The Six Most Common Blunders of Student House-Hunters
It’s probably safe to say that any student seeking student housing at St Andrews university has already had enough sketchy stories to last a lifetime. The very subject of student accommodation is one that immediately brings to mind connotations of dodgy landlords, less-than spectacular living conditions and trying to get by on the kinds of rations a canary would struggle to survive on. Of course, common sense dictates that about 99% of these stories are either blown out of proportion or completely untrue, but it still makes the prospect of seeking student accommodation for the first time somewhat unnerving.
The good news however is that on today’s market, the overwhelming majority of student housing options up for grabs are nothing short of superb. Quality standards have been increasing for years and prices have been gradually plummeting, resulting in a market where falling foul of a dud is actually quite rare. As such, it’s simply a case of gauging suitability with respect to personal preferences, available finances and key requirements. Or in other words, your enjoyment and happiness at university will come largely down to the decisions you make during the accommodation selection process.
So in order to help steer both new and returning students in the right direction, here’s a quick look at the six most common blunders of all so many student house-hunters make every year:
1 – Rushing Things
First and foremost, much as there may be a sense of urgency about the search and selection processes, rushing things is never a good idea. By rushing into a decision, you effectively rob yourself of the time required to carefully consider every aspect of the accommodation, its location, its price and so on and so forth, which inevitably opens the door to poor decision-making. Worse still, allowing yourself to be rushed into making a decision by any given landlord or letting agency can steer things in completely the wrong direction. You might not have all the time in the world, but taking your time is important.
2 – Procrastinating
And at the risk of contradicting the above point to a large extent, it’s also imperative that you avoid unnecessarily procrastinating. If for example you find a place which in every respect seems to be fantastic, it really isn’t in your best interests to sit around ‘just in case’ something even better comes along. Those who leave things until the last minute will almost always have to compromise to one extent or another, having passed up the opportunity to secure the very best properties on the market. So while rushing is never a good idea, neither is sitting around and letting golden opportunities slip through your fingers.
3 – Choosing Before Viewing
Hard to believe as it may be, there are so many students across the UK who each and every year select and secure their accommodation without ever even having seen the place. Their reasons for doing so are as abundant as they are in each instance ill-founded – NEVER accept a place without first checking it out in full. Of course, if looking to move 600 miles across the country, carrying out a personal inspection may be rather difficult. Nevertheless, you should at least be able to request as many recent photos and video clips as necessary, in order to see what you’re getting into before actually getting into it.
4 – Poor Location Choice
When it comes to the perfect location for student housing, there’s quite a lot to take into account. First of all, you absolutely have to be within easy reach of the university campus itself. Secondly, you need to be close enough to all essential amenities like shops, public transport and so on. You also need to consider the safety of the area, strength of public transport links, general living costs and more. Unsurprisingly therefore, it’s pretty common for students to overlook one or more of these considerations and walk head-first into a choice they soon come to regret.
5 – Ignoring Agencies
To work with a student accommodation agency is to work with a group of professionals who not only take care of all the hard work on your behalf, but guarantee things like superb quality accommodation, fair rents, low deposits, 24/7 assistance when needed, fast repairs, high-quality appliances, emergency maintenance callout services, excellent security and so on and so forth. When renting privately however, you may find yourself robbed of every single one of these plus points.
6 – Choosing on Costs Alone
Last but not least, there will always be those who assume that to spend as much as possible is to secure the best accommodation on the market – just as others believe that bargain-basement is always the best way to go. In both instances however, this is exactly the kind of approach that can lead to disappointment as the price of student accommodation doesn’t always reflect its overall value and appeal. So instead of taking things for granted or making blind assumptions, look into the specifics of any given place before even considering making your final choice.