Gainesville is one of the best places to live in Alachua County, with home styles to suit every budget and taste, one of the top universities in the nation, and access to the best outdoor recreation that the Sunshine State has to offer.
Still not sure if you’re ready to buy a house in Gainesville? Let’s take a look at why so many people choose to relocate to this bustling Florida hotspot.
It’s Home To The University of Florida
For students at the University of Florida, Gainesville has everything you could want from a college town. The school is the fifth-largest single-campus university in the country, with nearly 60,000 students enrolled for the 2020-21 academic year.
UF has over 16 academic colleges that offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. For sports fans, the NCAA Division I team, the Florida Gators, hold more than 40 national championship titles across their 9 men’s and 12 women’s sports.
When you’re not studying, Gainesville has a booming entertainment and hospitality scene, with dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops to fill those out-of-class hours with your friends. If you’re an incoming freshman to UF and about to join the Gainesville community, check out our Gainesville moving guide to help you settle in as quickly as possible. Go Gators!
It’s The Best Of Both Worlds
It’s not only college students who live here, though. From young professionals all the way up to retirees, Gainesville continues to attract a diverse range of people. One of the biggest reasons that many choose the city as their new home is the blend of rural and urban life. If you’re torn between city and country living, you no longer have to choose!
At less than a two-hour drive from Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando, Gainesville has plenty of the benefits that living in a metro area offers, while still retaining the rural charm that many of its residents love. Nature trails and state parks can all be found alongside the museums, galleries, and nightlife that Gainesville has to offer.
If you’re not familiar with the area, your local Gainesville realtor can show you homes that are closer to town or further afield. When you’re after a “best of both worlds” lifestyle, Gainesville is the place to go.
It Has Affordable House Prices
Much like the rest of Florida, the Gainesville real estate market continues to thrive. Houses here don’t stay up for sale for long and are typically priced around 8-9% less than the national average–ideal for anyone relocating from a costly location!
Although house prices continue to rise thanks to significant local competition, there are still numerous properties for sale under $300,000. There are also plenty of traditional single-family houses for sale in Gainesville and with residential land on the market too, construction possibilities are endless.
If more space is what you’re after, Gainesville has a number of beautiful Alachua County farm properties just waiting for you and your family. These homes are all located just outside of the city, giving you the rural experience that you’re looking for, but with easy access to everything in the urban center. If being able to take advantage of Florida’s great weather is high on your list of requirements, these properties certainly do that!
It Has An Excellent Healthcare System
We all want access to the country’s best healthcare, and that’s a particular concern for many retirees looking to move to Florida. Gainesville’s UF Health and North Florida Regional Medical Center both consistently rank among some of the nation’s top healthcare facilities.
When it comes to pediatric care, Shand’s Children’s Hospital has been named one of the best in the country for six medical specialties, including pediatric cardiology, cancer, neonatology, and pediatric neurology.
Medical costs at these facilities are around 1% lower than the national average and give anyone looking to relocate the peace of mind that, should the worst happen, their family will be in the best hands.
There’s Economic Prosperity
With one of the nation’s top universities on your doorstep, it’s hardly surprising that the Gainesville job market is booming. Residents of the city hold 80% more advanced degrees and 15% more bachelor’s degrees than the national average.
Manufacturing, education (UF is Gainesville’s biggest employer), health care, IT, green technology, and agriculture are just some of the industries that are seeing rapid growth in this part of Florida.
For entrepreneurial individuals, Gainesville has extensive support on offer. The region has more business incubators per capita than anywhere else in the US. Local universities and colleges also offer training, workshops, and mentorships to startups in the area. Government incentives like Innovation Gainesville have helped to create jobs and bring in successful businesses to grow the local economy.
It Has Great Schools
For young families, Gainesville’s top-ranked public schools mean that your children will receive the best education in the state. The Alachua Public School System serves nearly 24,000 students at 53 public schools, from elementary to high school.
Alongside the University of Florida, there are 13 other colleges located within a 40-mile radius of Gainesville. Whether you or your child is interested in community college, private school, or a public university or college, there are plenty of in-state options for Florida residents in this region.
There’s No Personal Income Tax
One of the top reasons that many people choose to move to Florida is the lack of personal state income tax. That means more of your pay stays in your pocket for spending on eating out, enjoying some entertainment, or adding more to your dream home budget.
Most of Florida’s state income comes from the booming tourism industry and a state-wide sales tax of 6%, while Gainesville’s sales tax rate is currently 7%.
There’s Plenty of Entertainment On Your Doorstep
When you’re trying to balance working hard with playing hard, Gainesville has plenty to offer all year round, with even more during the holiday season!
Like most who live in Florida, Gainesville residents are no stranger to the great outdoors. The city center has several walking trails, public parks, and botanical gardens, while Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park are close by for a long day out.
On the occasional rainy day (or a perfect escape from the summer heat!), a visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in the city for both adults and children. The Butterfly Rainforest is a local favorite, as is the Cade Museum for Creativity and Innovation.
If your interests fall more towards art over science, The Hippodrome Theatre and Gainesville Community Playhouse frequently host plays and other live performances. The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art on the UF campus is one of the largest university art museums in the southern US, with over 9,000 pieces in their collection.
Venturing further out, Orlando is around a 2-hour drive from Gainesville, meaning that Disney World and Universal Studios are within easy reach. Beaches on both the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Ocean sides of the state are also less than 2 hours away.