When it comes to house hunting - do not panic, and most importantly, don't rush into anything!
Second term is the time to start thinking about where you'll live next year, and who you'll live with...
Being a third-year student, in my final uni house, I've managed to pick up some tips for finding the best accommodation for you!
Moving too fast
When moving time came around in first year, the university sent out a surge of leaflets and emails to stop everyone rushing into renting - whilst other people were telling us to hurry before all the best ones went...
The pressure to get the best house was overwhelming so we decided to look at houses before Christmas. Seven of us had joined forces from halls and we began to scour housing websites, leading us to a viewing within the week.
We ended up loving the first and only house we viewed and thought we wouldn’t find better. The landlord told us she had three other viewings (classic sales trick!) and we all felt under pressure to sign a deal, so we did it that same night...
Although the house was nice, I ended up with a Harry Potter broom cupboard for a bedroom with no desk space to work. After Christmas, there were still plenty of houses up for rent in our area and after seeing a house that my other friends found at that time it was clear we had rushed into renting too early.
So for our third-year house, we did things differently...
Half way through my second year it became clear that living with 7 people was too much, so some of us decided to downsize to a 4-bed. You may think living with loads of people is all fun and games but when everyone is stressed with uni work it can get tense - trust me!
Rather than look before Christmas when we were all busy with deadlines, we waited till we were all back! It’s always important that everyone gets to see the house.
Before we even begun we made a list of things we ALL wanted from the house.
We went to numerous estate agents with our specifications and booked viewings. After seeing them, we took a couple of days to discuss, picked our 2 favourites and went to take a second look. Having a second viewing allowed us to check nitty gritty aspects such as the security of windows and doors, and that the boiler was in good condition.
flickr: chris potter
Learning from mistakes
Daunted by the whole process before second year, we were afraid to ask questions. So this time, we made a list regarding payments and anything we were unsure about. We then had another discussion and a vote before signing any papers, and although the house I live in now can get a bit chilly, I have space to actually move!
If I had known then what I know now, the whole process would have been a lot easier but...
Take your time choosing the people to live with, the location you want to live in and most importantly the house you want to spend a whole year in!
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