Going to the University of Northern Florida and don't have plans for your living arrangements? Maybe you are looking at the benefits of living in either houses or apartments near UNF, putting the pros and cons of each against each other on a slick yellow pad. To me the answer is more one sided; let me tell you why.
As someone who lived in a house during college, I can heavily advise that you spend your time looking at UNF apartments. College houses tend to have a lot of problems that you won't find any of the apartments near UNF. The scary thing is, most of these problems can't even be seen when you visit the property. You only realize the trouble you are in when it is too late.
So what are these issues that college houses tend to have that UNF apartments don't? Well, it is more than likely that college house is going to have lots of holes in it. Maybe it's because the house was well treated or is just very old; regardless, your home is going to be exposed to the environment consistently, which is going to cause a lot of issues.
The first of these issues is with temperature. UNF apartments tend to have central air conditioning as well as heat, while most homes do not. Even if your house does, it won't be able to maintain the temperature that you want because it is constantly leaking into the outside environment.
Sure you can turn up the air in order to compensate for the constant leakage, but that is going to skyrocket your utility bills. Speaking of high utility bills, I'll have more to say about that in a moment after I'm done talking about the next issue having holes in your house will causes you, bugs.
Oh yes, unlike in UNF apartments, expect your home to have lots of bugs. This can be a bit more manageable if you happen to have cats, and if you don't then you are simply out of luck. Holes to the outdoors means many entrances for all sorts of critters to enter. Some people might be ok with this, but most people are not.
Let's talk about utilities again, as these are only going to get higher living in a house instead of in UNF apartments. Not only will running your air conditioning at full power raise your utility bill, but pretty much doing anything will as well.
Like I said before, unlike UNF apartments, college houses tend to be either unmaintained or old which is the source for all their problems. These problems will most likely include horrible cabling and bad plumbing. This pretty much means that anything you run on electricity is going to cost double what it would using it at any of the apartments near UNF. In addition, any leaks or problems with the plumbing will most likely have its cost pinned to you, which will heavily increase the water part of your utility bill.
Basically what I am saying is that living in a college house is like paying to live in a luxury apartment that is dirty, constantly hot/cold, infested, and without luxury. The idea of living in a college house is something that I think we all idealize, but it isn't anything like we imagined. Save yourself the time and stress and just look at some UNF apartments. You will be better off.