So it’s about that time of year where you realise if you want to stay at Imperial next year (and you do!) you actually need somewhere to live!
Where to start?!
Okay so here are the top things you should think about
1) Know your budget
This is the key thing to do before you start and will determine which areas you should look in. Remember you’ll now have to think about wifi, gas, electricity, water and transport, if you’re tubing/busing as well.
2) Think about location
So your budget might help you here! Obviously closer to college will be more expensive but don’t rule out nearer just because of that, you might save on tube/bus fares. Acton might actually be quicker than somewhere in Hammersmith because of the tube. Most people tend to live in Fulham, Hammersmith, Earls Court or Acton.
3) Consider being a Hall senior or Evelyn Gardens
If all that sounds too much, it might be worth considering. If you can face halls again and like organising events being a hall senior might be perfect for you. On the other hand, Evelyn Gardens is halls just for upper years and I’m quite envious walking past it every morning that it’s only 20 minutes away!
4) Find some friends
Okay so you’re sticking with it! My advice here would not to get carried away 🙂 It’s so much easier finding a house for 3 or 4 people and there will always be people wanting to join you if you find that dream 7 bed house
5) I don’t have friends…
Seriously don’t worry! There’s a “find a housemate event” later in term and come July there will be posts in all the group chats you’re in looking for that 5th person. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look there are only so many 5th people!
6) We’ve found a house!
Okay so you’ve set up all your alerts on all the property websites, most have a student section, and you’ve been checking ImperialHomeSolutions. You’ve spoken to estate agents and arranged viewings and you’ve asked them to keep you updated if anything else comes up.
(At one stage I had a call a day – best buds 😉 )
You’ve probably been around 5-10 houses now, and each time one of them had a tiny room no-one wanted, or it was miles from the nearest tube station with no shop (seriously 1 minute from Tescos and 30 minutes from college is the best thing!). And then just as it’s getting to the end of term and one of you is flying home … you find somewhere!
(Disclaimer: it may not go exactly like this… just personal experience!)
- Be quick but be careful
Yes, houses go fast and you’ve probably missed out on one by now because someone beat you to it but don’t rush into anything. Make sure you’re all happy and ask for a copy of the contract straight away. Remember you’ll need stuff like passports, guarantors (your parents usually, check with the student hub if you’re international) and enough for a deposit.
- Go to the student hub
These people are the dream, they are lifesavers! Especially Pat!! Ask them nicely to read through your contract – they’ll help ensure you go with a real estate agent, that your deposit is safe and that you don’t sign anything without understanding. Seriously go to them!!
Done all this?
Congrats! Enjoy a stress-free Summer!