The end of the summer is nigh. While no-one wants to hear this, the last few weeks in August brings a special kind of stress for students. The house hunt.
The media’s full of reports about how tough the rental market is at the moment. This doesn’t make anyone feel confident while scouring the classifieds for a temporary home.
As house-hunting is, for many of us, a necessary evil, try and put aside the pessimism dominating headlines. Those stories won’t help with the search.
Where to look?
- Online. There are loads of websites, but daft.ie is probably one of the most useful
- Newspapers, there’s no harm in getting retro, buy local papers as soon as they’re available
- Your students’ union should have good advice
- Your college may have information and lists of associated accommodation.
Paying a price
Where you’re looking will hugely influence the rent you’re expected to pay. What can you do to offset some of the costs?
- Check out if you’re entitled to any kind of financial assistance
- Be prepared to live further away from college and consider commuting or cycling
- Drop your standards a little, we’re not saying have no self-respect, just know you might have to compromise
- Consider sharing, your flat yes, but also your room – though you must feel secure and comfortable with any living arrangement.
Only early birds get any worms
Looking for somewhere to live can be a full-time occupation. Getting to a property ahead of everyone else is really the only way forward.
Don’t delay in looking at adverts and if you’re replying to one, do it straight away. Also, try to view the place as soon as you can, and have your deposits and references ready. Landlords will have no loyalty, it’s usually first come, first serve.
Split up the work
If you’re looking with friends, take it in turns to stay on top of upcoming adverts and responding to them. Don’t be afraid of asking for help or advice from people with more experience of house-hunting. There’s a first time for everyone.
Looking at property and dealing with landlords or agents can be daunting. If you’re visiting a property, try and take someone you trust with you, maybe a family member.
You’re not alone
As tough as it is, keep in mind you’re not the only one struggling to find accommodation. This thought might not actively aid the hunt, bit it can help to keep your chin up.