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17th October 2016

Advice to first-year house hunters

Panicking about housing for next year? Don’t worry! Shannon Winterbone is here to share her own experiences, and give some useful advice about house hunting

Although it’s only October, a lot of you may be thinking about when the time comes for you to move out of halls and into a house for the first time. Of course, this means a number of things; choosing where to live, who to live with and desperately trying to work out what all the estate agent jargon actually means. Signing contracts with estate agents and handing over deposits for the first time is a big deal, so make sure you’re clued up first.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, make sure you’re happy with who you’re living with! As you’ve just moved into halls with a bunch of new people, it can be really overwhelming and therefore a bit of a panic when it comes to deciding who’s going to live with who. Honestly, your opinions on people will most likely be changed within a few months! Just wait until you’ve seen the sink full of your mate’s dirty dishes enough times, and you might reconsider your choice to live with them for another year. Get to know everyone first and do not rush into signing a contract – consider that you’ll be sharing a house and bills with the people you eventually choose to live with.

In a few months’ time from now when you’ve chosen your housemates, you’ll need to think about where in Manchester you want to live. Although Fallowfield is the most popular choice, there are also options in Rusholme–which is much closer to university—or even near the city centre where you can actually find flats right next to Oxford Road Station. Think about the money aspect too—remember you’ll have to pay bills on top of rent, so don’t blow all your money on rent and be short for gas and electric. See if the landlord offers you the option to include bills, and work out what would be best for you and your housemates.

Finally, when you think you’ve found a house you like, be sure to do a bit of research on the estate agency and see what they’re like. If you get the chance, ask the current tenants what they think about the agency and the landlord while you’re viewing the house—you don’t want a landlord who never fixes anything! I had a wardrobe door fall off last year that never got fixed so definitely ask them! When viewing houses, don’t rush into it and pick the first one you see even if it looks really great. You never know, the next one you’ve got lined up might be even better…

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