Pre-House Hunting Tips

Rhiannon·30 October 2022·5 min read
Pre-House Hunting Tips

Moving into University and having to find a house with people I’d only just met within a couple of months was very daunting. Here I’ve compiled some points you should consider before you start physically looking round houses.

1. Finding Housemates:

Most important thing to do before house hunting is finding your housemates. Living with current flatmates is good because you already know what it’s like to live with these people. But don’t limit yourself to your flat, don’t be afraid to ask coursemates or society friends.

It is important to only live with people who you actually want to live with, don’t wait for people to invite you into their house, ask them first.

Don’t feel like you have to include that one member of your flat who hasn’t found housemates yet just because you feel guilty. Be selfish, you can only look out for yourself. You have to live with these people for a year so you need to get it right. However, to go alongside this, it is important to be open and honest about what you’re doing. Just because you’re worried about upsetting someone because you’re not including them in your house plans, it doesn’t mean you should sneak around them. If they ask, tell them you’re already looking and you’re happy with your group.

It’s also important for you and your future housemates to be roughly on the same page about how you live. For example: are you all willing to pull your weight on the housework? Are you all on a similar page about how much you like going out? This will definitely reduce potential tension that you could experience when one housemate wants to get an early night whilst the rest of the house want a big pre-drinks.

It is also worth noting that certain numbers of bedrooms (eg: 4 bedrooms) tend to be more accessible than others (5 bedrooms) in a lot of cities. Sometimes it can be worth adding a few more people to increase your options, but only if you would actually like to live with these people.

I would emphasise that you shouldn’t rush to find housemates so you can get a better house. Take a couple of months to get to know the people around you. Don’t panic and form a group just to try and get a better house or because everyone else is!

2. What if I don’t find housemates?

If you don’t find housemates or if your friends have all already sorted their accommodation there’s no need to worry!

Things can change so much between now and the next academic year, people might drop out or switch houses. You might meet new friends who don’t happen to have sorted their house yet. If you truly do end up on your own there’s so many Facebook pages for finding housemates, many websites for finding a spare room and you can always go back into halls and get to experience freshers all over again! See it as an opportunity to meet even more friends.

3. Assess everyone’s needs:

Before you even start searching for houses you need to hone in your search. Make sure everyone can respectfully agree on a budget. Make sure everyone’s needs are considered. Does anyone want a driveway for a car, do people want a garden, can you cope with just one bathroom? This will save you a lot of time searching through houses that don’t fit everyone’s needs. If there are points people can’t agree on you might need to split the group or some people may need to find other housemates and it’s better to establish this early on.

You need to be willing to make compromises here, not everyone is going to get exactly what they want and that is just all part of the process.

4. Get to know the city:

It could be worth walking round the city a bit or asking older years what the best locations are for student houses. Some houses will be near uni, near the library, near the big supermarkets, the city centre or the nightlife. It would be useful to get a gauge of where these areas are, especially in bigger cities so you and your group can work out the sort of area that suits you most.

Hopefully the main takeaway here is DO NOT PANIC!! You’ve got to get your house right and by panicking you may make impulsive decisions which you may regret next year. Most of all, enjoy the process! It’s so much fun looking round houses and living with your friends and one you may not get to experience much once university is over!