Student House Hunting: Top Tips
Hunting for student accommodation can be a minefield: so many things to think about in what feels like such a short amount of time. We see time and time again the things that can go wrong (and right) for people when they’re looking for the perfect place to live and we want to share this with you to make sure you have the best experience possible! So, here are Home Accommodation’s top tips when hunting for a student house!
1. Choose your group wiseley…
Picking who to live with is normally the first hurdle for the majority of people trying to find a student house. If you are a first year student who is starting to look into your second year accommodation this is particularly important. It can often feel that you have to rush to figure out who you’re living with, but the people who make rash decisions signing up for a house with someone they’ve barely gotten to know properly are normally the ones who have problems later on down the line. Remember, you’re going to be living under the same roof as these people for a whole year, so make sure you’re putting yourself out there to meet people who are on the same level as you and that you vibe with. If you are a super clean person, living with someone super messy could be, well… a mess! If youlove a night in and you choose to live with a hardcore partier problems could arise.
2. Group Size
Students starting to look for their own place can run into problems when trying to decide on how many people are actually going to live in the same house. Every year there are groups hunting for houses whose groups change more than the lineup of the Sugababes as people drop out and opt to live elsewhere, or people want to get in on your house last minute. This can be a bit annoying if you want to get a quality property as the most sought after properties tend to go quickly!. We would recommend trying to decide before you start looking how many people will definitely be with you and trying to stick to that to avoid the missing out on a property you really want!
3. Location, location, location!
If location wasn’t such an important factor for finding the perfect property, Phil and Kirsty would’ve been fired from Channel 4 by now! Finding the right area to live in is more important than you would think. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Do I feel at home in this area?
- What amenities are nearby that I may want/need? (Supermarket, Pub, etc)
- Am I within reasonable proximity to university in order to make sure I can attend all my lectures and seminars?
- What transport links do I have nearby? And do these transport links take me to the places I need to be most often?
- Is the area safe/unsafe? Clean/dirty? Quiet/noisy?
- Am I near my friends who I may want to visit a lot?
Remember, you are going to be living in the house that you pick for a year so you want to get it right. Make sure you have as much as possible on your doorstep and don’t make your regular journeys into uni any harder than they have to be.
4. Planning Your Viewings
So you’ve found some properties you want to look at… now what? If you’ve found some you really like, chances are other people have also seen those properties and they will have multiple viewings from other groups and individuals so if you don’t want to miss out try and book a viewing as soon as you can. Setting a few days aside to look at all the properties you are interested in is normally best in order to get it all over and done with in one go - if you spread it out over a long time it will only prolong the process and make it likely that a few of those will have been snapped up by the time you’ve decided on the one you want. Make sure when you’re booking in viewings that you leave yourself plenty of time to look around and also plenty of time between separate viewings in order to make it on time. Map out where each property you’re viewing is and how long it will likely take to look around and get to the next one.
5. Viewing a Property
You’ve made it to a property and in order to maximise your time you need to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. Take a good look around and get a good feel for the place: is it somewhere you could see yourself living? Do you have an ample amount of space for studying and chilling? Is the property maintained to a good standard? These are all things you will need to look out for. Sometimes the whole group may not be able to make it to every viewing for whatever reason, so if you have permission of the letting agent and tenants to film and take photos, snap some shots while you’re walking around to show the rest of the group to avoid anyone being awkward about not knowing what it looks like inside themselves. Additionally, the letting agent is there to help you and answer any questions you may have, so use them! They’re a great source of knowledge about the property and can answer any queries you may have and can help you to get more of an understanding in terms of what is included, the price of the rent and any deposit that may be required.
6. Its Decision Time!
You’ve finally found the house of your dreams and it ticks all or most of your boxes and you want to secure it - great! As long as everybody you will be living with is on board and on the same page there shouldn’t be any issues. Make sure if you like a property and everyone else does that you act on it as the best houses often tend to be snapped up pretty quickly and you don’t want to have to start your search all over again. Make sure you can afford the rent and consider any extra costs (are you going all inclusive with bills or will you and your housemates sort those out separately?). Once you and your fellow housemates are happy and fully costed, give the office a call and arrange to come in for a signing as soon as you can and we can get your tenancy all sorted out for you. Happy days!
7. Enjoy Your Year!
Once your contracts are all signed and any costs paid, enjoy your year and don’t hesitate to get in contact if there are any issues!
We hope these tips help to provide a mental checklist for everything that needs to be thought of when looking for a student house and gives you a point of reference. If you’re currently looking for your next student house feel free to give Home Accommodation a call on 0114 268 5454, pay us a visit at 305 Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TJ or browse our properties online at https://www.homeaccommodation.co.uk/.