We’ve spoken to a selection of University graduates and compiled a list of tips to make hunting for, and living in, your first student house as painless as possible. ‘Cos we’re nice like that.
• Be tolerant with your housemates. You don’t know someone until you live with them, so forgive their habits because you may be just as irritating.
• Set up a direct debit for house bills. That way no one forgets to pay and you don’t have to have an awkward argument with your mates about money every month.
• Is the area student friendly? Strength in numbers and all that. But seriously, a student area may be a tad more forgiving when it comes to late night festivities and the sound of deep house.
• Do your research on the local amenities. Nobody wants to wake up hungover knowing they have a massive trek to the nearest shop for some milk. Also, a thirty minute walk to uni may not sound too bad, but don’t forget you’ll be required to do it twice a day in all sorts of weather!
• Take turns in buying milk, bread, sugar and, perhaps the most common cause of house bust-ups, loo roll. They’re the things that the majority will use, so be fair and create a rota so that everyone is chipping in.
• Wash as you go. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the washing-up and allowing a huge pile to build up in the sink. Bite the bullet and get it done as soon as you’ve finished eating – you’ll feel better for it later.
• Do the maths. Make sure that you can comfortably afford the rent… with enough spare at the weekend for a box of frosties and a six pack of Carlsberg.
• Cook together a few times a week. Food shopping can be expensive, so save yourselves a bit of dough and take it in turns to make meals for everyone in the house. It’s also helps to get everyone together for an hour or two in the evening.
• When you view a house make sure every room has a lock on its door – thieves do tend to target student houses. Secondly, remember to use said locks!
• Enjoy it! It’s great having your own personal freedom and living with friends during an exciting period of your life. Be spontaneous, make the most of things and don’t leave any regrets.
The Student Housing GUide