We asked final year Business and Management student Esme McQue to share her experiences of house hunting and she had some great advice…
Initially I found house hunting quiet daunting, who was I going to live with, how much will it cost, will I get the box room… In first year, you’re bound to make mistakes, but hopefully if you follow my top tips ill save you from a few!
Move too fast
In first year, I remember receiving numerous emails and leaflets from uni to stop people rushing into signing for a house in second year- whilst other people were telling us to hurry before all the best ones went.
The pressure to get the best house was overwhelming so my friends and I chose to look at houses before the Christmas break. 8 of us came together and began to scour housing websites, which led to viewings that week!
We ended up loving the first house we viewed and thought we wouldn’t find better. The landlord told us he had other viewings lined up (classic sales trick) and we all felt under pressure to sign a deal, so we did it that same night...
Although the house was nice, we ended up paying a lot more in comparison to people we knew who waited till the start of semester two to look for houses, and what made things worse was that I ended up with the cupboard room. After Christmas, there was still plenty of houses up for rent in our area, and after seeing a house that other friends found, it was clear we had rushed into renting too early.
Halfway through second year, it became clear that living with 8 people was too much, so four of us decided to downsize to a smaller house for final year. Initially living with loads of people sounded fun, but when everyone’s stressed with uni work, it can get tense… and dirty!
Rather than look before Christmas when we were all busy with deadlines, we waited till we were all back as it’s always important that everyone gets to see the house.
Before we even begun looking we made a list of things we ALL wanted from the house. We went to numerous estate agents with our specifications and booked viewings.
After seeing them, we took time to discuss, picked our 2 favourites and went to take a second look. Having a second viewing allowed us to check nitty-gritty aspects such as the security of windows and doors.
Learning from mistakes
Being overwhelmed by the whole experience in second year we were afraid to ask questions during the whole process. In second year we made a list regarding payments and anything we were unsure about.
Take your time in choosing the people you live with, the location you want to live in and most importantly the house you want to spend a whole year in!
Don't forget to look for houses with Unipol. They are a housing charity whose mission is to help the students of Leeds find the best homes possible without the hype or bias. And on Saturday 20 January 2018 they launched the largest selection of accredited student properties in Leeds with 17,000 bed spaces available - so don't let anyone tell you that there won't be any left if you don't look now.