If you’re heading into your next year of university and it’s time to start thinking about where you’re going to live for the next academic year, you may be wondering where to begin when it comes to finding the perfect pad.
Deciding on a place to live is definitely one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for the year, but once you’ve found the perfect home everything will fall into place, and you can relax and get on with studying and socialising!
If you’re going into your first or second year and you lived in halls last year, or even if you’re a fresher and you’re not sure what living arrangements will be best for you, there are a few key decisions to make when choosing a house or flat.
So to help you out a little bit, we thought we’d share a few tips with you for finding your next place to live at uni!
The cheapest and the best places will probably get snapped up pretty quickly, so don’t hang about before you start looking! This doesn’t mean that you need to snap up the first place you look at, but definitely don’t leave it til the last minute.
Consider your location
Often rent will be cheaper if you’re a little bit further from the centre of town or campus. Depending on your transport options, this might not be a problem but do factor in how much you will spend on taxis if you can’t use public transport of cycle easily if you need to get to lectures.
If it is too difficult or expensive to make it into uni as often as you should, you’ll likely end up using it as an excuse to not go in, and your studies will suffer.
If you’re not all that familiar with the area yet or if you’re just moving to a new city to start uni, it’s a good idea to take a look on Google maps, particularly Street View and have a look around. This will help you to get your bearings!
Check what’s included
One thing that will ultimately shape your decision is how affordable somewhere is, but make sure you don’t get lured in by cheap rent and then stung by lots of bills. Especially if you’re used to getting everything included, you should ask for details of which bills are included in your rent and which you will have to sort for yourself and get an idea of how much you are likely to need to pay.
Paying your own bills isn’t too much of a problem if you’re good with money, but it can be a bit of a pain if you’re sharing with others to end up chasing people for their share of the bills every month.
Even once you move out of halls it’s still possible to find accommodation where bills are included. Mighty Student Living who provide student accommodation in Lancaster told us “our student properties include all bills and we provide fast internet and TV for our student tenants.
We even include top-level contents insurance, because students need coverage for their gadgets and computers so that they can study with peace of mind, and this is something that is often overlooked when sorting out the bills.”