Picture this: it’s October in semester one, everyone around you is talking about next year’s houses, they’re going to viewings, some are even signing on the dotted line. You are bombarded with people’s Instagram stories toasting to next year, and you feel like the only person who hasn’t found a house.
That was me when I was in my first year, it seemed like everyone but me had found a house, and I hadn’t even decided who I wanted to live with! My flatmates had split into two groups and each had found a place for next year, so that was off the table.
I had two close friends on my course, and I knew they hadn’t signed for anywhere yet. I was scared to ask them what their plans were, worried they’d be against living with me for some unfathomable reason. But one night, I bit the bullet and asked and it was the best thing I did! They told me they hadn’t found anywhere yet and were happy to look for something together. So the three of us, along with one of the girl’s flatmates and best friend, organised a night to get together and do some Googling.
My future housemates attended about four viewings before they found the house we currently live in (and have lived in for two years!). Unfortunately I couldn’t go to any in-person viewings, but they took so many photos for me.
We spoke about it, and decided we really liked this particular house. I didn’t want to sign anything before seeing it for myself, and so we organised a second viewing for the week before Christmas break and this reaffirmed what we all felt.
We decided to take Christmas to think about it, and read over the contracts. This was the best decision for us, because when we returned in January, we were confident in our decision.
I love the house I live in, and the people you live with really do make your second year house feel like a home.
Top tips when it comes to renting:
- Wait! - It’s still so early on in your uni experience, and especially in the current situation, you have only met a handful of people who could be your potential housemates.
- Meet some people- although it feels impossible at the minute, there are so many ways to meet people and make new friends! Join some societies, join our Match Up Catch Up programme and reach out to course mates. You don’t have to live with your current flat forever.
- Go to lots of (virtual) viewings- look at as many houses as you can. Don’t feel the pressure from estate agents when they tell you that the first house you view is the last five person house in Selly- it definitely isn’t!
- Home is where the heart is- it’s the people you live with who are important, not the house. If you’re going to be spending a year in a small, student house, you want to make sure it’s with people you really get on with. That is what will make your uni experience so memorable