So now that I actually have experience of finding houses since I moved out of halls into my lovely 2nd year house this year, here’s some advice on what to look for in a good house:
1. Talk to the Current Residents
This is probably the most important point. Don’t be shy, they will give you their honest opinion of the place so it’s better that you know before you decide and end up moving into the house only to realise there’s something awfully wrong like there’s a rat infestation (trust me they happen). Ask anything from if the radiators are strong enough to can you stick posters on the walls!
2. Check House Safety Precautions
Check that the doors have locks. Student houses are prime hotspots for burglars especially Cathays since they know during the summer most students have gone but they have left their stuff in their houses so make sure that back door and each room has locks.
3. Ask about Renovations
Make sure to check when you can fully move into your house because some estate agents like to do renovations of the house during the summer such as paint the walls, put down new carpet. So check that your room will be ready to go by the time you move in in October.
4. What’s Provided in the House?
Usually a table, chair, drawers, beds (obviously :P), curtains, some shelves, bin and sometimes mirrors. The previous residents may leave behind stuff so you can always ask in advance but be prepared for most of the stuff to go, that includes stuff in the kitchen so you’ll need to be ready to buy communal items like microwave and kettle.
5. Check how you’re going to Pay for your House
Most estate agents will make you pay agency fees as well as a deposit but some agents do not follow that rule anymore so check you don’t get any nasty surprises! House bills are paid monthly with your agency and usually they also put you with water and gas and electric companies so all you have to do then is decide if you and your housemates want to have a joint account owned by 1 or 2 of your housemates where all the housemates pay their bills into or you have certain housemates be in charge of different bills: 1 for water, 1 for electricity etc.
I hope this list helps you have more of an idea what to look out for when you go house-hunting! Living a house with so many of your friends is something that usually only happens once in sometimes lifetime so be excited to be living in a proper house 🙂