Campus News

A Guide to Off Campus Housing

On campus housing is undoubtedly more expensive than leasing an apartment off campus at any University. That is why many students choose to live nearby Saint Leo University and commute. The average housing rate of all upperclassmen residence halls comes in at $3445 per semester. Multiply that number by two and you will get $6890 per academic year. Living in a residence hall on campus for one academic year will set you back $2894 more than living at nearby Sweetwater Apartments for an entire calendar year  based on a one year lease of a 3 bedroom apartment split between 3 roommates. Sweetwater Apartments is a top choice for off-campus housing among Saint Leo students. These costs of living on campus do not include the required purchase of a meal plan and at Sweetwater the cost of utilities, furniture costs, and the cost of gas to commute to Saint Leo. Others may choose to live off-campus because of the demands of a job or internship which take away time to be on campus and stay involved with clubs and organizations.

By calculating the cost difference, one can begin to see the value and savings of living off campus. The best resources for finding off campus housing can be found online. Most likely, when you Google apartments, your search results will return websites such as apartmentfinder.com, forrent.com, apartmentguide.com, and rent.com that will allow you to search for apartment complexes and houses for rent in your area. Although these sites are useful for finding apartments or houses to rent, they are poorly organized, and littered with ads & sponsored apartment complexes. Other sites such as padmapper.com, hotpads.com, and livelovely.com are much more useful for conducting searches for your own home away from home off campus. These alternatives are easier to use because they allow you to simply select the city in which you want to rent and then display results on a large interactive map. The large map clearly allows you to see the distance and proximity of the apartments to Saint Leo.

A simple search on one of these websites will return you with a large assortment of apartment listings, all within a 20-mile radius of Saint Leo University.

Among the best are The Arbours at Fort King, The Columns at Cypress Point, Providence at Zephyr Ridge and Seneca at Cypress Creek. The Sweetwater Apartments are not recommended by its residents who have previously left negative reviews on the website ApartmentRatings.com.

Located closely behind the Pasco County Fairgrounds and Pasco High School, the Arbours at Fort King is the closest of the best apartments to Saint Leo. The Arbours at Fort King offer amenities such as appliances, cable/satellite, a clubhouse, a car care center, and community activities. Monthly rental prices range from $530 for a 1 Bedroom 1 Bath unit to $738 for a 3 Bedroom 2 Bath unit.

Located behind The Home Depot in Zephyrhills the second closest recommended apartment complex to Saint Leo is the Columns at Cypress Point. The convenient location of the complex allows for easy access to Saint Leo by travel of Handcart Road and Prospect Road. The Columns at Cypress Point offers amenities such as a fitness center, tennis courts, laundry facilities, a resort-style pool, 24 hour maintenance, a business center and 9 foot ceilings in select units with crown molding in all units. Monthly rental prices range from $ 845 for a 1 Bedroom 1 Bath unit to $1390 for a 3 Bedroom 2 Bath unit. The complex is also 86% recommended by its residents who have left reviews on apartmentratings.com.

The Providence at Zephyr Ridge is the third closest of the recommended apartment complexes to Saint Leo. The Providence at Zephyr Ridge is located off State Road 54 in a residential area closer to downtown Zephyrhills than the Columns at Cypress Point. The complex offers amenities such as a Cafe with Wi-Fi, Fitness Center, large windows, doors with peepholes, alarms, available units with attached and detached garages and is 83% recommended by its residents who have rated it on apartmentratings.com. Monthly rental prices range from $809 for a 1 Bedroom 1 Bath unit to $1120 for a 3 Bedroom 2 Bath unit.

The Seneca at Cypress Creek is located further south in Wesley Chapel and is a bit more expensive than the other recommended complexes in the Dade City/Zephyrhills area. Being located right off of the Interstate on State Road 56, the Seneca at Cypress Creek allows for easy access to Saint Leo. The complex offers amenities such as a Cafe with free WiFi, Home Theatre, Billiards Table in the Clubhouse, Spin room with a Wii Fit, a fire pit, dog park, walking trail, and large open floor plans with a screened-in lanais and a bonus room in select units. Monthly rental prices range from $875 for a 1 Bedroom 1 Bath unit to $1870 for a 3 Bedroom 2.5 Bath unit with a two-car garage. The residents of this apartment complex gave the complex a rating of 76%. While still high, the rating is not as high as the other complexes in the Dade City/Zephyrhills Area


Other impressive apartment complexes in Wesley Chapel area include Colonial Grand at Seven Oaks, Delano Apartments at Cypress Creek, the Colonial Grand at Hampton Preserve and Altis at Grand Cypress in Lutz.

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