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Accommodation

House Hunting: advice from a third year

By BzBarlow 07 Nov 2016

It's second term, so if you haven't already, you'll soon be starting to think about where you're going to live next year, and who with.

The important thing to do is not to panic - and most importantly, don't rush into anything.

Being a third-year student into my final house of uni life, I've managed to pick up some tips for finding the best accommodation for you!

First year mistakes

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... 
Mistake My Bad animated GIF

The result

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. 

Flickr

So, for our third-year house we did things differently...

The reality

Half way through 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 trust me, when everyone is stressed with uni work it can get tense! 
people animated GIF

Rather than look before Christmas when we were all busy with deadlines, we waited till we were all back as it’s always important that everyone gets to see the house.

Moving Forward

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 going to sign the papers, and although the house I live in now can get a bit chilly, I have space to actually move!

If I had known what I knew this year when finding our first house the whole process would have been a lot easier..

Remember
Take your time in choosing the people you live with, the location you want to live in and most importantly the house you want to spend a whole year in!

Look out for the Don't Rent Yet campaign from your Accommodation Team. The Team have lots of tips and advice about renting, including a list of landlords who the University have checked out. 

Happy hunting!

BzBarlow is part of the Browzer team and loves to bake.
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