Let me give you a few tips which are tips for you, and for you only (this will not work if you share with your potential housemates, so be cunning)
- Sunlight: Try going house viewing on sunny days, and detect which rooms let the most sun light in. Sunny rooms = happy rooms, potentially with no damp, free warmth and free light.
Room Locality Con’s
- Roof room: In my personal opinion, these are the nicest looking (probably because they are newly converted) however, you are going to be a target for damp. How can you tell if a slate is missing when you go for a house viewing? Damp is not easily fixed, nor is it a pleasing sight. Most of the time landlords will just paint over it at the beginning of every tenancy, so ask if the room has any damp history.
- First floor room: However much of a party animal you think you are, circumstances may change and you may decide to have a night off from your friends. If your room was anything like mine and right next to the front door and kitchen, you are guaranteed an early morning wake up, which will eventually get to you, resulting in possible arguments with drunken housemates. To live in this room you have to be ultra-sociable as everyone will come in to your room as soon as they come through the front door.
- First floor room: Another point- They are also the most risky in terms of burglary. Wherever students live, there is going to be crime. Look into the eyes of a rookie burglar: five students, five laptops, five phones- why not? If you do risk the first floor room, make sure you ask the landlord to fix an outside and inside lock and also make sure the windows are double glazed.
- Next-to-the-bathroom room: Ok so this room has big pros, you can nip to the toilet, be the first in the shower. However, there is a strong possibility of being next to the water pipes which will let off a noise every now and then which will churn through your brain, and certainly won’t help your studies when you can hear your housemates singing Celine Dion in the shower.
- Basement room: Again, we have the damp situation. If you live in an area prone to flooding (probably everywhere in the UK), then your basement is also prone to flooding. When this flooding occurs, you will need a dehumidifier (very expensive to run) and room spray and lots of it, as your room is going to stink of damp. Not such a great room when your underwear is floating around the floor.
- The ‘big’ room: Wherever this room may be, you must consider that it is going to be very hard to heat in the winter. Yes, a fan heater may do the job, but it is going to hurt your electric bill.
- The ‘small’ room: Firstly, who’s going to be laughing when you are just snug in your cosy little room? – Not you. However, make sure there is extra storage space somewhere in the house that you have priority over, as small rooms get very cramped and if you are not a tidy person it will quickly get very messy.
Whatever room you choose will probably have some kind of problem, so think about what you could personally put up with. I just wish I had thought all of these issues through when choosing my own first student house!
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