Finding Student Housing can be a pain, but it really shouldn’t be. There are plenty of ways to make this job a lot easier for you and the people you are planning on living with. I recently moved out of University Accommodations into a private house and although its not as easy as student accommodation it definitely has its perks! To get the ball rolling you really have to look around for the house/flat you really want. Here is a quick list of things you should bare in mind when looking at a property:
- Number of Bedrooms
- Size of each Bedroom (ideally you want to make sure all of you have the same size room)
- Kitchen size
- Appliances that come with the house
Estate Agents are keen to find students like yourself since there are absolutely tons of us and as far as they see it, we are not really that fussy. Check which estate agents around you offer student housing. Don’t be afraid to go into an estate agent in town and just ask if they cater for students, many of them will. A word of caution though, a lot of people I know just ended up sticking with one agent. Personally I would not advise this at all! Its always best to check out as many different estate agents as you can, they each have different properties on their books and to be honest the one that is closest to your university is probably the worst since they know most students will end up checking them out. Don’t forget to ask each estate agents what they charge! You don’t want to end up missing out on the house you really want because you cant afford the agents fees.
Boards around University
Look around you! There are tons of boards around university which often have properties advertised. This is a great way to avoid paying any agent fees. On the flip side the choice you have is limited. But if you see a property advertised it doesn’t hurt to take down the number and give them a call for a quick viewing.
University Sponsored Housing
Often a university will have their own housing office. They are there to help you! Often it is free or they can charge a small fee, but it is nearly always cheaper than what agents would charge. The houses they show are geared towards students and are often very near university. Sometimes the houses which are shown are university owned, which means that the rent will be much lower than other properties. Again this depends on your university, but it is worth checking if your university offers something like this.
There are a variety of different websites that have sprung up the past few years that cater just to student accommodation. Although many of these websites like http://www.accommodationforstudents.com/ don’t have much inventory for smaller towns. There are other websites which you can use to find your house/flat. For example a friend of mine usedhttp://www.gumtree.com/ to find his place. This saved on agent fees and meant he could speak to the landlord directly.
Take a walk
The one feature of any house which is impossible to change is its location. I would advise you to find an area that you want to live in first. Try to find somewhere close to university since this is where you are actually meant to be. If you have somewhere that you or one of your house mates works try and find an area between the two. Once you have found it try taking a walk around there to see if there are any boards outside any houses which say its for rent. If there are contact the agents and quote the number of the house and the road it is on.
I hope this helped. If you have any questions or comments just drop me a line !