As you find yourself in the midst of the second-semester stress, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re now fully settled in your student accommodation and can finally walk around your new hometown without the aid of Google Maps.
We’re sure by now you’ve also become accustomed to finding half your weekly shop eaten by others, and you’ve acquired the skill of selective hearing (we never guaranteed you interesting flatmates!) It’s great that you now feel at home and we’re sure the anxiety of moving to university seems like a distant memory. As settled as you may be, unfortunately, you can’t live in student halls forever, and you need to start thinking about your student accommodation at university for next year.
So here are some useful tips for viewing a house, tips when viewing a house and who knows, even if you’ve moved out after university, these could be useful too, even if you’re looking for second house viewing tips as well!
These tips are useful for university students that are looking to move out, but also, these are useful open house viewing tips for buyers, house selling viewing tips and regular viewing house tips as well.
Recruit suitable housemates
You may think you already have four great friends to share a house with next year, but we ask you to take the time to understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Sharing a house with friends is not the same experience as living in halls. In halls, you still get the luxury of a lock on your bedroom door and (in some cases) an ensuite bathroom. Living in a shared university accommodation means every area (except your bedroom) is communal. Think carefully about the type of housemate you are, and try to share a house with like-minded people.
You don’t want to spend your second year cleaning up after people who are more than happy to live in dirt. If you’re set on sharing with friends who have different ideas of clean living to you, try and come to a compromise. When you first move in, go over ground rules with each other, for example distributing chores fairly and work out how bills will be split.
If everyone agrees to pull their weight, you can live happily together. Most importantly, don’t argue over petty things, there’s nothing that tests a friendship more than living together.
If you are viewing the house with your housemates, then you need to make sure you each have a copy of a checklist for viewing a house to buy, even if you are renting, just make sure that you have a house viewing checklist printable version, where possible.
Do your research
Once you’ve gathered your housemates, start scoping the area for the best student houses. Things to take into consideration are your university student budget, how far you’re willing to walk to university and how many rooms you need.
The further out you go from the centre of town the cheaper your student accommodation will be (there are plenty of student university city guides, which will help you out, too), if you’re looking for something close for a reasonable price, we suggest starting your house hunt as soon as possible ready to move in for August. It’s never too early, securing a house as early as possible saves you stress later on in the semester and you won’t find yourself walking for miles to get to lectures every day.
Request a viewing
This is a very important aspect to remember when house hunting and one that should be at the top of any checklist when viewing a house as well. An estate agent's idea of ‘spacious’ may not add up to your expectations, and that fifth bedroom they told you about may turn out to be an old cupboard.
We suggest taking someone else with you as a second pair of eyes to a viewing; your parents are always a good choice, as they’ve done it all before. Be on the lookout for anything that needs fixing before you sign as they may hold you responsible for it after you move in.
Student houses often come furnished, however, if you’ve found your perfect house in the perfect location, don’t write it off just because it doesn’t come with furniture. Filling your house doesn’t have to cost thousands, just don’t expect luxury for your budget; local second-hand shops are great for students.
It’s in a second-hand shop because it isn’t needed, not because it’s broken. Another way to grab a bargain is to visit Gumtree. Reasonably priced, good quality furniture can be found on this popular website, and what’s more, it’s local, and prices can be haggled. It’s a great way to stock up on a student budget.
If you really don’t like the idea of second-hand furniture, a trip to your local IKEA is in order. Although very reasonably priced, Ikea is expensive for students, so we suggest heading straight to their famous bargain corners.
Most IKEAs have an area at the end of the store where showcase furniture is dropped, and you can get yourself a bargain at 1/10th of the normal price for furniture.
Know your landlord
We hope this doesn’t happen to you, but you may be unfortunate enough to have a less than helpful landlord. If you find this is the case during a student property viewing, it’s important to be prepared with the right questions to ask and to know exactly what you should be looking for.
Pointing out anything that is wrong with the property before you sign for it will help you to avoid any unjust fines at the end of your tenancy.
Checklist when viewing a house
If you're looking around your first student house, you will need to have a house viewing checklist and your viewing house checklist (or student house viewing checklist, however you choose to refer is very important.
You might think that just because you're a student that you don't need to have a viewing a house checklist, but you do!
Some people like to make themselves a little house viewing checklist PDF document for them to consider when they’re looking around, but whether you're looking at student accommodation or you're looking to buy a property in general, you will need to have the same house viewing checklist for buyers as you will for renters.
So what should your checklist when viewing a house to buy be? Well, we’ve broken down each room and what you should be looking for and what questions to ask when viewing a house checklist.
Remember to request a viewing before you accept, regardless of what happens! These questions can be asked on the phone of course, but save some for an actual viewing as well.
Checklist house viewing - general:
- Are the windows double-glazed?
- When was the last time the windows and doors were changed?
- Are the doors secured and when was the last time the locks were changed?
- Is there a smoke alarm or a burglar alarm?
- Is there an attic?
- What is the insulation like?
- What is the area like for WiFi?
- What is the parking situation like?
- What is transportation like in the area?
- What are the neighbours like?
- Where is the nearest supermarket?
- Does the building have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) at all?
- What is the ventilation in the bathroom like?
- What is the hot water like and do the hot water taps work?
- Is there mould in the property or in the bathroom?
- What is the water pressure like?
- Does the fireplace work properly?
- How many wall plugs and radiators are there?
- How long has the flooring/carpeting been down for?
- What is the natural light situation like?
- What is the storage in the room like?
- Are there curtains or blinds?
So that's your room house viewing checklist renting sorted, this is the same as a buying a house viewing checklist as well.
But when making a checklist viewing house, you will also need to consider the grounds as well and any good viewing checklist for buying a house includes some questions for the garden as well.
- Is this a shared or a private garden?
- Where do the boundaries end in the garden?
- Are there any trees, small or otherwise in the garden?
- Are there fences, separating me and the neighbours?
- What is in the shed?
- Is there anything that is my responsibility to maintain while I am here?
These questions are universal for any and all house viewings, student or otherwise, so if you are looking to buy a property, don’t be off-put by seeing a house viewing checklist student. This is the same checklist as a house viewing checklist Scotland or house viewing checklist Ireland, all of these work for a checklist viewing a house.
These should all be considered for viewing properties, this should be considered and pre and final house viewing checklist.