There are many factors that will define your university experience, from the city you choose to study in to the friends you make, your course, who you live with, and even the properties that most of your memories are made in.
Although you might imagine that student accommodation will be nothing more than a place to lay your head at night, it will have more of an impact on your day-to-day life than you might imagine, so you must make your decision with care.
So that you get it right, here are three top tips to help you…
Set Yourself a Realistic Budget
One of the main expenses that you’ll have as a student is your monthly rental payments, and it’s essential that you do not overstretch yourself. Should you be too optimistic about how much you can afford to spend, you’ll soon find yourself coming up short in other areas, and this could negatively impact your whole university experience.
If you want enough left aside to make the most of your time away, perform this simple calculation whenever you see a potential place: subtract the annual rental total from the amount that you’ll have to live on, divide the remainder by 12, and be realistic about whether or not this leaves you enough each month to pay for everything else.
Consider the Location with Care
We also advise you to think long and hard about exactly where the property is located. Although houses and flats on the outskirts of student areas may well be cheaper than those closer to your university, you need to think about whether you can realistically walk in and out every day, and if you can’t, whether the amount you’ll need to spend on buses or investing in a bike balances out the amount you’ll save on your monthly rental costs. If the sums don’t add up, know this before you commit.
Always View the Property at Least Once
We have one further tip that we really think you should heed. Follow Hatched’s suggestion and make sure that you always view a potential rental property at least once before you move in. Even if you live miles away, it’s still worth making the trip, for photos and floorplans alone can hide an awful lot that the landlord might not want you to know about. Take a look at the place in the flesh, get a feel for it, and spend some time checking out walking and bus routes so that you’re not left clueless on the first day of term.
Follow these three simple tips today to make your university experience as pleasant and problem-free as possible.