Living in a shared house can be one of the best parts of your student experience, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan for your time there. Failing to plan ahead can make living with others more difficult than it has to be and while these will all be learning experiences, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. In this blog, we’ll share some top tips to help you have the time of your life in your next student house share.
Choose your housemates carefully
While it might be tempting to choose all of your best friends to live with you in your house, think about whether your dynamic lends itself well to a good living situation. While you may enjoy doing things with your friends, if they go to bed at different times than you or like to throw parties when you’d rather study, you may end up arguing with them a lot. Always think about the kind of environment you’d like to live in and consider whether your housemates will support that.
Take out insurance
Some student houses may already come with insurance, but if yours doesn’t, it’s important to take out a plan to protect your belongings. If all of your housemates also want to protect their things, you could take out a shared contents plan, but you’ll need to trust that they’ll pay their share too. You never know what can happen when you’re living somewhere, so make sure you’re protected from flood, fire and theft in case the worst should happen. Spend some time comparing house insurance to find a plan that’s well-suited to students.
Go to lots of viewings
It can be tempting to snap up a house without viewing it, but this might mean you end up living somewhere you’re not 100% happy with. Try and get everyone who will be living in the house to attend viewings and then discuss if you’d all be happy with the size of the rooms and overall layout. You may also want to avoid going for the first house you see, as you never know what’s out there if you don’t look around.
Create a budget
Budgeting is really important for all students and because your rent is likely to be your biggest expense, you need to make sure it fits in with your finances. Have a range that you’re willing to pay and understand the compromises you and your housemates are willing to make. If you do end up paying for a house that’s a little more than you’d like, make sure you know what that means for your spending habits. Does it mean eating out less? Or will you have to get a part-time job? Whatever happens, make sure you’re happy to deal with any consequences that might come up.
Living in a shared house can be challenging, but you’ll probably remember the experience for the rest of your life. You’ll undoubtedly have some amazing experiences, but preparing for unexpected surprises will also pay off.