal requirements for things like budget, amenities, and lease length will set the stage for a successful apartment search.
- Apartment Floor Plan: You should first identify the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require in your new Tallahassee apartment. Are you living alone but plan to have family visit often? Perhaps a 2 bedroom apartment would be a good option so you can offer guests a comfortable place to stay in the 2nd bedroom. Are you relocating your family? You’ll want to think through whether your children each need their own bedroom or if you’ll need an extra bedroom to use as a playroom.
- Apartment Square Footage: Apartment size does not only refer to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms offered in a floor plan. You will find that apartments with the same number of bedrooms will have varying square footage depending on the community. For example, 1 bedroom apartments in Tallahassee might offer an additional 100-200 square feet of space at one apartment community versus another. If you have a dining room table that you love or a king-sized bed you can’t part with, pay close attention to the square footage of apartments to make sure you have enough space to live comfortably.
- Monthly Rent Budget: For a lot of renters, apartment rent is the largest bill they pay each month! Over the course of a 12-month lease, your apartment rent is a huge investment, so it is important to identify a healthy budget. Start by outlining your monthly expenses (car payment, groceries, health insurance, etc.) to determine how much is left over for an affordable monthly budget for rent and utilities in your new apartment.
- The Non-Negotiables: You should identify a few features and amenities that are must-haves for your new Tallahassee apartment. If you love to cook, you might require an upgraded kitchen in your new apartment home. Or, perhaps your dream is to adopt a new puppy while you’re renting and wood flooring is a must for easy cleanup. Don’t set your heart on too many non-negotiables. We suggest identifying just 2-3 non-negotiable features and amenities to help keep you focused and narrow your search from the start.
- Move-in Date: Do you have a set date for your apartment move? Here is a tip from the pros: If your move-in date has flexibility, you should be able to find a better apartment deal by moving during the off season (roughly October-February) instead of busy summer months (June-August).
Choosing the Right Type of Lease in Tallahassee
Tallahassee is home to 3 major schools, government offices, and a wide variety of businesses and corporate headquarters. There are apartments in Tallahassee that cater to each of these audiences, and knowing how to identify non-student apartments in Tallahassee will be very important in your search.
As a prime example, many of the apartments near FSU (Florida State University) cater to students and you’ll notice they offer perks like individual (by-the-bedroom) leasing, roommate matching, and a full calendar of resident events to keep students engaged. Things can get tricky with apartments near FAMU, as there is a healthy mix of apartments scattered around the university that cater to both the student and non-student audiences. Apartments near TCC are typically of the non-student variety, with many traditional Tallahassee Community College students choosing to live in student housing closer to Florida State University.
Here are 3 questions to ask that will help you quickly identify student vs. non-student apartments:
- Are the apartments leased individually (by-the-bedroom) or by the entire apartment? Most off-campus student housing is leased individually, so this is the fastest question to help you identify student vs. non-student apartments. Keep in mind that there are a few apartments around the university who cater to students but lease by the entire apartment, so continue to question 2 or 3.
- When do the apartment leases start? Student housing leases typically begin with each semester, with August being the most popular move-in date as students head back to campus for Fall classes. If the agent shares that their leases begin in August, it’s a safe bet that this is a student housing community.
- Do you offer roommate matching? A traditional, non-student apartment will expect the renter to choose their own roommates and sign a joint lease. Most of the student housing communities offer a roommate matching service to assist in helping students find their roommates.
When to Start Your Tallahassee Apartment Search
Apartment options in Tallahassee are plentiful, so there is no need to sign a lease and reserve your spot before having weighed all of your options. If you’re on a short timeline, don’t panic! There will be plenty of apartments that become vacant throughout the year as residents come and go. Do keep in mind that apartment communities operating on a specific lease term may have strict move-in and move-out dates, especially around the month of August as apartment communities prepare for students returning to Tallahassee after summer break.
Students looking for off-campus housing should expect to sign a lease that begins with a major school semester: in August, January, or June. The most popular move-in date for Tallahassee student housing is in the middle of August a few days before classes resume for the fall semester. If you plan to move in August, you could sign a lease as soon as January but should definitely have your apartment reserved before the end of May, as the top-apartment options in Tallahassee will begin selling out around this time.
Non-students looking for conventional housing should start researching and apartment hunting about 6-months before the target move-in date. Conventional apartment options in Tallahassee have lease openings throughout the year and should know their availability 60-90 days before your move-in date. We recommend you amp up your search 90 days out, and plan to sign a lease during the 30-60 day window before your move-in date.
Renting an Apartment in Tallahassee with Pets
If you are relocating with a beloved family cat or dog, you have an a few extra things to research during your search for a pet-friendly apartment in Tallahassee. We’ve rounded up a few of the most important questions to ask before you sign your lease so that you can be sure your future apartment is the best fit for you and your pet.
Are there any restrictions on breed or weight? Many insurance policies at apartments in Tallahassee place restrictions on dog breeds. Commonly restricted breeds and weight limits vary by property, so you’ll want to ask each individual apartment for details on their specific policy. Head’s up, the apartment will ask for a copy of your pet’s most recent veterinary records to verify your pet’s breed and weight!
