Things to consider when looking for student accommodation
Having to look for new student accommodation is probably the most stressful things I have had to do yet... apart from my studies of course!
As a first year student looking at student accommodation for my second year, this is the first time I have ever had to look for student housing on my own, (last year, I picked Liberty Living and all I had to do was wait to get confirmation from them). This year, my friends and I have to look as a group and I think these are the things you need to consider when looking for student accommodation:
1. Who you want to live with – For example, do you want to live in a flat with all girls, all guys or a mixture of both?
2. How many of you want to live together? – This is a massive decision because you then have to think about how many bedrooms you will need. If there are ten of you wanting to live together, it is very unlikely you will get a flat big enough. There will need to be some compromising for example, are people willing to share a room? If the answer to that is no, then the next question would be, is there anyone or any number of people that mind not living with you?
3. Where do you want to live? – As a student studying in London, you are unlikely to be able to afford to live in Chelsea. So, you may need to compromise, if the zone you want to live in or the zone where your university is situated is too expensive, then you should think about moving out of your preferred zone and move a little further away from your university. Student accommodation is not cheap at the best of times but living in your perfect location is not always possible.
4. Budget – Make sure you know your budget before you start looking for student accommodation. With the help of my Dad, I created a spread sheet and we worked out on average what I can afford, so I now know what my basic outgoings and incomings will be. This helped me enormously as I know now how much I can afford annually, monthly and weekly. The best thing is any outgoings will be split between me and my three friends who are planning to live together.
5. What are you going to do in the summer? – This is a huge issue for me. I really want to stay in London, for the summer, but I know I cannot afford to rent in London. So, you need to think about how and where you will live for the summer months. I know some private student accommodation providers offer rooms for the summer break, Liberty Living included. You will need to ask about this in advance, as I can imagine lots of other students wanting to spend their summer in London, either working or taking on internships, and rooms will be booked up pretty quickly so I would recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.
These are the five best tips I can give you. Who knows, if you are lucky enough, you might get to keep the place you find for the rest of your time at University.
Good look and happy hunting, I hope you find something suitable for your needs!
Posted on 18th February 2014 by Jessica H.