Even though we are only a few short months into the first term, many first years are now looking ahead to moving from halls into their first student home. Getting your keys to your first proper house and being able to choose who to live with is beyond exciting! Whilst it’s a really amazing time for students, the transitional period, decisions and responsibility can sometimes feel a little over-whelming. Here at Chester Student Lets, we’ve put together some advice to help guide you through moving on from halls….
Whilst it can be tempting to get caught up in the rush to find a house, try to take a moment and not bow to the pressure to ‘get it sorted ASAP’. Private accommodation is not as flexible as student halls, when you sign that contract you are legally bound to both that house and that group of people for a year. Whilst your new home will give you more independence, you’ll still be living closely with your housemates, so it is worth trying to find a group of people similar to yourself, with similar routines and habits. After all, a student nurse working nights might not want to share with a music student who needs to practice drums during the day! Getting a house is a big commitment, and shouldn’t be rushed!
Location, location, location
When you’ve found the group of people you want to live with next year, it is important to start thinking where in the city you want to live. There are often great student housing options within walking distance of each campus, whether you’re at Parkgate or Riverside! It’s useful to think about how your location will affect your daily life – how far away are all the places you need to be? Your lectures? Your part time job? The train station? But remember – you are sharing! Try to find a house that works as a good epicentre for both you and your housemates, and not too expensive in a taxi back from Revs.
Bursting that bubble
Halls is a great place for your first year at university, being totally immersed in the campus bubble, with all your friends just down the hall, or in the flat above, or below… but when you move off campus and into a house, that little bubble will have to pop. It’s important to be respectful of your neighbours, as boring as that sounds. Your neighbours may be elderly couples or families or young professionals with demanding jobs. Although, this doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have any fun! Pre-warn your neighbours if you are planning on having any parties. Turn the music off, head out to a nightclub before 11pm and don’t bring the party back with you after closing time!
New house, new you, new bills
Another thing included in your wonderful halls bubble are bills. All bills, including internet, water, gas and electric (with the latter being responsible for why your bedroom in halls was always nice and toasty) are usually included in your rent. When you move into your first student home, unless specifically stated otherwise, you may have to pay for these bills directly. You firstly need to find out from your landlord or letting agent whether you are on a meter or are paying monthly/quarterly, then you need to decide amongst yourselves how you will pay each bill, and finally you need to budget, budget, budget! Remember, if you pay bills late you may get additional charges added so it’s in your best interest to keep on top of your new bills, or you’ll have to dip into your drinking fund to pay late payment charges.
And finally, don't forget all the benefits!
Now we’ve taken you on a whistle-stop tour through all the biggest changes and pitfalls about moving on from halls, the most important note to leave you with is just how exciting your first student home will be! You get to choose your housemates and gain more independence than halls allows you, you might even get to upgrade from a single to a double bed. You’ll have your friends nearby to help motivate you through staying up late to finish that essay, or to make you a cup of tea if you’re feeling ill (or hungover!). Your student house will very quickly become a home, so start to get excited.
If you have any questions about any of our homes, or would just like to talk through any of the points discussed in this post, please call 01244 374650 and select option 1 or pop into the hub on Garden Lane, we'd love to meet you!