Is there a monthly pet rent or pet fee? You can expect to pay a $25-50/month pet rent at any apartment in Tallahassee. Additionally, apartments will require you to pay either a pet deposit or fee before your move-in date. The distinction between “deposit” and “fee” is very important. A pet deposit may be returned to you upon move out pending the condition of your apartment while a fee will not be returned regardless of the apartment’s condition.
How many pets can I have in my apartment? Most apartments in Tallahassee set a limit for the number of animals that can live in each apartment. If your family includes 2 or more pets, you’ll need to check that you are not over the limit.
Which Tallahassee neighborhood is the best fit?
Whether you are a professional looking for the shortest commute to work, a student hoping to live close to campus, or a family looking for apartments zoned for good schools, there’s a neighborhood in Tallahassee that can fit your needs! Your best bet is to drive around town and take a look around to see which neighborhood feels like home to you. To help get you started, here’s a quick rundown of the most popular neighborhoods for renting in Tallahassee:
- Downtown Tallahassee: If you are looking to enjoy city life in a southern state of mind, Downtown is the perfect neighborhood to call home. Home to the State Capital building, Supreme Court and a wealth of north Florida history and culture, apartments in Downtown Tallahassee are at the heart of the city and provide easy access to surrounding neighborhoods. Living in Downtown Tallahassee, you’ll find this location is heavily populated with business professionals, aspiring politicians, artists, and established professionals who enjoy city life with a few Florida State University students mixed in since apartments in the area are also convenient to campus.
- Midtown Tallahassee: Living up to its name, Midtown Tallahassee is in the middle of town. Midtown is just far enough to escape the hustle and bustle of Downtown Tallahassee, yet close enough for a short commute to the downtown business and entertainment district. This neighborhood is populated with a mix of young professionals and families and has grown to become a local favorite hangout for Tallahassee’s 21+ crowd with a variety of walkable day and nightlife, dining and entertainment options located along Thomasville Road. Climb aboard the Dinner Trolley for a free ride through town to local restaurants, shop mom and pop stores, tasty restaurants, hit a local bar for a brew, or enjoy live music at the tiki bar – there is always something happening near apartments in Tallahassee’s Midtown!
- Northeast Tallahassee : The Northeast Tallahassee neighborhood is also known as the Market District. The area offers upscale suburban family living known for its top-rated school district and family friendly Killearn neighborhoods. This neighborhood is home to Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and Capital Regional Medical Center treatment facilities, an ideal location for medical professionals seeking a short commute. In this neighborhood, residents enjoy a variety of fun local hangouts and weekend adventures the whole family will enjoy! If nature is more your scene, hop on your bike and take a cycling trip through the lush, winding canopy roads this neighborhood is known for.
- Northwest Tallahassee: Northwest Tallahassee is a quiet, residential area tucked away from Tallahassee’s booming College Town neighborhood but close enough to enjoy college game day festivities, dinner and a night out on the town. If you enjoy traveling this is a great neighborhood for you, as this neighborhood is just a 6-minute trip to the Tallahassee Commercial Airport and I-10. Northwest Tallahassee is home to many families, business professionals and longtime Tallahassee citizens who choose to plant their roots here in the suburbs surrounding scenic Lake Jackson.
- Southeast Tallahassee: The Southeast Tallahassee neighborhood is developing rapidly into a great place for families and retired residents with convenient access to the Southwood Golf Club, Governor’s Square mall and a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment located along Apalachee Parkway. Additionally, residents enjoy access to a variety of parks and recreation nearby. Grab your running shoes and head over to the 24-acre Cascades Park featuring nature trails, an outdoor amphitheater, playground area, and historical monuments perfect for exercising Fido or finding peace of mind after a long day at the office. This neighborhood is fantastic for enjoying north Florida nature at its finest with access to Lake Lafayette, Old. St. Augustine Canopy Rd and Alfred B. Maclay Gardens where you can enjoy floral architecture while exploring Tallahassee’s rich history.
- Southwest Tallahassee: This neighborhood is the home of the Florida State University Seminoles, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Rattlers, Tallahassee Community College, and CollegeTown which boasts the newest nightlife, dining and entertainment in Tallahassee. The overall vibe of this neighborhood is student friendly, and for undergrad students this is the place to be! This lively, robust neighborhood is in the center of all the action stretching from Tharpe Street to Capital Circle and up from South Monroe Street to Gibbs Drive. Students can walk, bike, bus or commute to class in less than 15 minutes. You’ll notice the Seminole Express, Nite Nole, and Venom Express shuttles around this area, as they pick up students and drop them off at their respective campuses.
Our best word of advice? Just make sure that the apartment in Tallahassee you choose is somewhere you see yourself being happy. Do online research, visit places in person for a tour, and talk to locals for tips! Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the exciting opportunities that await you in our capital city. Our team at RentTally can’t wait to help you find your perfect apartment match. Welcome home!