Moving from Halls to Houses: A Student Guide

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Girl looking at a house

Uni has been going amazingly, you’ve had a week of freshers, met your housemates, participated in every social going and are on first name terms with the owners of your local takeaway. However, before you feel like you’ve even touched base with the new atmosphere, you’ll have to start thinking about moving to a house from halls: one of the most fantastic parts of university! 

The process of looking for your new home can vary at different universities, but most contracts will be signed before term one is even over. This is the time to look for the most amazing student houses

By looking early, this gives you a couple of months to consider where you’ll call home in the second year, as well as which flatmates you will be sharing with. It may seem frightening, but trust me it’s easy! We’ve got a list of top tips to help you with that next step of university life:

Choose your Flatmates wisely

One of the most important things to remember is that you will be living with these people for the next 1-2 years, so it is important that you choose the right people. It may seem fun to spend the next few years with your best mates in a house, but it may not be the best in reality. 

If you end up with the craziest of flatmates, uni will be a hard, long journey for you which is the complete opposite of what you want. So, think about the people you could live with! If cleanliness is a vital aspect of your life, you don’t want to be living with someone who doesn’t hold these qualities. Mixing with people with the same characteristics as you not only make your life so much easier and happier but most importantly makes your university experiences much calmer.

Location, Location, Location

Do you really want to have to endure a 30-minute bus ride to your university every day? In the cold, harsh winters you could be so unwilling to step out your house! Being close to the university, shops and a train station is what you need. Imagine the ease of just stepping outside your student accommodation knowing that you are 2 min away from your local food shop, 3 min walk from uni and 1 min from the train station. Life would be so good for you, don’t you agree? So, take the time now to explore parts of the city where students usually live and find the right one for you. You will thank yourself later. 

Think About Bills 

In the majority of halls, every bill is included in your initial fee so you never have to worry about that. 

But guess what; you can’t run away from them forever and soon you’ll have to start arranging bills! Our tip is to divide the expenses to provide each housemate with their own bill. You can then all individually transfer your share of the payment to a nominated person, meaning direct debits can also be set up in their name so payments won’t be missed. This way the responsibilities will be shared out equally and it makes for a much happier household! Thinking about this in advance will make moving from halls to house much easier! 

Still, sound like a chore? Student Cribs agree, so they offer all-inclusive rates for bills meaning you pay a flat weekly rate, and never have to see a utility bill during your stay. What a dream!

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Looking for a student house for the first time can appear daunting. The single biggest factor in how enjoyable this process will be is how organised you are coming up to the house-hunting season. If you think about what you want early on and begin to form a group (if you are looking for shared accommodation), you will be ready to book viewings for the following year and hopefully, you will be ahead of others so you can pick out of the best houses. Starting to view properties early also means you can avoid making a rushed decision later when options seem every more limited, reducing stress and making for an exciting process. Once everything is finalised, you can start making plans for your new home and look forward to the following year.

Get Your Priorities Straight

A wise thing to do is to create a list between you and your flatmates that you would all like your new accommodation to have. There will definitely be the need to compromise, as you want to make everyone happy and not just yourself. 

Think about things such as location; how far away is the house to the university. It may also be a priority to be close to town to help spend those student discounts and maybe in walking distance to your favourite nearby restaurant. Any crucial ideas should be discussed, that last thing you need are discrepancies between you and your housemates as you are going to be living with these people and see them every day. When you have decided on several key factors that you base your decision on, make a scoring chart for every house or flat you view and rate each factor on a scale from 1-5. When you’ve completed your viewings, you can make a tally and hopefully, select the best house for you and your group!

Home Sweet Home

Most importantly, this is going to be your new home (and probably your first real house away from home…Yay!) and a place that you can call your own. So bring all your home comforts with you to make the new year or two as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Photos, fairy lights, some greenery and nice bedding make a world of difference when you’re cramming for your final exam.

If you are planning the big move from halls to your first student house, make sure to enjoy the process! This is a big step, so make sure to make the most of the resources available to you at your student union. Take the time to research the best landlords and letting agents in your city and view a handful of properties before making a decision. For more information about student houses and flats off-campus in the UK, contact the lettings team at Student Cribs, who will be happy to assist and book you in to view the best student houses in your city. 

Student Cribs are the leading provider of second- and third-year university accommodation in the UK. Student Cribs offer exceptional student accommodation in the best locations in 23 British cities. We offer stylish and contemporary properties with the most modern facilities. With Student Cribs you enjoy a better standard of living, whilst also experiencing the peace of mind that you are living somewhere secure.