Even if you've never been to Alafaya, Florida, you will have no trouble finding your way around. After all, this area of Orlando rests on the aptly named Alafaya Trail, so driving north and south down this street can introduce you to the many housing options available in the area. Because of the large college student population clearly the target demographic for Alafaya apartments many communities exist in this area at a range of price points, from the super thrifty for students living on a Ramen noodle budget to moderate for the local business professionals who desire more than a one-bedroom studio that offers a bit more than a roof over their heads.
Driving up and down Alafaya Trail can introduce you to the types of housing for rent in this area. The apartment complexes that surround the University of Central Florida cater to students, so if you don't want a 2 a.m. wakeup call when the partygoers stumble home, extend your search beyond the UCF stretch of Alafaya. Heading both north and south on Alafaya toward Oviedo and Waterford Lakes, respectively can help you escape the 20-something crowd and find a unit with less noise but likely a higher price point as well.
Florida, in general, has a reputation for being a transient population, and Alafaya certainly falls within that category. College students come and go every semester, and peak move-in times are in August when the fall semester gets underway. As a result, if you're moving in the late summer, you're competing with more potential tenants for a place to call home. Since many students call Alafaya, Florida home from August to May and then return to their parents’ homes for the summer finding a place to rent in late spring to early summer might give you more options. That said, the housing along the Alafaya corridor has grown exponentially in recent years, which means that you can usually find a vacancy at any time of year.
Landlords have rather basic expectations when it comes to tenants in Alafaya. With many student renters, landlords likely don't demand a six-figure salary from their residents though they certainly don't mind if those parent co-signers have the big bucks. When you submit your rental application, which will include your rental and employment history, you can expect your potential landlord to check your credit, verify your employment, and request a security deposit, often in the amount of one months rent.
Giving your buddies directions to your new pad in Alafaya will be simple just tell them to turn left or right off of Alafaya Trail. Most places for rent in this area are situated directly on the main thoroughfare, which is a blessing and a curse. While work, or shopping might just be a few minutes away, traffic during rush hour or the start of the semester at UCF can make getting to your destination a less than simple, so temper your road rage.
UCF Area: When Orlando residents hear Alafaya Trail, they immediately think of UCF and its surrounding communities and for good reason. In recent years, the land surrounding UCF has been completely renovated, bulldozing long-standing shopping centers that housed some classic campus restaurants and bars to make way for high-rise apartment complexes. Found at the intersection of University and Alafaya and a few blocks north and south are several apartment complexes designed especially for students. Here, you will find roommate-friendly quarters, where rent and utilities are divided equally among each apartment’s residents, thereby eliminating any beginning-of-the-month haggles over who owes what. These newer complexes feature top-notch amenities, including pools and gyms, perfect for the college student who wants to stay fit and work on a tan in between classes or perhaps in place of classes, for some slackers. Opt for the UCF area if you're a student if not, try another stretch of Alafaya so that you don't turn into the old person calling the cops with noise complaints at 11 p.m.
Seminole County: Just north of UCFs campus is the dividing line for Orange and Seminole Counties. Apartments on the Seminole County stretch of Alafaya might spare you the wild college neighbors to some extent. These apartment complexes attract a more mature read, less into keg parties population with comparable amenities such as resort-style pools surrounded by palm trees, giving your complex a decidedly Florida feel. You can often find one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments at these complexes, making them work for single folks or small families. If peace and quiet is at the top of your must-have list, check out Alafaya apartments in Seminole County.
Waterford Lakes: Best known for its expansive shopping center, the largest in the Southeast, in fact Waterford Lakes puts you close to shopping, dining, and entertainment. While your favorite restaurant or big-box store might be a stones throw away, you'll also have to deal with the traffic that comes along with it. If you get trapped in the Waterford Lakes shopping center during the holiday season, you might spend several frustrating hours trying to escape, thanks to a questionable traffic pattern, oddly placed stop signs, and too few exits for such a large space. However, the convenience of apartments in this stretch of Alafaya is unmatched, as you're also close to the East-West Expressway, which you can hop on to get to downtown Orlando (but save your quarters because it’s a toll road). WaterfordLakes apartments, which appeal to both families and professionals, are also close to Central Florida Research Park, a hotbed of high-tech jobs. You'd be so close to work that you can sneak home for lunch or maybe some sunshine on your patio every day, without your boss ever suspecting you were gone.
Think of Alafaya, Florida as a unique hybrid of suburbia with a college and big city feel all in one. You might wave hello to your neighbor at the local Publix or avoid him, if his late-night antics left you bleary eyed but you're just a few miles away from downtown Orlando and its eclectic mix of business, nightlife, and cultural events. At the same time, you're living nearby a growing population of college students, so as you'll see as many residents heading out to happy hour or a college football game as you do heading home from work.
Despite its college vibe, a car is a must when you live in Alafaya, which isn't as pedestrian-friendly as it should be considering its student population. There are plenty of ways to stay busy. Check out the growing Alafaya bar scene the Knight Library was just named the top college bar in the country if you're in college or want to pretend that you are. UCF athletics are a big hit, especially during football season when the community gathers to tailgate for hours on the campus mall even if they have no interest in the game itself. Endless dining options make date night easy as well, just hop over to Waterford Lakes for many reasonably priced menus.