When looking for a student property there are going to be several factors which you need to consider before choosing the perfect house.
Initially, the most important thing is affordable rent. You could find the best property in a lovely area with the most wonderful surrounding which suits you perfectly but if the rent is extortionate you are not going to be able to afford that as a student! Work out your budget before you even view a property. Don’t visit properties with higher rents than your budget – if you can’t afford it on paper then you can’t afford it in reality and you are likely to get yourself into a mess trying to maintain a standard of living which is beyond your capacity.
So once you have narrowed down the field in terms of price-range, you will likely have several areas which are available to you as properties usually are in trends depending on the area – most 3 bed semis in a certain area will be a similar price etc. You will find that you sometimes get more for your money in reduced standards – IE – the decor may not be very modern but the living space is slightly larger, often the equation of rent is based on the property that is offered in total – not just size. That is why you will find that you sometimes get a very large housing opportunity that is much bigger than others in the area but there is peeling paint and the odd stained carpet. The Landlord is choosing the reduce the rent rather than pay to remedy the repairs to decoration, this will obviously be of benefit to you if you are on a tight budget and are not too concerned with busy wallpaper.
The next thing to consider is how you will travel. If you have a car, this makes things easier but do consider petrol costs on a regular basis – if it a 20 minute drive each way to your campus, you are going to be spending a fair amount on fuel each month. If you do not drive then you are going to need to look into bus routes in the surrounding areas. Don’t just consider getting to campus. How will you get to and from libraries, Doctors surgeries, the local supermarket and of course getting to and from those late nights out in town? Look at bus routes and times – especially if you are coming from an area where buses run all the time, as this is not always the case and they may not run all throughout the night or on Sundays!
So when you have considered how near you will need to be to University and how you will get there, you should have whittled down your potential areas a little further. You will be left with one or two areas with affordable houses for your budget. Now you need to consider the houses in this area, make appointments to view some and work out what you will be getting for your money – and if you have to compromise, what the most important things in the house are! For example, a small garden area would be acceptable but would 1 bathroom in a house of 6 students? If you have to choose between a large garden and two bathrooms, which is going to benefit you most in the long run. Consider that you will use the bathrooms every day (hopefully) but how often will you use the garden? If the weather is good you could just as easily go to a local park or pub garden!