Posted on Tue 26 Nov 2019 at 12:40 by Christopher Carter
This Wednesday (27th November) is HOUSING DAY in the SU, where you’ll have the opportunity to find out more about the process of looking for off-campus accommodation. Whether you’ve started planning this already or haven’t given it a moment’s thought, this is your chance to chat to members of the SU Advice Centre team, together with representatives from Warwick Accommodation, local community organisations and various student support services about your options.
As current or former students, the Officer team have all been through this process at one stage or another, so I wanted to share my Top 10 tips for success ahead of the event! These are by no means a definitive list of things to think about, but they should hopefully provide a useful starting point.
If you have any questions or queries at any stage, I’m always here to help via firstname.lastname@example.org - as is our Advice Centre! For all things housing-related, from Estate Agent info to signing contracts, come and visit them on the 2nd floor of SUHQ or email email@example.com. For more info about the house-hunting process, you can also visit our Advice Centre webpages.
1) Location, Location, Location…
Where do you want to live? Leamington Spa? Earlsdon? Central Coventry? There are so many options with pros & cons to different locations, such as distance and the different things you can do there - so take some time to think about this! If your current friends want to live in a different location to you, that’s okay - you can always find different ways to meet up with them, so make sure you choose a home in an area that suits you!
2) Type of Property
A house, apartment, or private accommodation? Living in a shared house can be so exciting, but there are also many benefits to moving into private accommodation (such as not worrying about how to divide up the bills)! If you aren’t sure who you want to live with, this can be a great option - private accommodation is available in various locations, including Studios with your own kitchen.
3) Coursemates as Housemates
Living with your coursemates can be great, particularly when it comes to revising at home during exam season or helping each other out with assignments. However, it can also be great to go home and take a break with people who study different subjects to you and balance out those pressure points during the year. Take the opportunity to broaden your circles and learn more about other subjects!
4) Size of House
A house of 10 or an apartment for 2? The size of property you decide live in can impact your living experience – having 9 housemates can mean you always have company, while a quiet house for 2 could be your very own sanctuary. Have a think about what would make you feel most comfortable.
5) Choosing the type of Housemate for you
The people who you love going to Pop! with every week may not automatically make the best housemates, so it’s important to have a think about what it is you’d like in a housemate! Spend some time getting to know people before you begin the house-hunting process together… you won’t be moving in until October 2020, which is quite a long way away!
When considering housing, it’s really important to determine your budget, taking into account the fact that besides the rent itself there are also various costs such as heating and water bills, WiFi etc which may not be included. There are so many different factors affecting these additional charges, so be sure to keep this in mind and make sure all costs will be feasible before making any commitments!
7) The Hunt
Go and have a look at as many potential properties as you can, as well as the area itself. Have a chat with the current tenants and get their opinions on the home. Once you’re happy, be sure to read over your contract properly, as these are legally binding! Does everything in there match what you’ve discussed with the Estate Agent or Landlord? If you’re unsure, you can always run this by the Advice Centre team, who will happily review your contract before you sign.
8) Thanks, but no thanks…
While you’re figuring out where and who you want to live with, remember that there is no pressure to live with people whose ideal situation may not match up with yours. If your current flatmates or friends would like to live with you but you are unsure, it’s okay to say no! A simple: “Thanks for the offer, it is well appreciated - but I think I’d rather live in Earlsdon” is absolutely fine! It may feel slightly awkward at first, but it is worth it to ensure you end up in the best possible situation.
9) Put yourself first
Finding somewhere to live doesn’t have to be scary, but it is really important to get it right. Once you have figured out your personal criteria – location, type of property, size, budget etc, do make sure that you stick to these and prioritise what’s important to you! In the long run, you’ll be much happier and it will make life that little bit easier.
10) Don’t rush
If you take anything from this blog post, let it be this: there is absolutely no rush to sort out your accommodation straight away. There are more houses, flats, studios and purpose-built accommodation than ever for students nowadays, and they won’t go anywhere! Take your time to figure out what you want and then assess how best to achieve that - there will always be something available.