Making a ‘Home’ from Home at Uni – Things To Consider When Choosing Your Student Accommodation
Your student accommodation in Loughborough should feel like more than just a temporary crash pad while you complete your studies. It should be a home away from home, somewhere you can work (and play) comfortably and relax after a long day.
There are a few things you should consider when choosing your accommodation for next year.
Take Deciding Who You’re Going To Live With Seriously
One of the first things you will need to sort is who you are going to live with. This may seem like the easy part but it’s worth taking the time to really consider your options. Making the wrong choice when it comes to your housemates can be fatal, not only for friendships but for the whole feel of a student home – the last thing you need is to feel alienated or uncomfortable in your own house.
Once you’ve made your decision, keep in mind the amount of rooms you’ll need and check there are houses in your desired area that can accommodate you. If you’re in a bigger group it may be tricky to keep everyone happy, and larger houses tend to get snapped up quickly, so either get organised and view early or try and stick to smaller groups.
Location, Location, Location
Thinking seriously about what sort of area you want to live in is important when choosing any type of accommodation. It’s especially important when you’re looking for houses as a student as you need to consider how close the house is to campus, whether there’s decent transport links (if you don’t have a car), if there’s safe/free parking (if you do have a car), and how close the nearest supermarket is?!
You may be more drawn to an area because of other friends that are living there, but think realistically about how far you’d have to travel every day. Also, have a look around the streets before viewing the house, take some time to check out who and what type of things and you’ll be sharing a neighbourhood with – i.e. are there loads of boarded up shops or are there a lot of families with young children? These are all things that will give you an idea about the type of area you’ll potentially be living in.
“OMG, those curtains though…”
So, interior design might not be up there in your list of priorities when choosing your student accommodation, but it’s worth really asking yourself if you like the look and layout of a potential house. If two of the four bedrooms are downstairs, is it going to bother you if you end up in one of them? Is a groovy 1970’s olive green bathroom a deal breaker for you or do you see it as totally retro?!
It’s also a good idea to check out the garden space of any student properties you view. Any outdoor space attached to a property is considered part of the house and will need to be maintained – so while a lovely planted garden may look great when you view it, just remember this will need tending. A good rule of thumb for student houses is to look for outdoor spaces that are paved or pebbled – avoid loads of grass or big bushes if you can!
“There is no stupid question; stupid people don’t ask questions”
Ask questions! If something isn’t obvious, ask. If something doesn’t look or smell right, ask. If the previous tenants are hanging about while you’re viewing the property, ask them their honest opinion about living there – Is it warm? Are the neighbours noisy? How much are the utilities? If you want to know exactly what items are included in the tenancy agreement, ask. No question is a silly question and any landlord worth their salt will be happy to answer anything you throw at them (as long as it’s about the property!)
Plus, taking the time to have a conversation with the landlord will help give you an idea about the type of person they are. After all, they’re the one you’ll have to call if the boiler breaks in the middle of winter or if the shower springs a leak at 2am! You need to get a feel for the type of person they are and be comfortable that you’re choosing not only the right house for you but also the right landlord.
Sleep On It
Another thing to keep in mind is to not rush your decision. Many students settle on the first house they see, usually because they’ve left it too late and they’re left with slim pickings! If you start looking early enough though, you’ll be able to take your time, view as many houses as you like and choose the right one for you instead of panic signing a contract for somewhere that’s just not right.
Also, make sure it’s a group decision. You’re all going to have to live there for an entire academic year so it needs to be right for all of you. Once you’ve viewed a property, go away, have a chat about it and make your decision away from the prying eyes and ears of the prospective landlord.
For more tips and advice to help you on your way to creating a true home from home at uni, check out our Useful Guide To Viewing Student Houses.
If you are planning to move-on from halls, then renting a shared property can be a great way of getting the most out of your time at uni. Our student houses are extremely popular and some have already been booked for next year! To avoid disappointment, take a look at our Loughborough student accommodation now and enquire EARLY! Alternatively, pop into the office anytime for a coffee and a chat to discuss your needs.
Andrew Chell can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 01509 552814
Mobile: 07769 684800
Office: 66 Ashby Road, Loughborough LE11 3AE
Published 29th October 2015