House-Hunting Tips for Second Year
I don’t know about you guys… but for me, looking for houses and the prospect of sorting out rent etc was super daunting. It was this moment that I really felt I had become an adult. So, if you’re in the process of house-hunting or planning ahead, here’s some tips and advice I’d give to anyone based on my experiences.
Tip 1: DON’T RUSH INTO FINDING ACCOMMODATION.
One thing I’d stress the most, now looking back on going from first year into second year, and having lived in my off-campus property for a term, would be to think about what you really want when looking into second year accommodation. There is such a massive stigma, particularly at Warwick, to rush and find somewhere before everything gets taken, and most of the time people tend to forget the importance of choosing the right people to live with and finding the right place for them. Especially as a fresher, it’s natural to feel as though you have very little time to decide who you want to live with and where, but it is so much better to take the time at the start to pick carefully and make the right decisions, before you live to regret it the following year. I’ve spoken to numerous people about their second year living experiences, and many people have said they’ve had issues with some of their housemates because of cleanliness and noise issues within the group. Hygiene and noise are such key factors that can make or break a house group, so I would emphasise the importance of getting to know the people you want to live with before following through with anything.
Tip 2: MAKE SURE THE LOCATION IS RIGHT FOR YOU.
In second year, the main two popular living destinations amongst my friends were Leamington Spa and Coventry. But there are plenty of options, it is just essential that you pick the place best-suited for you. When looking into second year accommodation, I spoke to some of my friends in the years above me, and I found this to be incredibly helpful to hear of their experiences living in different areas as it enabled me to weigh up the pros and cons of each place. I wanted to live somewhere where I felt safe and within a student-community; and having lived in Leamington Spa for a few months now, I can certainly say that this is the case. The main issue I’ve encountered with living in Leamington is that buses are incredibly unreliable when you need to get onto campus. This has led many of my friends to look into living closer to campus for third year. Again, it’s all about what you are looking for and what you prioritise.
Tip 3: DO RESEARCH/ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LANDLORD/AGENCY/PROPERTY
Something which many people forget to do amongst the excitement and prospect of living off-campus with their friends, is to ask plenty of questions about the place you plan to live in and find out whether your landlord/agency is good. One recurring issue that many of my friends have had living off-campus this year, has been communication problems with landlords and agencies once they’ve encountered an issue with their property (e.g. heating, hot water etc). This is so important to look into before finalising contracts, because having a rubbish landlord could turn out to be your worst nightmare, and no one wants to add anymore unnecessary stress to their lives!
So, wherever it is that you choose to live in your second, third or fourth year, just remember that there is no rush. You have time… so spend it wisely when picking the right people and the right place for you!