How to find off-campus accommodation
Every first year has been there: it feels like you’ve only just started settling into halls and already there’s talk of where you’re going to live in second year! Between deciding where to live, who to live with and where to start looking this can feel like a really daunting experience. I’m currently in my fourth year at Warwick, and after finding two off-campus houses for me and my friends I’ve put together some simple tips that will help you find your next home-away-from-home!
- Be Eager!
Most people start looking for houses around Christmas-time, so if you leave it much later than this then a lot of the good places will be gone! My advice is to make a well-considered decision on who you want to live with, then arrange a sit-down with them to discuss where you want to live before you start looking. Ideally you want to have signed for a place by January so that you won’t be stressed trying to find a house when you’ve got important deadlines and exams to worry about.
2. Be thorough!
A lot of students make the mistake of only using one website to search for housing. This shuts out a lot of options, which might be nicer and cheaper! A good tip is to assign one website to each member of the house. Some tried and tested options are Warwick Accommodation, Rightmove and Student Homes. It’s also worth looking at local estate agents that cater to students.
3.Use your eyes!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to actually visit the house you are planning on living in. Photos are deceptive, and can easily make rooms look bigger, lighter, or cleaner than they are in reality. I would also advise not hanging around waiting for an agent to let you into the property, as they often won’t show up. Instead, if you know it’s a student house, arrange a trip to see a few on one day and just knock on the door. In most cases, the students currently living there will be expecting potential renters, and will be happy to show you around.
4. Make sure everyone is happy!
Finally, it is really important to make sure everyone is 100% happy with the choice you make. The last thing you want is to move into a house you don’t like, with people who persuaded you to live there after a large argument. You don’t want any tensions in the group, so make sure that before anything is signed, the decision is unanimous.
I hope this helps you find your student home with minimal stress! If done right, your house will be a source of great comfort to you at the most stressful times in your university life, so it’s important that you live somewhere that makes you feel happy and safe!