After their first year, many students move off campus which can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time doing so. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the process smooth and steady. It may seem a bit early to consider housing for the next academic year, but trust me, it will be worth it. Although most second and third years stay in the same house for the remainder of their degree, they sometimes have to relocate.
Something I learnt firsthand is to check the estate agent you’re using. I made the mistake of not checking reviews, and could have avoided months of stress had I done so. When looking for an estate agent, you should check their turnaround time and I would also recommend looking at reviews online. The process of renting a house can take a while so it’s definitely an idea to start looking at houses soon after the Christmas holidays.
When applying for a house, make sure you have visited it and if you can, talk to the current tenants. Ask important questions such as whether the landlord maintains
the property well, whether utilities such as heating work well, etc. Trust me, you’ll want functioning heating during winter. Also take into account the location of the house you’re looking at as that may affect the price of rent.
One might think once you’ve moved into your new house, your job is done, but it’s only the beginning. Depending on the house, it might come furnished but it’s likely you’ll have to buy bits and pieces. A definite go-to store for cheap furniture and appliances is Wilko which can be found in the city. Once you move into a new house, you’ll have to contact utility suppliers for electricity and gas, water and Wi-Fi. It’s important this is sorted out quickly so you aren’t billed in someone else’s name.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of housing are your housemates. I know people who are moving houses next year just because they don’t get along with their current housemates. Living with flatmates in campus residences won’t be the same as living in a house with them. Sometimes, good friends don’t make the best housemates.
This is not always the case but it might be a good idea to pick housemates that have a similar lifestyle to you.
The last piece of advice I want to give is to enjoy the independence living off campus gives you. I didn’t realise it until I moved off campus but the university takes care of everything in terms of accommodation.
Moving into a rented house will give you a taste of life after university, and the responsibility that is to come. If the process of getting a house stresses you, good. It should.
At the end of the day, it’ll hone your organisational skills and ability to solve problems. Despite the stressful months that came with applying for a house, it’s warming to have a place of my own (and to not have to use the laundrette…).