Now that a new semester has dawn on us, it is time to start hunting for houses / flats or whatever your accommodation preference would be. Living in student accommodation at heathfield , Blemont or West park does sound like a great life but it is time to move into a new place, your own place; which you will call your home for the next academic year – possibly more. This being my second year in Dundee, I already am in a private accommodation. But I have had so many of my juniors coming up to me to ask my opinion / advise for house hunting, so I thought why not write about it, so that the rest can know about it too. I am not an expert at this but thought maybe my experience can help the rest. If you want an expert opinion on this, please do head to the dusa’s website (https://www.dusa.co.uk/advice/housing/) – they have loads of information on this matter.
Tip 1: Location, Location, Location
Location is the most important in real estate and with a better location, the rents may be higher. So it is key to find that balance. Some might not be able spend or pay high rents for the flats or houses along Perth Rd and therefore might need to find place maybe in Hawkhill or smaller street just off Perth Rd or Hawkhill Rd. Just as a rough gauge, houses on forementioned roads are typical more expensive due to their location. But houses which might be on streets which are just off these roads might be way cheaper and all you have to do is walk a few more steps then you would if you were to live on these main roads itself. It is stuff like this which allows you to save some money or at least ensure you spend your hard earned money wisely.
Tip 2: Who and where?
There are many options on how you can find a place to rent. The more straightforward way would be to go up to the many letting agencies in town to see if you find your dream home with them. Just look them up online or walk down Perth road and you can see the many agencies who can help you with this. For a more trusty worthy list of agencies I would recommend you guys check out the DUSA accredited agencies, you can find about them via this link: https://www.dusa.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/LIST-OF-LETTING-AGENTS-IN-DUNDEE-2017-18.pdf
But you can also look for private flats. These are flats managed by individuals and not by the traditional agency. Many of my friends have found flats of great value through this method. Some prefer this to the previous method as you get to see and interact with the owner of the house. Cutting out the middle man, you can sometimes save yourself a lot of trouble and extra paperwork. If you are interested, check this link out: https://www.facebook.com/dusa.housing/
Tip 3: What to look out for?
When going to see a house, below listed are some important things you need to take note off. These are critical aspects of the house which determines the value of the property. If one or more of these are not available in your property, then you might have to rethink your options. For more details on what else to look for when going to house visits; check this link out: https://www.dusa.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/STUDENT-SAFTEY-2017-18.pdf
- Gas Heating (Central if preferred)
- Locked door (security)
- Double glazed windows
- Type of flooring
- Appliance provided
Tip 4: With who?
Find the right flatmates should actually be the first thing you would need to do to make sure you find the right flat. And one thing to note is that, just because you are the best of friends with someone that does not necessarily mean you will be the best flatmates. Many realise when they start living and would have to continue living as the contracts binds them too. But for those of you who have not found that one extra flatmate the link will surely be helpful: https://www.dusa.co.uk/event/speed-renting/
Tip 5: other options?
So, let’s say, you have no idea on what you are looking for or do not know if a house or flat will the best option for you. Afraid not, Dundee is filled with many other student accommodations and they might be the answer for your troubles. Get to know more about them at the upcoming refresher’s fair: https://www.facebook.com/events/832647100256707/
Finding a house and living by yourself is a major milestone in anyone’s life and be as prepared as possible to make sure that milestone turns out to be a pleasant one for you. Hope these tips help you find the right place for you for next year. Till my next post, #udou.