student life

First time house hunting advice for students

It’s that time of year, again. Students are starting to look for their new home to move into for the next academic year. Here are some tips on how to make sure your decision now will not cause you any hassle when you move in during September 2016.

Choose the right people to live with

It’s early days, very early days. For freshers, they’ve only really known their university friends for just over a month and they’re already being faced with the dreaded decision of choosing who they’re going to live with in their second year. It’s quite a stressful decision as you don’t really know each other well enough, but you know you need to decide soon. When I was in that position last year, myself and the girls from my flat all agreed to live together as none of us were close enough to our course mates to commit ourselves to living with them. For some, this works out. For others, it doesn’t and leads to problems when you move in. As your first year goes on, some people do change and it makes you question why you’ve signed for a house with them, so make sure that you’re sure you’ll be happy living with the people you’ve agreed to live with.


Location is a very important factor. Some universities have their halls of residence on the campus, meaning you roll out of bed 10 minutes before a lecture and can still make it on time. Others, like the University of Sheffield where I study don’t run like that… The halls of residence are a 25 minute walk away from the university, so all uni of students opt to live a lot closer to the buildings during their second, third, fourth, fifth year. Make sure that you all agree on the same location, my friend wanted to live in an area with lots of nice restaurants but didn’t think about the distance. We now have to walk 30 minutes up hill to get to uni. So take into account everything, even if the area isn’t that nice, you want to be happy getting out of bed for uni!

The house

The house, apartment, flat or whatever you decide to live in is obviously a huge part to this. It’s where you’ll be living for a year, so you have to learn to love it, or grin and bear it. Remember that your first official place probably won’t be as luxury as halls was, it also won’t even be up there with your family home. I remember looking around houses a year ago and turning my nose up at them because they were old and looked dark and creepy. However after a few more viewings, it finally sunk in that these were student houses, so what else would I expect from them? Make sure that you write down any questions you’ll have for the estate agent or landlord/lady as you want to be 100% certain that you’re signing for a good property. Check if there are any problems with mold, and make sure that all of you are happy with it. 


This is your first place, enjoy it and make the most of living away from home with your new friends and take in all of that independence. You’ll notice that it certainly isn’t as easy as living in halls was, but it shows you what the real world is like and you can certainly make your property a home.